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BARDER Rod Co.  The Chris Yates Bishop Prototype & № 2 11' Carp Rods c1989 & 1990 in outstanding condition

(This is a long page.  Please scroll down to read all of the details for each rod.)

I first met Chris Yates in 1989 when I was working for Hardy Bros at their famous № 61 Pall Mall shop.  He called in to have a rod repaired –a carbon fibre Hardy roach rod belonging to Hugh Miles, which had been broken by a Redmire Pool carp when Chris was using it for gudgeon fishing.  This accident occurred during the filming of Hugh’s series A Passion For Angling.  I was the member of staff who carried out the repair.  One might think that this was not the most auspicious start for a twenty seven year career as a split cane rod maker!

On the strength of this brief acquaintance and knowing of his devotion to split cane, I wrote to Chris to ask if he would be interested in developing two new rods –one for carp and the other for barbel.  I am eternally grateful that he agreed enthusiastically, and this rod is the prototype of what became The Bishop carp rod.  Chris had named some of the largest carp in Redmire Pool after chess pieces, and the Bishop was his record fifty one pounder.



The Prototype Bishop -built in mid to late 1989.  A truly unique rod
In anticipation of my departure from Hardy Bros to strike out on my own as a rod maker, I had taken on a workshop in the hamlet of North End, on the Hampshire-Berkshire border, five miles outside Newbury.  There will probably be a blue plaque there one day, or a statue.  Perhaps even a small museum or a visitor’s centre with wheel chair access and a tea shop.

Working there at weekends and at home in the evenings, I was able to design and make the prototypes of the carp and barbel rods that Chris Yates and I had discussed and planned.

The prototype rod has a moderately fast taper from the butt ring to the handle, but its tip dimensions and taper profile (and therefore its action) are otherwise the same as the finalised production models.  The action is very similar to our current Chris Yates Barbus Maximus -a crisp, moderately fast through action.

At the time, Chris wanted a little more action (flex) in the butt section, so the rate of taper was slowed and the stiffness reduced in the lower half of the butt.  The approved result was the № 1 Bishop that Chris Yates owns, followed by the № 2 Bishop we are pleased to offer for sale.

The tip sections of the Prototype, the № 1 rod that Chris has and the № 2 rod were made from strips split from a matched pair of Tonkin bamboo poles and have identical dimensions.  Therefore, all three rods share a unique and very special provenance which is of considerable significance and rarity in the context of split cane carp rod development.

I presented Chris Yates with the № 1 rod and made the № 2 for the late Kerry Jordan, who was the first person to order one of our newly developed rods and my first customer as an independent rod maker.  He visited me to place his order and asked to see the prototype.  He liked it so much he bought it and asked me to finish it to match the № 2 rod to create a pair.



The № 2 Bishop -built in mid 1990 -the 2nd of the introductory special limited edition of 21 Bishops
The № 2 rod is the structural twin of the № 1 Bishop owned by Chris Yates.  That excellent film The Secret Carp made by Peter Akehurst and featuring Chris Yates contains a super scene where one can see the № 1 Bishop in action, taming a beautiful twenty four pound fully scaled mirror carp.

This rod is the finished article in terms of design and construction and was made from strips of Tonkin bamboo split from the same matched pair of poles as the ones used to make Chris Yates’s Bishop № 1.  They were planed and glued up into blanks at the same time.



Both rods have had very little use, as the photographs and close inspection show.

Specifications for both rods
The blanks were made from vintage Tonkin bamboo that originated from the famous firm of JB Walker of Hythe, Kent (the firm that supplied bamboo to Richard Walker).  They were flame tempered, hand split, heat straightened and hand planed.  The colour is not dark –perhaps best described as a dark straw.

Both rods are straight and retain all of their original resilience and vigour.

The 26” long Flor grade cork handles have mushroom shaped tops with nickel plated brass collars (that is showing some attractive patina in the case of the Prototype).  The sliding alloy reel bands have very fine convex knurls and the tapered alloy butt caps are fitted with their original red rubber buttons.

The snug fitting waterproof reinforced splint end ferrules are blued and lacquered and retain their traditionally shaped hand turned hardwood and cork stopper. 

These ferrules were made by an ex-Hardy master ferrule maker, and were widely regarded as the best of their kind at the time.

There are hook keeper rings whipped in above the tops of the handles and the Indian ink inscriptions read:

The Chris Yates Bishop Prototype E.  Barder~maker.  1989.
and
The Chris Yates Bishop № 2 E.  Barder~maker.  1990.

The butt and tip rings have agate centres and nickel silver frames.  Both are pre-1939 and of German manufacture, as were the vast majority of the very best quality agate lined rings.  The butt rings have lovely greyish milky agate centres.  I acquired the remaining stock of these rings from Oliver’s of Knebworth.  The tip rings have a typical orangey red centres and came from stock I acquired from Constable of Bromley.  The intermediate bridge rings are hard chrome plated stainless steel and were made in the Hardy factory in Alnwick.

The whippings are Pearsall’s Superfine green silk, shade 18, from 1 oz spools also acquired from Oliver’s of Knebworth.  The traditional over-whippings on the butt rings are braided copper wire made and supplied by my old employers, Hardy Bros, and the over-whippings at the tip rings are Veniard’s fine copper wire.

The rods were finished by hand with International Blue Peter Tung oil based yacht varnish.

The original tailored bags were made from heavy duty cotton.  They have traditional ties and separate pockets with Velcro fastenings in the flaps for ferrule stoppers to be kept in.  The woven labels bear the legend Edward Barder HAND BUILT RODS AND TACKLE

Price for the pair: £5,000

All pre-owned rods supplied by us are issued with a specially printed and individually signed and dated certificate of ownership.


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