Care and Maintenance

Split cane

To help ensure the longevity of your Edward Barder rod we would suggest that you:


  1. Clean the rod often. Wipe it down with a damp cloth, then with a dry one. Wash the cork handle from time to time, using warm water and a drop of washing up liquid.
  2. Keep the ferrule slides clean by carefully wiping with a handkerchief, firstly with a moistened corner of the cloth, finishing with a dry part. They may be lubricated by the lightest application of hard hand soap – nothing else whatsoever – to the male slides, but only when absolutely necessary.
  3. Store the rod in its bag, thin ends uppermost, hanging from a hook in a dark dry place. Use the leather case for transport, not long term storage. The leather case will benefit from an occasional application of boot polish.
  4. Make a ring with ones thumb and forefinger when replacing the rod in its case, and guide the rod into the case so that the hard edge of the metal tube cant knock and damage the rod rings.
  5. Alternate the rod tops from day to day. This distributes wear and tear evenly. Do not use one top exclusively. The tops are numbered.
  6. Make sure there is plenty of room about you when assembling and taking down a rod. Push ferrules together with hands together, and pull apart with hands spread apart. The male ferrule should be inserted at least ⁷⁄₈ of the way into the female ferrule before use. If a ferrule becomes stubborn, dont force it. Contact us immediately if any ferrule trouble is encountered.
  7. Use the rod with the correct AFTM (American Fly-fishing Tackle Manufacturers) rated line. Some of the best we have used are the Scientific Anglers AirCel Ultra4 in Buckskin Tan and the Mastery Series (see the 3m/Scientific Anglers web site for the full range). Ensure that the connection with the leader is very small and neat.
  8. If you don’t make up your own leaders, a Leeda Profil leader (which doesnt have the excessively heavy, stiff butt common to most knotless leaders) needle knotted into the fly line is very good, with a tiny Roman Moser tippet ring permanently knotted to the point. Tippets are easily attached to and removed from the ring, without shortening the leader each time.
  9. Keep fly lines clean, and if they are run out and stretched before each trip, they will perform about 30% more effectively. A new line, or one thats been on the reel a long time, should be run out and trailed behind you as you walk it through a field of long grass. This removes twists from the line. The best line cleaner is Armor All, which is sold for cleaning car interiors. A lifetime supply costs about the same as one little bottle of proprietary line cleaner.
  10. If flies become snagged, point the rod straight down the line, or put the rod down and handle the line beyond the tip ring. Never yank at a fixed object or fish, or over-strain a rod in casting. Using a split cane rod in circumstances that are outside the limits of its specification may result in the bamboo fibres becoming stretched beyond their capacity to return to their original position. A moments carelessness can ruin a rod that would haven given a lifetime of good service if handled correctly.
  11. When playing and landing fish, the rod butt should be at or close to 90 to the line beyond the tip ring. As more pressure is applied, the lower, stronger part of the rod will take the strain, relieving the relatively fragile tip section.
  12. During protracted struggles with big fish, try holding the rod with the rings facing upwards: easier than it sounds, this distributes heavy loads on both sides of the rod.
  13. Use a landing net with a sensibly long handle. Short net handles may seem convenient but at less effective and require the rod to be held up almost vertically whilst landing a fish. This places a lot of unnecessary strain on the rod top, and should be avoided at all costs.
  14. Check your rod regularly for damaged rings, varnish etc. Your rod is made to the closest tolerances, using the finest materials. If accidentally damaged or strained, the split cane blank, the silk whippings and other components may fail.
  15. In the event of accidents or wear, please seek our advice, and if necessary, return the rod to us for repairs and servicing.


  1. Store a damp, dirty rod in a damp, dirty bag.
  2. Store the rod in its case, unless you are sure it is bone dry (other than during transit).
  3. Varnish, oil or wax a cork handle.
  4. Stick hooks in a cork handle.
  5. Twist or wrench a ferrule.
  6. Put a wet or dirty ferrule together.
  7. Lubricate or coat a ferrule with anything whatsoever.
  8. Let ferrules drop onto or stand on hard, rough surfaces.
  9. Never twist the rod when assembling it or taking it apart. Always hold the rod sensibly and securely, pushing and pulling in a straight line when inserting and separating ferrules. A sensible mantra is “Rod together, hands together – rod apart, hands apart.”
  10. Try to pull snagged hooks free with the rod bent.
  11. Play/land fish with the rod pointing up at an acute angle. This is inefficient and places all the strain on the rod tip. The lower the angle the rod is held at, within reason, the more the lower, stronger portion of the rod can absorb strain and apply pressure.
  12. Allow the tip section of the rod to be bent severely. It is both unnecessary and inefficient, and in the case of split cane, may cause irreparable damage. Try to turn the rod over, rings uppermost, when landing a fish or during a protracted fight.

Carbon Fibre

To help ensure the longevity of your Edward Barder carbon fibre rod we recommend that:

  1. Rods are not kept in tubes, and should be stored in their bags, hanging in a dry place away from direct sunlight.
  2. When dirty, they should be wiped down from end to end, including the cork handle, with a damp cloth, and then dried.

We must remind you that carbon fibre is an excellent conductor of electricity and it is therefore very dangerous to fish with a carbon rod in the vicinity of power lines. For the same reason, it is also very unwise to fish with a carbon rod in an electric storm.