Chris Yates reviews The Edward Barder Rod Company in The Daily Telegraph

The golden age of rod making is alive and well in Newbury

Chris Yates

While you can read the full article in The Daily Telegraph at, we are delighted to share some of the highlights.  All quotations are from Chris Yates.

One of the reasons I have always preferred cane to slick, mass-produced
carbon is that cane never looks out of place by the waterside and I can feel
my way into the fishing more completely when I think the natural inhabitants
haven’t noticed me.  Aesthetics aside, I regard cane as superior to any
other rod-making material. It is tough, durable and flexible; it can be
tapered to a needle-thin diameter, casts beautifully and transmits a very
direct connection with the fish whenever it curves into action.

the good news is you can still track down a magic wand from
the golden age of rod building, I believe the best rods ever
made are being produced right now by a Newbury craftsman
who, had he been a violin maker, would probably have
outstrung Stradivari.

Edward Barder is 43 and has been professionally whittling
bamboo since he left the old Hardy outlet in Pall Mall, 20
years ago… anyone who has ever inspected a Barder rod is
always slightly amazed at the quality of the finish. Barder
has obviously devised certain secret techniques over the
years, just as Stradivari did.  Despite their elegance,
even the finest, lightest fly rods are virtually