The author, Richard Rawlingson, visited Edward Barder and Colin Whitehouse at
their workshop. Extracts from his article are provided below.
Back to the future
Edward Barder’s rods may be made to a 19th century blueprint, but they are
designed for the modern day fisherman, as RICHARD RAWLINGSON discovers
… You could say the Edward Barder Rod Company is to rods what Purdey is to
shotguns: both companies make products essentially Victorian in origin,
crafted largely by hand, to the most exacting standards. The good news is
that you can buy around 30 Barder rods for the price of every Purdey!
… traditional cane rods are enjoying a renaissance… cane has gone from
quirky to almost mainstream in the last decade.
… “I have been using my current rod for six years now,” Barder told me,
“and it has probably seen more work than the average rod does in a
lifetime. Used like that, you discover pretty much everything there is to
know about how it performs and its durability and that is fed back into the
[Referring to his customers] Barder told me… “We are saying to them: here
is an aesthetically beautiful rod, that incorporates everything you want
from us in terms of craftsmanship, with no compromises. We are not asking
them to step back in time and relearn how to fish; their new cane rod should
perform just as their top of the range carbon model did the previous time
out. Within half an hour, you should have the feel of your new rod and be
able to do all of the same things with it. Indeed some things it may do
… there is no doubt that you will feel better with one of these rods in
your hand… you know you are handling a thing of rare beauty and
refinement. If you are not moved by craftsmanship of this order, then a
quick check for a pulse is in order.
… discerning buyers know an absolute bargain when they see one.