Fly Rods - Split Cane​

We take infinite care to make rods that sympathetically utilise and fully express the incredible qualities of Tonkin bamboo.

Conceived for the contemporary fly fisher, Barder split cane rods are anything but old fashioned in performance. Through long term analysis at the riverside and in the workshop, we have arrived at precise proprietary tapers for a series of rods within the optimum range for split cane –from a 6½’ #3-weight to an 8½’ #6-weight.

Actions are typically smooth and progressive, best described, within the context of split cane, as medium fast.

Ours is a beautiful, graceful sport. We think our rods do justice to the fine art of fly fishing.


Some recommendations.

7’ 3-piece model № 384 for a #3 or #4 line. Light and super-precise, this is the perfect rod for small streams.

8’ 3-piece model № 396 for a #4 or #5 line. A timeless classic for the angler who fishes small to medium rivers.

8½’ 3-piece model № 3102 for #4, #5 or #6 lines. The 8½’ length affords greater line control for fishing larger streams with complex currents and extensive marginal foliage. The #4-weight version has extraordinary finesse and precision. The #5-weight handles mayflies and heavier nymphs with authority, while the #6-weight will take large rivers, West Country sea trout and smaller still waters in its stride.

All of our fly rods come with-

A pair of perfectly mirrored tips, to be alternated in use from day to day. 

A beautifully tailored bag fitted with a stiffener to protect the tip sections.

A superb aluminium lined hand stitched English bridle leather case of unsurpassed quality.

“When I got home I unpacked your perfect packing job. Kudos on that!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With breath laboring I opened the beautiful leather tube and slowly slid out the wonderful new bag like a strip tease. I slowly removed each piece and examined it closely.  I liked what I saw.  Then I put it together using tip #1.  Great ferrule fit, rod straight as an arrow. Good. Then I gave it a waggle and knew I had found greatness.

I rushed upstairs to my fishing office and retrieved a Hardy Ultralite reel loaded with Wulff 4/5 wt line as I knew it would be perfect for the rod. Carefully I fitted the reel and threaded it through the exquisite guides.  I carefully navigated out the front door to the long section of lawn in front of my house. I stripped off about 50′ of line and started false casting. One word escaped my lips, wow.

This rod is the finest I have ever picked up. Period. Not only is the entirety of the rod perfect, it also casts perfectly. I was able to do anything I wanted it to do with ease. The long wait for both of us was well worth it for me. The rod is simply the most elegant piece of perfection I have laid hands on in the tackle business. I could not be happier.”

From leading split cane rod dealer and connoisseur Charles Vaden, ‘The Bamboo Broker’ of Washington, USA, on receipt of a new Barder 8’6” #4-weight 3-piece split cane fly rod. 16th April 2007.

Three-piece two-top fly rods: £3,300

Model number Length Line rating






“I would defy anyone who loves fly-fishing and has a scintilla of soul not to thrill at the sight and feel of these exquisite creations. From the nickel-silver ferrules, sliding reel grip and butt cap, to the stainless-steel rings, to the transparent whippings tipped in tan silk, to the polished olive wood of the reel seat, to the silk rod bag, to the aluminium leather case, the fittings - all made in Barder’s workshop - are the finest” (Tom Fort, Trout and Salmon magazine)


Click to enlarge


Silks –either perfectly transparent varnish-impregnated Pearsall’s Gossamer light straw-olive with ultra fine dark tan silk tippings or Pearsall’s Gossamer mid-tan with ultra fine black silk tippings.

Split Cane Fly Rod Details

Each stage in the making of a Barder rod is carried out with fastidious attention to detail.

Each part of a Barder fly rod is designed and made in-house from the finest raw materials.  Attention to detail and the standard of finish are second to none.

Our precise, proprietary tapers incorporate fine tips that protect light tippets and promote an action that is crisp, with excellent damping qualities and the ability to cast a tight, accurate loop.

The middle third of our rods are designed so that they don’t collapse when the rod is loaded during medium to long distance casts.

The swelled butt above the handle of a Barder fly rod is flawlessly formed, elegant and symmetrical .  They help to direct the angler’s casting stroke with authority, and add to the beauty of our rods.

Perfectly seasoned and selected Tonkin bamboo culms are prepared entirely by hand, from flame tempering, grain-splitting and straightening, through to node pressing. The strips are tapered to precise tolerances of +/- .001” on our purpose built mill. The six 60º triangular strips are pressure wrapped with an advanced adhesive to make up each solid hexagonal bamboo section.

Suitably proportioned grade-A culms are selected for quality from our large stock of seasoned Tonkin bamboo, and then tempered by hand over an open flame.  This process properly tempers the power fibres, drives out excess moisture, and greatly increases the resilience and durability of the bamboo.  

As a consequence, the bamboo darkens to a beautiful caramel colour. The tempered culms are hand-split with the grain and the resulting strips are straightened with heat.  We also heat-press and stagger the nodes in the 3 X 3 configuration, rendering them neat and strong.

Tapers for the six triangular strips of each section are precisely milled to our exact specifications, maintaining tolerances of +/- one thousandth of an inch.  Ensuring that the power fibres are on the outside, these six 60 segments are then seamlessly and permanently bonded together with heat resistant, waterproof adhesive. 

Waterproof splint-end ferrules are made by us from the best hard-drawn 18% nickel silver.  Hand-lapped to a perfect suction fit, they are then oxidized and furnished with a stopper turned from the same wood as the reel seat. Non-cracking tan silk whippings secure the ferrule splints.  Owing to our varnish application, which actually saturates the silk; they are rendered permanently flexible and waterproof.  

Guides are pewter finished hard chrome plated fine wire snakes with matching tip-tops and nickel silver stripping guides that are lined with highly figured Brazilian agate. Whippings are perfectly transparent Pearsall’s Gossamer silks with ultra fine tippings. 

Varnish. The final stage of construction is the application of several coats of marine grade varnish. The flawless finish of a Barder rod is truly exceptional.

Handles. Only the best Flor grade Portuguese cork is used for handles. Each ½” disc is cut in two; only the best half is used. Our ergonomically correct cigar-shaped handles are turned to an exceptionally fine, firm and velvety finish.

Reel seats are made from our seasoned stock of highly figured Olive wood, mortised to accept a reel foot perfectly and finished to a deep gloss.

Reel seat metal work – Nickel silver. Butt caps (discreetly engraved with our details) and sliding bands are finely knurled, blued and lacquered to match the sliding band and grip check.

Indian ink inscription. Each rod has its model number and line rating inscribed on its underside in Indian ink, just ahead of the swelled butt.  The tips are numbered too, just ahead of the ferrule whippings, and the tippings at the tip-tops are green for the No 1 and red for the No 2. 

Prices & Ordering

Prices for 2024

All models with nickel silver handle and reel seat fittings. £3,300

‘It is the business of the wealthy man
To give employment to the artisan.’
-Hilaire Belloc’s Lord Finchley


All orders must be accompanied by a 1/3 non-refundable deposit. The balance is due on completion. Orders from outside the UK must be paid in UK pounds.
Payment may be made by electronic transfer, debit card, cheque to E. Barder Rod Co, cash in UK pounds, Visa or Mastercard. E Barder Rod Co bank details for payments will be supplied on request.


On average, the cost of carriage, packing and in-transit insurance is £50 – £60. We will advise on shipping costs to countries outside the UK upon request.
We are not responsible for any import duties that may apply outside the UK.