Mick doesn’t bite. Fish do.

Those were the days.

Remember pipe smoking? Probably the most agreeable way to get a fix of the evil weed. Sadly, the last generation of mostly tweed clad pipe smokers has gone now. Pipes and angling went rather well together. The smoke deterred the midges of summer and lent a spicy fragrance to the frigid air of winter. Picture the pike angler, a crystalline droplet on the end of his proud nose, the peak of his tweed cap pulled down low, his Hardy Angler’s Pipe clenched firmly between his ivories, an eighteen pounder surfacing for the first time, the spray flying as it tries to free itself from the trebles. Enduring image, isn’t it.

My great uncle, Dr Bob Melhuish, smoked a pipe all his life. Died when he was ninety six. Ogden’s Gold Block didn’t do him any harm. He didn’t fish, but he did work at ICI and got hold of some Terylene for my father to use as fishing line when everyone else was using silk.

Roadmap Out Of Lockdown with the Barder Rod Co.

Frankie Boyle recently described our Prime Minister as ‘Bemused loft insulation.’ Nevertheless, he tells us that on Monday the 29th of this month we may take furtive steps outside our bunkers to meet people in small numbers, hygienically and with great trepidation. Then, there’s April Fool’s day, Easter and all those eggs. From April the 12th, non-essential retail should be permitted. That’s us. Non-essential. Still alive though, and keen to stay that way. Please do phone or write to arrange an appointment from the 12th of April onwards. We’re looking forward to seeing you very much, assuming you can make it through the snow.

Colin’s going conger eel fishing in the Bristol Channel as soon as he’s allowed out.


He doesn’t smoke a pipe any more, but he has bought a 15′ long beach casting rod.

We don’t make beach casting rods but we do make fine split cane, carbon fibre and fibreglass rods for the daintier styles of fishing, as you can discover in our Covid-free website.

Best of luck with your close reading of the UK Government’s Roadmap Out Of Lockdown. Mind you don’t fall asleep and knock your pipe over.
Stay well and keep safe,

Edward Barder & Colin Whitehouse