B. James & Son ‘Built To Endure’ Richard Walker MK IV c1952.

From the very first batch of production rods, with the gold ‘Built To Endure’ transfer & gold B. James transfer.


B. James & Son had made a batch or two of MK IVs for sale before Walker expressed his views about the quality of the Indian ink inscription written by James Bruce Snr, proprietor of the firm. He suggested that transfers of his signature should be arranged, and in the meantime, he would sign the rods produced.

This rod is one of those that pre-dates the famous Walker-inscribed examples. We can reasonably conclude that rods from this batch are at least as rare as the ones with Walker’s inscription.

This rod is whipped with very dark green silk. I believe this to be Perrivale Imperial shade 684. Typically for these very early rods, the intermediates are quite broad, openly spaced and probably applied in-house.

The distinctive butt ring and tip ring are agate lined nickel sliver. The intermediate rings are bronzed nickel plated high carbon steel of a pattern that was used on only the very earliest MK IVs. The original hook keeper ring is present, whipped in above the handle top.

The blank is Southwell-built. The sections are remarkably straight and sound.

The 28″ cork handle has the usual subtly flared top and the fittings are from W R Products of Shepherd’s Bush.

The ferrules are bronzed brass. The female ferrule, which has its original hardwood stopper, has a reinforcing barrel.

The rod has its original cloth bag, which is in very good condition.

A coat of yacht varnish has been applied to the rod. This has been very well done and has preserved the original finish.

This is a very fine and rare ‘Built To Endure’ labelled MK IV from the earliest production of MK IVs. It is a highly collectible and usable rod in its seventy first year. Not to be missed!