B. James & Son Richard Walker MK IV carp rod c1952.

A very fine and exceptionally early B. James MK IV, entirely inscribed by James Bruce Snr (aka B. James)-no transfers.


What sets this rod apart? There are no transfers or decals. The rod was inscribed with Indian ink by James Bruce Snr, proprietor of B. James & Son. Richard Walker inscribed a small number of MK IVs that had the gold B James transfers applied. While Mr Bruce was waiting for the new transfers proposed by Richard Walker, he had almost certainly run out of the gold transfers and rather than going to the considerable trouble of delivering more rods to Walker to inscribe, he did the job himself. Such rods are exceedingly rare.

This is only the second example we have offered for sale from one of the earliest stages in the evolution of this iconic rod. I personally vouch for its authenticity, quality and rarity.

The rod is built on a particularly clean, fine and straight hand made Southwell blank. Its ferrules are sound and retain their original bronzed finish and hand turned hardwood stopper.

The 29″ handle has a subtle trumpet shaped flare at its top, with the usual alloy reel bands and butt cap from W R Products of Shepherd’s Bush. The black rubber button is the correct 1½” diameter.

The butt and tip rings are agate lined nickel silver, with chrome plated bridge intermediates. The original hook keeper ring is whipped in above the handle.

Silk whippings are a delightful medium green. They were sealed with cellulose, which has yellowed and crazed slightly over the course of seventy years. This is absolutely to be expected and inevitable. Later B James rod whippings were sealed with shellac, which is much longer lasting. These whippings are typical of the very early B James rods and the intermediates are relatively broad and openly spaced. The varnish was applied by hand and remains sound.

The rod comes in its B, James & Son tailored bag.