B. James & Son ‘The Avocet’ 11’3″ 3-piece whole and split cane rod.

Made c1953-4, this is a particularly nice Avocet in outstanding original condition.


When you fantasize about the ideal rod collection, you, the prudent connoisseur, will surely include a B. James & Son Avocet. The very earliest ones are phenomenally rare. When the  commercial success of the Richard Walker MK IV upped the trade for B. James, the Avocet production was increased, but not at the expense of quality. In fact, many Avocet lovers feel that the ‘trumpet handle’ edition is the best of all.

This is an outstanding example of the earlier version of this Avocet vintage. Fine of tip, steely in the middle and lissom in its whole Tonkin bamboo butt, it’s a lovely rod to look at and to fish with. One of these, a really good MK IV from the same maker (we’re offering just such a rod within these pages), an Allcock Wizard, a Hardy Wallis Avon № 1, an Oliver’s Kennet Perfection and a clutch of Barders. That’s about it.

Here’s the Avocet. Some of the others are listed elsewhere in these pages. Bingo!


11¼’ 3-piece. Whole Tonkin cane butt. Middle & tip are arrow-straight darkly flame tempered hand-made Bob Southwell split cane.

24½” trumpet topped cork handle of exceptional quality with aluminium butt cap, sliding reel bands and shoulder collar by WR Products of Shepherds Bush.

Splint end suction ferrules with spigotted males. Their fit is excellent and they have a lacquered bronzed finish. The original Walnut and cork stoppers are in place.

The rings are clean chrome plated full-open bridge pattern, with matching clear agatine lined butt and tip rings. The hook keeper ring is positioned immediately above the handle top.

Whippings throughout are dark green silk, with wonderfully fine and graduated close-whipped intermediates. The transfers are perfect, as is the finish, which we have preserved and protected with one flawless overcoat of compatible & historically correct varnish.

The rod is in its original bag.