Barder Rod Co 12′ 3-piece carbon fibre float road.

A carbon rod built by the Barder Rod Co to their exacting standards, using English-made components.


It’s incredibly satisfying to trot a float with a fine split cane rod –a Merlin for instance. However, there are days when you must keep at it to get to the fish, and they may be a fair distance across a broad river. There is only so much of this that your tendons and your physiotherapist can take.

The good thing about carbon fibre float rods, above all else, is their lightness. However, the advantage usually ends there. They tend to look hideous. This is bad enough, but it gets worse. They are invariably fitted with an absurd number of very nasty single legged rings. These have small centres and being so numerous, they create a lot of friction and prevent your float from travelling downstream without drag. When you do hook something, they groan and judder in an unsettling way. They catch in the cheap fabric of the rod’s bag and snap off. If you like to fish for tench with a sliding float, you will struggle to cast even the heaviest of peacock quills into your swim due to the sliding stop knot’s struggle to escape from all those squitty rings.

The whippings are bulbous, the decals have had a taste bypass, the action is indifferent and your friends will look on with barely concealed contempt. Your rod may be light and inexpensive, but it is a loathsome thing. There are still fine fish to be caught by float fishing. Yes, many swims are indeed approachable with a fine cane rod, but what about those spots a little further across the river, or in really deep water, or those days when you realise that you aren’t Mr Apollo any longer? Being pragmatic and sensible, you’d welcome a really good, light rod with conservative, tasteful looks and a satisfying action. This is that rod.

 All components are made in England and we built the rod with precisely the same care and attention to detail that we apply to every aspect of our work.

The rod has a 12’ 3-piece un-ground carbon fibre blank. The action is progressive and all-through. It has the fast recovery from bending that a good carbon rod should have, so it feels crisp and vigorous. It will handle reel lines from 3- 6 pounds breaking strain. It weighs 148 grams (5⅛ oz).

The perfectly graduated three legged stand-off rings have generously sized silicon carbide centres. The butt ring is located so that the line will reach it from your reel at a sensible shallow angle. The rings (12 in this case, including the butt & tip ring) are spaced so that the line won’t cling to the blank when it’s wet, and there are precisely enough of them so that they add no unnecessary weight or friction.

The fine chestnut silk whippings are buttressed (double whipped for a number of turns) at the top of each ring foot for extra security. The silk is impregnated with and protected by multiple coats of yacht varnish. There is, of course, a hook keeper ring secured with a hand-forged strap just above the handle top.

The 24” long Flor grade cork handle is fitted with our finely knurled sliding reel bands and matching butt cap and button. The reel bands have an internal taper that provides a really sound, secure grip on the foot of most trotting reels. We have taken a lot trouble to get this detail right, including the handle’s diameter, which is neither too slim nor too fat. You can hold the rod all day in comfort and your reel won’t fall off when you are playing a five pound chub.

We have fitted beautiful hand-turned acorn-shaped Olive wood stoppers to the joints for their protection and the rod comes in a superb tailored bag.

This is the last word in contemporary float fishing rods.