Barder Rod Co Chris Yates Barbus Maximus MK I c1997.

11'9" 2-piece + handle in 99% of mint condition. A very versatile rod indeed.


From the penultimate year of production before we introduced the MK II version, this near mint conditioned rod was taken out once but I don’t think it’s actually handled a fish yet. This is where you come in! The specification and build are of the  highest standard.

The split cane blank was precision built using the best combination of skilled hand work and close tolerance tapering. The metal work is nickel silver throughout and was all made here in our workshop. The finish is flawless. All rings are the very best hard chrome plated stainless steel. They won’t rust, groove or crack as there are no fragile ceramic or agate centres. Technically, this is a very sophisticated rod indeed. Aesthetically, it is extremely elegant and good looking. The bamboo (flame tempered vintage Tonkin poles bought from Oliver’s of Knebworth) has a delightful light caramel colour and the scarlet tipped bottle green Pearsall’s silk whippings have a gorgeous translucent glow.

Due to the profound changes that came about in barbel fishing from the late 1990s, we introduced a MK II version of this rod that was designed to deal with fishing at night, in winter floods, and for fish that were increasing in size and distribution.

What a shame that this golden age of barbel fishing was to last for barely a decade. Most of the rivers that held healthy stocks of really large barbel, including my local river Kennet, have so few fish left in them that their pursuit by angling is a waste of time.

On a positive note, if you’ll put your hanky away and stop snivelling for a moment, the MK I Chris Yates Barbus Maximus has become relevant again. Not just relevant, but indispensable, and we have four of them for you to chose from. In fact, this one and its neighbour on our website are twins, so you could treat yourself to a pair.

Why is the MK I so in vogue again? Well, it provides you with a rod that has ample length for line control, a sensitive tip for bite detection and to enable you to safely use reel lines as light as 4 pounds breaking  strain. The hollow-built split cane middle provides steady, progressive power. The number and  spacing of the rings enables float fishing and ledgering. The detachable handle format places one ferrule only in the rod’s action, and despite being a long rod, it isn’t too much of a bother to transport.

You can use this rod with absolute confidence and pleasure for barbel fishing on the Wye, Trent, Severn and Hampshire Avon. Elsewhere too, if you know of fish that aren’t already harassed quite enough by otters.

It’s a super chub rod and I’d choose it for tench, perch and if you insist, large bream. So, a technically and  practically superior rod that no connoisseur of fine split cane rods should be without.


11’9″ 2-piece + detachable  26″ split cane handle. To our most refined taper design, the blank was precision made to tolerances of +/- one thousandth of an inch using flame tempered, hand-split and straightened vintage Tonkin bamboo. The tip is solid built and the middle is hollow built.

Ferrules and handle metalwork are made in-house from nickel silver. The ferrules are blued and lacquered and retain their hand turned hardwood and cork stoppers.

Rings are hard chrome plated stainless steel bridge pattern throughout, whipped with scarlet tipped varnish impregnated bottle green Pearsall’s silk. A hook keeper ring secured by a hand forged nickel silver strap is fitted.

The Flor grade cork handle has an elegant onion shaped top and the finely knurled nickel silver butt cap is engraved with the maker’s details. The nickel silver sliding reel bands have matching convex knurling.

The Indian ink inscription reads: 1997. The Chris Yates Barbus Maximus.

The rod comes in its tailor made dark green bag with bronze finished press stud fastening and a pocket in the flap for the stoppers.

Test curve: 1¼ lbs.

Casting weights: Up to 1¼ ounces.

Reel lines: 4 – 8 pounds breaking strain.