Barder Rod Co ‘The Chris Yates Merlin’ 11- 2-piece Avon rod.

Made in 2008, this is a superb near mint example.


I’d have to check the order books, all thirty of them since the Merlin was introduced, to see if it’s been our most popular model. My suspicion: yes it has. Still, they don’t turn up every day and this outstanding example is a particularly nice one.

It’s owner thought  about trying coarse fishing but it never really took, so I’m helping him make way for another fly rod. Very sensible. It means you can buy this one. Sure, why wouldn’t you?

I think it’s had an outing, or at least had a reel put on its handle. That’s about it. As near as damn it mint then.

I developed the Merlin with Chris Yates in the early 1990s. We haven’t really altered it since. At the risk of sounding conceited, or like a lager advert, it’s probably the best split cane Avon rod in the world. I have no hesitation in recommending it for trotting for river fish (all of them), tench and other lake fish and grayling in winter.

This Merlin is a rod that the wary, cautious angler more used to carbon fibre can use for contemporary fishing without feeling at a loss. In fact, it’ll make a convert of such a sceptic.


11′ 2-piece. Flame tempered Tonkin bamboo, hand split, the strips straightened throughout before precision tapering to a tolerance of +/- one thousandth of an inch. The rod is perfectly straight and vibrantly yearning to be fished with.

The 24″ Flor grade cork handle has an ‘onion’ shaped top. The alloy butt cap and sliding bands are our make, finely knurled and engraved.

The waterproof nickel sliver splint end ferrule is blued & lacquered and retains its original honeymoon fit. It has its highly figure hand turned Olive wood and cork stopper.

The rings are Amberfin butt and tip, with hard chrome plated stainless steel Sapphrite Laurels ‘Europa’ (the best ever) stand-off intermediate rings. A hook keeper secured with a hand-forged nickel sliver strap is fitted above the handle.

Silk whippings are Pearsall’s bottle green throughout, including the perfectly graduated intermediates. The flawless finish is hand-applied marine grade varnish.

The rod comes in its tailor made bag with traditional ribbon fastening ties.