We were really hitting our stride in 1994. Young Colin had joined me the year before and both of us were still in our twenties. Looking at us now, a pair of museum pieces, it’s hard to imagine that we were ever that young.
The Kennet Perfection is such a practical rod. For the fishing it’s intended for -barbel, chub, tench, big perch, hefty bream- it is that rare thing, a split cane rod that will hold its own against carbon fibre. I can still clearly picture an image of the late, great Fred Crouch fishing from a punt at King’s Weir on the Lea. The water around him is all bubbles. The fighting curve of his Kennet Perfection is captured in perfect silhouette as it bends to the thrusts of a barbel down below.
This was an illustration in Fred’s book Understanding Barbel. I’d first come across him in the 1980s when Angler’s Mail ran a colour feature on him. He’d caught over seven thousand barbel by then, mostly on quite light tackle using maggots as bait. He always used a Kennet Perfection and an Aerial reel. He and Chris Yates were jointly responsible for the renaissance of the split cane rod for coarse fishing.
Not so long after this, my hobby rod making caught a friend’s attention. He knew Fred Crouch and his barbel fishing crew. They wanted someone to make Kennet Perfections to sell via their club and a shop in Essex. That person ended up being me and here I am now, still making them.
This example was ordered with the highest specification we could offer. It has superbly well made and finely knurled nickel silver handle fittings, tipped ring whippings, intermediates and the best rings ever made. When I removed the original owner’s name, I over-varnished the whole rod. It didn’t require any straightening and it I treated it to a new tailor made bag. It’s as new.
This is a particularly good rod, dead straight, handsome and strong. That is the exact description I’d apply to you too, dear reader. You’re made for each other.
11’3″ two piece + detachable handle. All made from precision built hand split cane.
The ferrules are brass for the butt-to-mid section and nickel sliver for the mid-to-tip. Their original hand turned poplar and cork stoppers are in place and they retain an as-new fit.
The handle fittings are exceptionally finely knurled nickel sliver. The handle is 26″ long with an onion shaped top.
The rings are Amberfin for the butt and tip. Intermediate rings are stand-off hard chrome plated stainless steel- the Sapphrite Laurels Europa pattern, which were the best rings ever made.
Silk whippings are Burgundy with very fine black tippings and matching Burgundy intermediates. The rod’s particulars are inscribed particularly nicely in Indian ink. The finish is flawlessly hand applied marine grade varnish.
This rod will handle traditional floats, touch ledgering and swim feeders (bating engines if you call carp carps, which I don’t) up to medium size with authority. It has plenty of sensitivity, but enough backbone and oomph not to fold up when casting weightier rigs.
Reel lines: 4 – 8 lbs BS
Casting weights: up to 1½ oz.