It was a very hot summer. Most days, after lunch, there were regular reports indistinguishable from the firing of a shotgun inside the workshop. The last consignment of Tonkin bamboo poles, about two hundred of them, were exploding as the air trapped inside them expanded in the afternoon heat.
The young proprietor of the rod making firm whose bamboo it was got fed up with having his heart’s strength tested by these random blasts. ‘From now on Colin, whenever we get a new load of bamboo, the first thing we’re going to do is knock out the diaphragms with an iron bar.’
From then on (it was the late 1990s) there were no bamboo poles left intact in the Barder Rod Co’s racks. No shocking explosions and shattered nerves, but because they used the bamboo’s diaphragms to form the bases, it meant the end of their production of bamboo float cases.
In 2021, we discovered two bamboo poles with their diaphragms intact. They hand’t got quite enough fibre for rod making but they were nice and round and marked in faint pencil ‘For float cases only.’
We also found a large diameter brass off-cut. There was a very nicely figured plank of olive wood lying about, and some large cork bungs. Green felt too. Hello, we thought. Shall we?
So we did, earlier this year, make two of our celebrated float cases, previously unobtainable for over twenty years and unobtainable again, until we can find another big brass off-cut. Have you seen the price of that stuff? It may as well be gold.
When we have made some more, they will appear here. Now you’ve seen this one, it will be painfully apparent that you simply must have one to go with your Chris Yates Merlin, your Bernard Venables landing net, your Colin Whitehouse catapult, your Chris Yates bamboo blowpipe (we’re still working on that one) and that Chris Lythe Roach centrepin you’re just about to buy.
Case: flamed and cleaned Tonkin bamboo with a brass reinforcing collar at the opening. The end is formed by the bamboo’s natural diaphragm and the naturally soft fuzzy interior is the perfect environment in which to keep your valuable floats.
Lid: hand turned highly figured Olive wood with a cork shaft and a green felt end pad.
Indian ink inscription: provides maker details, date and the maximum length of floats the case will take.
The lid and case are flawlessly finished by hand with the very best marine grade varnish.