Bernard Venables 8’3″ #5-weight fly rod № 1. Made in 1996.

A 2-piece 2-tip staggered ferrule fly rod in exceptional 99%+ as new condition.


In September 1994, our friend the late Bernard Venables came over to try out some fly rods. He was quite keen on his carbon fibre at the time, but seeing us at work on split cane rods prompted him to take a look at his old favourite, a Pezon et Michel Ritz Super Parabolic PPP Master, Type Lambiotte. Quite a mouthful for an 8’3″ fly rod!

He immediately realised that he greatly preferred this rod to his new carbon model. It had been given to him by Charles Ritz, for whom he’d written the forward to the English edition of his book A Flyfisher’s Life. It was indeed a superb rod, designed for his friend Auguste Lambiotte, the Belgian angler and industrialist.

Ever encouraging, Bernard suggested that we might like to produce an interpretation of this rod, if we felt that it would be a commercial proposition, with his endorsement. We did, and it was. In fact, it was the beginning of our production of longer fly rods.

This example is Number 1, made for Bernard’s then manager, the late Mark Williams. It is in virtually unused exceptional condition.

The staggered ferrule design produces a very smooth casting stroke indeed. Most of the flex during casting ocurrs in the part of the rod -the long tip section- that is ferrule-free. This also helps with weight distribution because the ferrule is further down towards the hand than it would be on a conventional 2-piece rod.

The so-called parabolic action is smooth but accurate. The tips are robust without being clubby and it roll casts superbly. This rod, loaded with a line such as a Rio Gold, is absolutely superb to fish with and it handles hooked fish better than anything.

I had one myself for years, before one of my all too frequent periods of penury forced me to sell it. I loved that rod and used it for all of my river fishing.

As you can see if you zoom in on the accompanying pictures, Bernard was very supportive of our efforts and this rod is a uniquely special and practical manifestation of the work that he inspired us to do.


8’3″ staggered ferrule design, 2-piece with 2 mirrored, numbered tips. The female ferrule has a split cane and nickel sliver extension stopper to bring the butt section up to the same length as the tips when the rod is bagged.

The split cane is perfectly straight. It was precision-made from flame tempered vintage Tonkin bamboo.

The Flor grade cork handle is a classic, elegant and comfortable cigar shape. The reel seat spacer is figured Olive wood, with blued nickel silver butt cap, sliding band, grip check and shoulder collar of our own make.

The rings (guides) are bronzed hard chrome plated stainless steel American pattern snakes, with a superb nickel sliver framed carbide butt ring from Mildrum and bronzed stainless steel Snake Brand tip rings.

Whippings are varnish impregnated Pearsall’s pure silk with fine red tippings. The flawless finish is hand-applied marine grade varnish.

The ferrules are Super-Z of our own make and retain a very nice firm fit.

The rod is inscribed: № 1 Bernard Venables fly rod #5. 1996.

It comes in its tailor made partition bag with bronzed press stud fastenings.