Edward Barder Wallis Wizard inscribed by Bernard Venables.

Completed in May 1991, this specially commissioned rod was inscribed by Bernard Venables MBE. In exceptional condition.


This all split cane 11′ 3-piece Wallis Wizard was a special commission and has a unique Indian ink inscription by Bernard Venables MBE. It is in exceptional condition, has a very fine specification indeed and is, of course, a delightful, practical fishing rod. It has had very little use in its thirty one years.

I received this commission with the request that if possible, I should have it inscribed by Bernard Venables, who I had known for some time. Bernard was very helpful in this regard and I took the rod to his cottage in Fosbury, Wiltshire, where he wrote on the split cane butt, in Indian ink- Tight lines, Bernard Venables, “Mr Crabtree”  The effect is superb, perfectly preserved and unique.

There is of course a very significant collectible element to this rod, but it is also something to be used and enjoyed. It was very exciting to see it again when it came to me last year. I hadn’t seen it for thirty years and I must say that I was quietly proud of what I’d made as a young man, a year into my career as an independent rod maker. I have applied two coats of varnish over the original finish and the result is a flawless marine grade varnish finish that will protect the rod for a lifetime, given proper care.


I built the rod with classic Wallis Wizard dimension (I was twenty five at the time but I like to think the tapers I employed were a refinement of Allcock’s originals) using hand made split cane throughout. It remains perfectly straight and has a fine tip, a steely middle and a split cane butt whose flex is akin to whole cane. It’s a light, versatile and delightful rod. A classic Wallis Wizard in its demeanour.

The ferrules were acquired from a one-time Hardy ferrule maker and retain a superb fit. They have super stoppers with finely knurled alloy tops & cork shafts.

The slim 24″ Flor grade cork handle (corks obtained from Western Corks) has a ‘mushroom’ shaped top with a shaped alloy shoulder collar, conical alloy butt cap, red rubber button (from the Mountford Rubber Co of Birmingham) and finely knurled alloy reel bands.

Rings are classic Amberfin butt & tip with Sapphrite Laurels Europa hard chrome plated stand-off intermediate rings. A hook keeper ring is incorporated into the whipping atop the handle. The rod is whipped in Burgundy silk and the finish overall is flawless.

As well as Bernard Venables’ wonderful inscription, the Indian ink inscription above the handle, in two parts, reads: Hand Made By Edward Barder. The Wallis Wizard 11′. The date 1991 is inscribed above the hook keeper.

The rod comes in its original tailor made (by my friend Caroline Jones using a hand-wound Singer!) bag with a pocket in the flap for the stoppers, tie fastenings and a label that says: Edward Barder Hand Built Rods & Tackle.