Richard Walker MK IV stepped-up carp rods by Edward Barder.

A unique pair of MK IV SU carp rods made in 1991 & 1992. In exceptional condition.


I made these rods in August 1991 and September 1992 respectively while working single handed in my North End workshop, south of Newbury.

They were built for the late Alan Credland and apart from the different butt caps -the first was bought in, the second was made by me- they are a composed pair, dated and inscribed as such.

The blanks were made from particularly heavy, dense Tonkin bamboo and remain dead straight to this day.

The ferrules were made by a former Hardy ferrule maker to a typical Hardy pattern, splint ended, reinforced and waterproof. They have hand-turned Barder Rod Co Olive wood stoppers.

The sliding reel bands were made by my colleague Colin Whitehouse in 2018 to replace the original bought in ones.

The rings are Amberfin butt and tip with hard chrome plated stainless steel intermediates. Whippings are chestnut silk with very fine black tippings throughout. Each rod has a hook keeper whipped in the classic MK IV style above the Indian ink inscription.

The finish is impeccably applied marine grade gloss varnish.

Both rods came to us in 2018 for a service and we refinished them to our current standards. They have not been used since to they are in perfect condition. They were entirely sound at the time, not having been used heavily, but they were approaching thirty years old and although my finishing work was pretty good in the early nineties, it’s even better now. That’s progress for you!

The rods come in their tailor made bags with letters of provenance signed by Edward Barder.

This is the only pair of stepped up MK IV carp rods we’ve ever made. They are really nice rods, not the dreadful old stumps that some stepped up MK IVs were. For today’s carp (and pike) in often weedy waters, these rods, loaded with twelve pound line (up to 15 lbs BS) are practical and enjoyable tools

£1,900 each or £3,600 for the pair.