The № 50 Bernard Venables Landing Net c1997.

A particularly nice example with a stunning 7' 2-piece Tonkin handle in exceptional+ condition.


It’s a well known fact that in 1994, our friend Bernard Venables asked us to make a net to replace the one he’d used as the model for the cover of Mr Crabtree. He’d sold that net and anyway, it was a bit small. ‘If you could make one a little bit larger I’d be delighted, and if you want to make some commercially, I’d be happy to endorse them for you.’ We did, and became the first firm to make ash framed nets in living memory. Others have tried –do try, but ours are the best by far. I’m not actually that conceited, but this statement about the supremacy of our nets is also a well known fact.

I landed a one-time Kennet record barbel of 16 lbs 10 oz in mine. I’m neither conceited nor boastful. It was a bit of a squeeze, but this gives you some idea of the net’s versatility. Colin’s nephew landed a mid twenty pike in one. It’s not too big for general river fishing. The Venables net floats, so when it’s in the water, ready to receive, it’s no effort to hold. I’ve used nets with 6’ fibreglass handles, alloy heads with the same shape and size as this and minnow mesh. They’re not too bad, but this one is better. Much better. This net is Florence. The others are Alderley Edge.

Furthermore, this one has one of the very rare and exquisite 7’ 2-piece Tonkin bamboo handles, a brand new mesh and exceptional+ condition.


The net head.

26” front to back, 21” side to side close grained ash frame fitted with countersunk stainless Allen head screws to a polished naval bronze Y-shaped block. The ash frame has a perfect hand applied varnish finish.

The 30” deep mesh is fully legal 1” size soft nylon, dyed dark brown by me, with no seam at the bottom so that a long fish won’t fold up in it.

The Indian ink inscription: The  № 50 Bernard Venables net. E. Barder. Maker. ‘97

The 7’ 2-piece handle.

Two sections of equal length, made from tempered, straightened and flame-mottled Tonkin bamboo acquired by me from the late Clifford Constable of Bromley in 1990.

The brass butt cap has a black 1½” diameter button fitted but for you rubberists out there I can supply it with a red button up to and including the eye-watering 2” diameter model.

The brass handle top is threaded to receive the ⅜” British Standard Fine stainless steel thread of the net head’s block.

The sections are joined with a splint end suction ferrule. This has tiny red witness marks to aid correct joint alignment, is blued and lacquered and fitted with its original hand-turned hardwood and cork stopper. The ferrule splints are whipped with black & tan jasper silk.

The Indian ink inscription: Barder rod co, makers. ’97. № 50.

The handle has a flawless varnish finish and comes in its khaki-green tailor made bag with bronzed press stud fastenings and a pocket in the flap for the ferrule stopper.

This is the number 50 Bernard Venables landing net. It’s as good as nets get.