The Chris Yates Merlin № 57 in outstanding condition.

11' 2-piece Avon rod made by the Barder Rod Co. Ordered on 1st December 1998 & completed in 1999.


We’ve made over two hundred Chris Yates Merlins at the time of writing (April 2021) and they’re all lovely. We don’t have any favourites but this one would probably steal the show at a Merlin parade.

In the hand it’s exactly as you’d hope –supremely well balanced, lively and crisp. A quick swish to and fro and you can almost feel it urging you to take it fishing. I know a little modesty would be welcome at this point but look at the pictures. I had to take them in the greenhouse because it was raining outside and the glare in there was terrible but even that doesn’t detract from the rod’s obvious refinement.

I know for a fact that this rod has had very little use indeed, so it really is high time that you put some fish under its spell.

The blank is precision built from flame tempered Tonkin bamboo, split and straightened by hand. It is absolutely straight.

The 26” handle has a trumpet shaped top and a slim ⅞” diameter. The delicately knurled reel bands and engraved butt cap are turned from aerospace approved alloy (liberated by a friend of ours from an MOD skip at Porton Down).

The nickel silver ferrule retains a super smooth fit. The ferrule retains its original hand-turned hardwood & cork stopper.

The butt and tip rings are Amberfin lined and the intermediate stand-off rings are the peerless Sapphrite Laurels Europa pattern.

Whipped with natural silk saturated with multiple coats of yacht varnish, nothing is obscured. The exceptionally fine tippings and ferrule whippings are Pearsall’s Cardinal silk. The finish overall is superb and enhances the warm caramel tones of the flame tempered Tonkin bamboo.

There is a hook keeper ring secured with a hand forged nickel silver strap above the handle.

The Indian ink inscription is as follows: The № 57 Chris Yates Merlin. The tip section is also inscribed №57 next to the ferrule whipping.

The rod comes in its tailored bag.

Reel lines: 3 – 6 lbs BS

Casting weights: up to 1 oz

Test Curve: 1¼ lbs