The Kennet Perfection. Made by Edward Barder. 1991.

11½’ 2-piece + detachable handle.


This is a really lovely early example of this famous model, made at my first workshop on the Berkshire-Hampshire border in the hamlet of North End.

In 1991 I was building Kennet Perfections to the same specification as the ones I’d been commissioned to make for the Association of Barbel Enthusiast (forerunner of the Barbel Society), based on founder Fred Crouch’s original rod (made by Oliver’s of Knebworth).

Although used, this rod has been very well looked after. Its specification is particularly good and in the process of removing the original owner’s name from the Indian ink inscription, I over-varnished both sections. The finish is flawless.

The Kennet Perfection in this uncluttered format has a delightfully well balanced and lively feel, with plenty of flex in its tip, bending progressively into its limber but steely middle section. It is light enough to hold comfortably for some traditional trotting for chub, with enough power and versatility for shoal barbel, tench, perch and bream. Yes, bream.

This has always been a great favourite of ours. My colleague Colin bought his from me in 1987 and he’s still using it!

With its classic fittings, bottle green silks and elegant handle, this is a very handsome and perfectly straight rod, full of life and vigour.

Hand-made split cane middle and tip sections of equal length.

Split cane handle, 28” long, cork covered and finished with a trumpet-shaped top.

The superbly detailed nickel silver sliding reel bands and butt cap were made for me by the late S. L. Maisey of Leicester, who was in his time the world’s best maker of high quality rod fittings to the trade.

The nickel silver tip-to-middle ferrule is a Hardy pattern, retaining a perfect fit. It has a hand-turned hardwood and cork stopper.

The brass middle-to-handle ferrule was made by Beatson’s of Sheffield and is also a perfect fit, with its hand-turned hardwood and cork stopper.

The hard chrome plated stainless steel rings are Sapphrite Laurels ‘Europa’ stand-off pattern, with an ‘Amberfin’ butt ring and matching threaded ‘Amberfin’ tip ring.

Whippings are transparent varnish-impregnated bottle green Pearsall’s silk. A hook keeper ring is incorporated into the male ferrule whipping on the middle section.

The Indian ink inscription reads: The Kennet Perfection. Edward Barder ~ Maker. 1991.

The rod comes with its original brown cotton drill tailor made bag with press stud fastenings and a pocket in the flap to keep the ferrule stoppers in.