Rods, Fishing, Carbon-Fibre, Angling for the Use of

Those rods made of the substance of the devil, as a Fundamental Traditional Fishermen might say. Carbon-fibre itself is a remarkable material, stronger and lighter than glass-fibre. This does not stop many terrible rods being made from the stuff, with poor actions or so thin-walled they have almost none of the benefits and all of the downsides.

Having said that there are some fabulous rods about and a couple of them are listed below, along with a surprising number of dogs. I am still mystified as to why someone has not made a thick-walled, well designed carbon-fibre rod which would allow me to fish for almost anything in the UK. If you want something doing properly...

Anyhow...if you care how many carbon-fibre rods there are on this page, you can see the summary at the bottom of the pageGuess where this link takes you?.

The Old Carp Rod

DAM Quickfire Match

Cormoran Telescopic Spinning Rod

Harrison's Four-Piece Avon

Four-Piece Spinning Rod

Fox Floater Special Carp Rod

Fox Trek 12ft 2½lb Five-Piece

Ugly Specimen Avon

The Pen Fishing Rod

Fladen Maxximus 'Solid-C' Boat Rod

ESP Floater Special

Fox Duo-lite Specialist Float

Harrisons GTI 15' Float Rod

John Wilson Specialist Avon 11'

Shakespeare Alpha Graphite 8-9aftm 9' Fly-Rod

The Light Salmon Rod Experiment

The 'SkyLiner' Carp Rod

Bloke XGnP 9' 10wt 4-Piece Fly Rod

Not so very common carpI am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Not so very common carp...a very subtil fish Not so very common carpWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Not so very common carpif you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Not so very common carpI am content to wait. I am well used to it.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodThe Old Carp Rod.

This was my first carbon-fibre rod which was pretty exciting in 1984. It is a two-piece 11 foot through-action rod with a 2¼lb test curve, self-built when carbon-fibre was really exciting and new. It has considerable power, if not at the longest ranges. While similar at first glance to the Four Piece Avon, it's stiffer in the tip section and has a far steeper taper in the butt section, which give it quite a power reserve. This is still one of my favourite rods, with a special place in my fishing-heart, as it started my feral carping on the 'Pike Pit'.

I gave it a re-furnish in June 2008, new 'duplon' handle, moving it towards the butt-end, as it used to have a double hand 'horizon cast' thing going on. A new set of rings and it was whipped in 'camo'. C'et un blague. My Harrison's Avon was a test bed for thread colours and the tip sports several, plus the whole rod has 1ft marker intermediates. It was dubbed a camo-whipped Avon by a friend, so on the Old Carp I went the whole hog and mixed colours and spacings for odd intermediates along the entire length. I had to sit up to 2am waiting for the Marmiteangler to return from some school coach-trip and spent four hours getting cross-eyed on the job. None of the rings have two whippings the same colour. Good fun. I look forward to my first 'bite' on it...

After the last rebuild in 2019, I fished with it a few times - the tip section got seven rings, at least one too many, the last pair are too small and the butt ring ought to be further from the reel. Didn't think that through. It'll get changed.

The Old Carp Rod was first used on 30th January 1984 and has been used on at least 89 occasions, the last being the 16th June 2022.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the Old Carp Rod.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod1984. At Last a Proper Rod. I'd got a bee in my bonnet about having a proper fishing rod, despite going fishing less often. A (new) tackle shop on Desborough road in Wycombe offered me a blank which met my description, soft action, about a 2lb t/c, 11 feet long. It was mostly carbon, but I wonder now if there isn't some glass in the mix. This cost me £40, a lot in 1984, it had a Duplon handle and reel seat fitted. I went into Newbury and bought 'Fuji BNHG' rings (the sort with the luminous insert, I just liked the colour) and thread. The thread was thicker than grade 'D' (they must have seen me coming) and I whipped the rings on top of a thin coat of araldite and then smeared a little more into the whipping surface. Sounds awful, but the rings were still going strong in 2004.

I took it down to show 'Old Bob' and he couldn't believe how little it weighed.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodJune 2008. The Old Carp Rod. Operation Camo. I gave the rod a re-furnish a new handle, moving it towards the butt-end, as it used to have a double hand "horizon cast" thing going on. A new set of rings and it's whipped 'camo'. C'et un blague. My Harrisons was a test bed for thread colours and the tip sports several, plus the whole rod has 1ft marker intermediates. It was dubbed a camo-whipped Avon by a friend, so on the old rod I went the whole hog and mixed colours and spacing for odd intermediates along the entire length. None of the rings have two whippings the same colour. Good fun. I look forward to my first 'bite' on it...

The 'camo whipping'Hard to see eh? C'et un blagueThe 'camo whipping'Hard to see eh? C'et un blagueThe 'camo whipping'Hard to see eh? C'et un blague
The 'camo whipping'Arfleet, 'off the top' with the 'camo-whipped' Old Carp RodThe 'camo whipping'Arfleet, 'off the top' with the 'camo-whipped' Old Carp RodThe 'camo whipping'Arfleet, 'off the top' with the 'camo-whipped' Old Carp Rod

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod1st March 2019. Interesting. In 2016 'sometime', I stripped the Old Carp Rod down to its bare carbon as, well, it needed a make-over, as the last one gave it a Duplon handle which I don't really like. On a whim I got the rod-blank off the shelf and compared it with the Harrison's four-piece Avon.

Quite why I hadn't made that comparison before I don't know, but it was interesting, nonetheless. The top section of the 'Old Carp' was very nearly identical to the top two sections of the Four-Piece. In fact the 'Old Carp' top section fitted neatly on the spigot of the four-piece. With both rods assembled, the Old Carp is a tad stiffer overall, possible a thicker wall. The real difference in in the butt section though - the 'old carp' is considerably thicker in the bottom section, which is consistent with it having a bit more power in the backbone when it's required and it's the case the Four-Piece has, once or twice, tapped out under full load. I suspect an Old Carp re-build is in the offing.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod12th April 2019. The Old Carp New.

The Old Carp Rod needed a re-build, especially since I'd stripped it three years ago, an essay-related displacement activity. It then rested un-noticed on the rack. Then I remembered it.

I wanted to make it as light as possible and with a fixed reel seat. It'd spent too long with a duplon handle, which I eventually loathed, and some of they green luminous shock-lined rings, which I rather like but are heavy. I dabbled with titanium but in the end opted for nine Fuji BMNAG's, alconite lining, black chrome, plus a Fuji MNST Sic tip in gunsmoke, the i/d of which necessitated the complete removal of any shred of varnish from the rod-tip.

I wanted a hook-keeper - I find most hook-keepers designed for the purpose to be quite useless. They are often at right angles to the point of the hook and tiny. They're a fiddle - worse - they're a fiddle with the consequence of a hook through one's finger. You will find a small snake eye mounted at about 45° from the line of the rod-rings far easier to use. So I added a 'black pearl' REC Recoil Snake Guide near the handle. This is all very nice but 'blackish'.

Let's look at the ringing pattern. This was based on the number of rings required, the placement of the reel seat (a regular Fuji 18mm screw-lock) and its spacing from the butt-ring. I used a spreadsheet to work out a geometric ringing pattern (the last space multiplied by a constant) and a linear one (the last space plus a constant). In the end I went for the linear as (a) the rod's taper is linear, although it's different in the top and bottom sections, being similar to the Harrison Four piece Avon in the tip and more like the ESP floater in the butt. To spread strain through the ferrule region, the last two spacing's were adjusted to 1.5 × 'the' constant and 2 × 'the constant'.

Tip ¦---- ---- 1 ---- ---- 2 ---- ---- 3 ---- ---- 4 ---- ---- 5 ---- ---- 6 ---- ---- 7 ---- ---- 8 ---- ---- 9 ---- -- Reel -- -------- --¦Butt
Tip ¦---- ---- 6" ---- ---- 7" ---- ---- 8" ---- ---- 9" ---- --- 10" --- --- 11" --- --- 12" --- --- 13" --- -- 15.5" -- --- 24" --- ---- 16.5" --¦Butt
Tip ¦---- ---- 6" ---- --- 13" --- --- 21" --- --- 30" --- --- 40" --- --- 51" --- --- 63" --- -- 76.5" -- --- 92" --- -- 116" -- --- 132.5" --¦Butt
10 8 8 10 10 12 16 20 25 30 Reel Butt

This left the distance to the reel stem - this was set 116" from the tip of the rod - where I wanted it when the rod was in my hand. That is 16.5" from a cork/composite 'fighting butt'. I dislike 'stupid long' handles with fixed reel seats. I see little point, on an 11' rod, of keeping 8-12" of rod 'behind the hand'.

The Old Carp RodThe over-engineered keeper-ring and whippings. The Old Carp RodThe butt ring.
The Old Carp RodSome intermediate ring or otherThe Old Carp RodThe counter whipping and the nearest ringThe Old Carp RodThe tip ring and the next one down

As previously mentioned the rod, although carbon is fine as a material, lacked colour - we'll take the broad view that 'black' is not a colour in this context. This is fine if you harbour secret dreams of being a fishing Ninja (I suspect there are a few of those types about). I however, elected to put a strip of white paint onto the varnished (one coat) blank in the places where the rings go. This involved a tricky bit of mucking about with elastic bands and a steel rule. In many respects it was an utter pain in the posterior, but the final result is quite pleasing on the eye as the bottle green and garnet threads actually show their colours.

The observant reader will spot that the whippings perhaps need a final coat of varnish and that the whipping have a dark 'band' at the ends. This last is where the whipping is 'cast-on' to the carbon, then crosses onto the white paint. A final thing - I don't see the point of 'winding checks'. I whip up to the cork and on the end-face I carefully apply some layers of varnish to protect it. When I get around to it, I'll add a picture of the whole rod.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod22nd December 2021. The Old Carp Rod Tweak.

Using it recently, it seemed to me that there are too many rings on the tip-section and the last two size 8's are too small...currently cannot be hedgehogged to re-build the whole rod, so, despite Fuji BMNAG's going out of production, I ordered a couple of size 10's and swapped them over.

Two rings, four whippings. Took me an hour. The first ring was a faff, I resorted to using a poor whipping to anchor the ring, which the usual rubber band would not hold, the whipping just pushing the ring up the rod. I whipped the thin leg easily enough, then having checked the alignment, replaced the first whipping. Which looked OK but it was 'fluffy' some blemish in the dark-purple NCP. Annoying. I did it again...

The second ring was worse, as the even rod's even smaller diameter near the tip barely anchored the ring at all and after two failed attempts, I used some scrap dacron* to sacrificially whip the thick leg, then set the alignment, whipped the thin leg, then took off the sacrificial and re-did the other end. It took eight whippings overall to get two rings on. Annoying.

* A well known tackle brand's 'Carp Dacron' which kept mysteriously breaking for no good reason, something that had also happened to others. Bin and/or string bag.

Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Carp? What addiction?...a very subtil fish Carp? What addiction?Watch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Carp? What addiction?if you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodDAM Quickfire Match.

I found this 13-foot 'match rod' in a Thatcham junk-shop in early 1987 or so - I know this as it was used to fish the Thames at Runnymede during the summer of 1987. I did not use it very much, but it was initially rather nice in the hand to fish with, compared with my previous experience of wobbly old fibre-glass 'match' rods. It did, with reasonable grace, manage a couple of 7lb carp at Bishop's Green. For general river fishing with a centre-pin it was 'OK' and once accidental nabbed a decent sea-trout. It badly needed re-ringing, as it had those tiny eyes that were once the fashion, but make casting hard work. When I picked it up again in 2011, I remembered why I had stopped using it, so gave it to Postman Pete for his son to use. Not 'sold' as such.Binned

The DAM Quickfire Match was first used on 16th August 1987, was then used at least 15 times, the last occasion being the 17th May 2011 and then, if we are being kind, was 'recyled'.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the DAM Quickfire Match.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod1987. There was a junk shop in Thatcham at the rear of a kind of mini-arcade, which occasionally acquired cast-off fishing tackle. At some point it provided a 'DAM Quickfire Match', a 13ft three-piece carbon float fishing rod, which was snapped up. I used this for quite some time, thinking myself well set, although in truth it was a poor rod. I also picked up one of those glass-fibre tackle box/seat things with a carrying strap that were popular back in the day.

I modified it...but you knew that. Along the internal long sides of the box were two pieces of steel right-angle, pop riveted on - these are just visible in the left hand picture below; these provided necessary stiffness to the sides, so I cut two pieces of aluminium square-section to span those, and attached them to the steel on each side with M3.5 bolts. This prevented any flexing of the box at all. These cross-bars had been cunningly spaced so that a green 'Stewart' tackle box would fit perfectly on top, once M3 holes had been drilled and bolts applied. Three of the four indentations in the bottom, the boxes 'feet', had worn through, which at least let any water out. These were filled with hot-melt glue and four large hard rubber feet were fitted, slightly inboard of the existing 'feet'.

The Big Camo Tackle BoxThree pop-rivets can just about be seen on the front and in the background are some of the contents The Big Camo Tackle BoxThe 'Stewart' can be seem lurking behind the seat and the double sided whet-stone is visible inside that.

The 'Stewart' held the small bits and bobs, leaving access to the rest of the box for the big bits, reels, flask, scales and such. I kept it until 2012, with the sole addition, c.2003, of a camouflage paint job, carried out with tester paints and squares of foam rubber, as much to amuse the Hatangler as anything. In 2012, made obsolete by comfy reclining chairs and multi-pocketed rucksacks, it finally went to the tackle-shop in the sky.

Another Crucian Carpcrucian...(and back to the top of the page) Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian Another Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carpcrucian Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian Crucian Carpcrucian Another Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian CarpCrucial crucian Crucian CarpCrucial crucian Another Crucian Carpcrucian Crucian CarpCarassius Carassius Crucian Carp againCrucial crucian

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodCormoran Telescopic Spinning Rod.

I bought this 9ft rod in early 2004 for travelling angling and it was both of reasonable quality and a surprisingly good rod. I had perhaps used it only half-a-dozen times, when, while I was putting it up in Cork, I pulled the line through the rings and the top section snapped like a matchstick. I was not amused, but can repair most things. However, Cormoran themselves told me "We don't carry spares and anyway you wouldn't be able to fix it yourself". So, never buying anything from them ever. Rude people. Not 'sold', so much as up-cycled; several of the sections got used for repairs and 'projects' and the reel seat ended up on the B&W Mk.IV.   Binned

The Cormoran Telescopic was used twice, once on 13th August 2004, again on 13th August 2004, then, if we're being kind, was 'recyled'.

Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook (and return to the top of the page) Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook Safety Pin HookSafety Pin Hook

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodHarrison's Four-Piece Avon.

This is an 11' four-piece 1lb 10oz t/c rod, built myself on an un-ground Harrison's blank in March 2005. Then for the next three years or so, it was used for most of my fishing. A light and versatile rod which has landed a good number of carp 'doubles', that was quite comfortably within its capabilities. Amazing rod, if a little stiff for some things. In 2010, I stripped then rebuilt it with scarlet thread, bottle-green reinforcing whippings and a single spiralled green thread along the length of the rod.

Here are some old and dreadful photos...

Harrison's Four-Piece AvonThe rod in its original livery (and mud)Harrison's Four-Piece AvonNot the best background, the Fox Floater Special BagHarrison's Four-Piece AvonNot the best background, the Fox Floater Special BagHarrison's Four-Piece AvonNot the best background, the Fox Floater Special Bag

I made a 'light' (¾lb t/c) tip section from an old JW Avon found in a pawn shop, and also made a slightly stouter tip section (intended to be ≈1lb t/c) from a piece of a good quality Avon rod, for which desecration I would burn with Beelzebub and his demons, if either actually existed. These modifications seemed like good ideas.

It turned out that the 'light' tip was too light and the 'slightly stouter' tip was too soft. In June 2021 I trimmed the 'light' tip back to around 1lb 4oz or so (it is now only 2" longer than the original tip section) and it fishes very well. The 'slightly stouter' tip will get cut back to make an ≈2lb t/c tip. I’ll await field testing before I get excited about this.

I still plan to make make a short dolly section, so I have a light 8'6" rod for small streams.

The Four-Piece Avon was first used on 13th May 2005 and has been used on at least 225 occasions, the last being the 24th June 2022.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the Four-Piece Avon.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod7th February 2007. Harrison's Four Piece Avon Review (Originally penned for 'Pure Piscator').

Why would you buy a four-piece rod? Historically, they have had a bad press, but having travelled extensively and missed some great fishing opportunities, the need for a compact rod with the ability to cover various sorts of fishing had become crystallised in my mind. A two-piece rod is fine, but tends to be used as a footrest by smaller passengers in the back of the car and as a javelin by baggage handlers.

After some interwebbing, I came across Harrison and after some email communications I decided to try the four-piece Avon. I ordered a blank in January, via a distributor, and after a delay it turned up. It was then built in a frenzy using double legged ceramic rings, more or less to the instructions and advice on Harrisons' website about spacing and placing. I have nothing against buying rods built and Harrison's rods are nicely built. I just like to do it myself for fun. It finally got to the water in May 2005. Phew. Improbably, I had an 11lb carp not 15 minutes in and finished the day with seven tench and another 6lb common. Good omens...so onto the rod itself...

At 10oz it is light in the hand, 11' long when assembled and 3'3" packed, so fits crossways on the Driving Technology's parcel shelf. When in use it has nothing about it that signals the four-piece construction. The joints are well made, a good fit and are overlapping joints which I prefer to spigot-ferrules. It has a true Avon action through to the butt and I have felt that bend under strain. It is light enough to fish for small stuff, but has the power to stop a decent carp in its tracks. I have done this a few times with 12-15lb carp at about 15' (curse those overhanging tree branches).

It has been used on the Frome trotting for grayling and dace, mullet fishing in Ireland, some light piking, plus carp and tench fishing in weedy and snaggy waters and I have no complaints. It has flexibility, but there is loads of power in reserve. I suspect I have not yet tapped that to its fullest extent.

I typically fish it with 6lb/8lb line, depending on the water and fish, but go as light as 4lb for trotting on the Frome and as high as 10lb for double figure carp in weedy water. 8lb seems around the optimum line strength for the rod. I would be chary of using it on purpose for really big carp (20lb+) especially in snaggy water; it might be a bit light for that. For everything between tiddler-snatching and really big carp/pike, it does an excellent job. I regret not buying it a year sooner, it would have been ideal for a trip to a warm place with a chance of Barracuda. Or, as the bother put it, "A chance of watching one strip off 200 yards of line in 30 seconds and then smash you up...", but you know what I mean.

This is all unrelentingly positive, but there are a couple of niggles. The first one, is that I ordered in January, got a blank in March with a cork handle, but had ordered Duplon...so back it went, four weeks to turn that around. Slow and wrong, although the dealer was very helpful in the circumstances. The second niggle, is that the reel-seat does not look the best quality. Having said that, it works perfectly well.

If you wanted to spend all your time on grayling or smaller fish, then a lighter 1lb t/c Avon might be more suited, but for me, with a limited budget and fishing-time, the rod performs perfectly for 90% of my fishing and is easy to pack and carry.

Verdict: To sum up, if it broke I would buy another one tomorrow.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod1st May 2015. The First Extra Tip Section.

I had found one of those multi-purpose Avon rods in a pawn shop of sorts, going so cheap so I bought it out of curiosity. It had a dolly section to extend the length past its 'natural' 13ft (I think), was missing several quiver tips and it had a tip section that immediately commended itself to being cut up to make the Four-Piece Avon's hypothesized 'light tip'. It also had one of those combined fore-grip and reel-seat thingies, the leverage of which inevitably causes the reel-seat thread to lock, like Mrs Thane-of-Sussex's did; I mended that by stripping off the corks, cementing a carbon-fibre tube over the top and putting new corks onto that.

I stripped the rings off the tip-to-be, cut it down a quarter inch at a time until it perfectly overlapped the third section spigot of the Harrison's, then roughed up the 'counter' area, applied a uncoated green spectra braid whipping over some tacky epoxy resin, and then brushed a warmed up second coat over the top. This wasn't a super strength joint as it was intended for 'smaller things' so would do the job perfectly well.

Portmanteau AvonThe joint, first fitting.Portmanteau AvonThe 'counter' with its braid-and-resin.Portmanteau AvonThe first ring - one scarlet, one green whipping.Portmanteau AvonThe tip ring - bad choice of colour, I later changed it to yellow (so I can see it).Portmanteau AvonA single leg ring at the tip end. Green-on-green seemed silly so I changed all the whippings for scarlet.

It did the job perfectly well, although the transition from the tip to third section looked a little abrupt under strain. As it was 6" longer than the existing tip and considerably thinner, I sewed a section of the same combo rod into one side of the Four-Piece's rod-bag, to protect against 'accidental re-configuration'. All done.

...but now I want a tip-section with a test curve about halfway between this tip and the original tip's t/c...the remaining multi-purpose Avon's parts will be useful for a new dolly section to shorten the Four-Piece for brooking and general fettling. If I had fished with said 'combo Avon rod' I could comment on its utility, but I never did and as of this date it is not, strictly speaking, possible...

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod26th September 2016. The Handle Repair of Insanity. As I noted previously, a 6" section of the corks behind the reel-seat were loose. I thought perhaps the PVA glue I'd used hadn't set properly. I cut this section out, discovering that where I'd used thread to pack the blank to the cork I/D, the top layer was free of layer beneath as the glue hadn't penetrated the thread.

I cut a 6" section of cork in half length-wise, glued thin strips of bamboo inside and shaved them down so that the corks fitted perfectly on the handle. A whole lot of 'cascamite' was applied, then the whole caboodle was bound with string. When set, the handle was reshaped using the 'half-32mm pipe" method. It needs a light 'P180' polish, but can you see the join?

The Handle Repair of InsanityThe cork sections with splints.The Handle Repair of InsanityOne cork section in placeThe Handle Repair of InsanityThe finished handle, not unlike the old one.The Handle Repair of InsanityCan you see the join?

With hindsight, lazy really, and I know in my heart it'll all have to come off and be re-done properly.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod5th February 2020. I Have Been a Bad Boy. Very bad. I took a perfectly good rod, no, more than that, a really good rod and cut it up to make a 'light tip' section for my Harrison's Four-Piece Avon. Yep. I really like the Four-Piece but its 1lb 8oz t/c is on the stout side for some fishing. So, for some time I have hankered after a really good quality 'light tip' section, ideally lowering the overall t/c down to about 1lb.

A previous attempt, 'Chimera 1' with an old incomplete multi-purpose Avon rod (a pawn shop find), one of they with a dolly section and various other bits and bobs, wasn't a success. This was because the raw material's tip was thin-walled compared with the Four-Piece, so the transition from the tip to the third section was a bit abrupt. OK for 4oz roach; not so OK for 'surprise' 8lb carp.

The bad thing I did, 'Chimera 2', doesn't have this problem, in fact it seemed perfect. I planned to add a reinforcing whipping to the light tip's 'counter' area, with no-name uncoated green spectra braid and then coat it with a two-part epoxy that can be thinned with a little isopropyl alcohol, to the consistency of water. The notional plan was to whip onto a tacky coat of resin, mix a second batch, thin it, let it soak into the braid and leave it to go off. However 'comma' the internet says that this may weaken the resin a bit. Heat can also reduce the resin's viscosity (temporarily), but the surface its applied to would also need warming. Hm. I pondered and reached for the heat-gun. This, I reasoned, can be set to 65°C and if I used it to warm the resin...

...and then common sense kicked in. I had already carefully removed (¼" at a time) the lower portion of the 'light tip' section and of course it is far easier to make a reinforcing sleeve out of a piece of the off-cut. This cut-off also has the great advantage of having the same taper. I compared the length of the reinforced section on the Harrison's tip, 3", then carefully removed the same length of varnish from the 'light tip'. While it took some time to carefully cut such a sleeve, ¼" at a time until it was exactly right for the job - a loose 'working fit' as there needed to be space for epoxy - it was easy to fit and glue into place...

Some practical points concerning this process:

Cut carbon-fibre outdoors, do not breathe the dust and keep the dust off your hands.

I cut the blank down using a knife-edged jeweller's file. Not a hack-saw, it does far too much damage. I cut a groove in a piece of 1"× 1" timber as a former and then laid the blank in the groove. Using the flat end of the wooden former to align the file, I turned the blank, in place, until the cut-line was right around the blank. This ensured a flat square cut. I then rotated the blank and held the file in place until it was cut through. Don't use too much pressure here or the blank will delaminate a little.

The resulting sleeve was left a smidgen overlong at the counter end and glued into place that way. I then gently rubbed back the 'overhang' with very fine emery wrapped around a lolly stick, until it was flush with the original section's end. As before, I did this outside and used a little water to keep the dust down. I used a piece of cork to bung up the counter end of the 'light tip' before gluing, as set epoxy in the hole is rather a nuisance to remove. I wrapped the other end of the sleeve in cling-film to stop any run off, then stood the whole thing on one end until it had set.

The Harrison's AvonThe sleeved 'new' tip alongside the old 'light tip'The Harrison's Avon'The Tool'The Harrison's AvonThe sleeved 'new' tip alongside the old 'light tip', I wondering if the sleeve isn't somewhat over engineered...

The new section was a near perfect fit on the spigot of the Harrison's third section, but needed some work as it was would not seat fully 'home' and it had the slightest of 'knocks'. Secure in the knowledge that there is plenty of carbon in the new counter, I made a tool to bore it to fit. I rifled the stock-tube and dug out a length of carbon that had the same taper as the spigot. A micrometer is a very useful thing...the plan was to make a tool that extended only as far as the spigot would, but only ground the bottom two-thirds of the counter. This was because there was a gap visible between the spigot and the counter when they were mated.

The idea was to cut the tube so that the narrow end was a little less (think some tenths of a mm) than the desired fit (5.25mm) so that when a 5mm strip of 240 grit wet-and-dry was glued around this piece of tube, it would bore out to the desired 5.25mm at a 58mm depth into the counter. I marked the 58mm mark on the tool with a pen. Cyanoacrylate was used to coat the back of the wet'n'dry, it was bound it with string and left it in the 'contemporary orangery' to set...

This worked perfectly, although it took three sets of grinding and very thorough 'de-dusting' operations using strips of wet cleaning cloth, to get to a perfect fit.

I then needed to redistribute some rod rings - the original Harrison's tip's last two rings were tiny size 6's. Quite why I thought that was a good idea...so I removed them for re-deployment on the 'light tip', then whipped on two size 8 replacements. The new 'light tip' will not have to manage more than 6lb line and mostly will be dealing with 3-4lb, so the size 6's will be fine on this. Naturally, the 'light tip' is some 6" longer than the original Harrison's tip (there is no free lunch), so it requires one more ring. The bottom ring on the 'light tip' was spaced exactly as on the original tip. I then used 'excel' to work out spacing for the remaining four, which left the ring-spacing a little wider than it was on the original source rod. This was on purpose, to soften the action a little. I fished with it a few times and it was oversoft and cost me fish.

Now: I decided to do some actual measuring. Here's a table:

The Harrison's Avon's TipsMeasure first. Measure again. Cut once.

Top Tip: Decide what you really want. Measure first. Measure again. Check the figures. Cut once.

So:
Chimera 1 is too soft at 41" and too stiff at 35.5". I split the difference at 37", ~1lb 6oz t/c.
Chimera 2 is too soft at 43" and at 38". I split the difference at 36", ~1lb 12oz t/c.

These are relative to the original tip t/c - if this is 1lb 10oz. Chimera 1 is perhaps 1" too short, but it still fishes really well and seems perfect with 4lb line. I've yet to test Chimera 2 in anger, but it's finished conservatively, so I could shorten it a little more if required. Chimera 1 does have a lighter t/c than the original and Chimera 2 does have a heavier t/c than the original.

The Harrison's AvonTop to bottom; the old 'light tip', the new 'light tip', the original tip.The Harrison's AvonTop to bottom; the old 'light tip', the new 'light tip', the original tip.The Harrison's AvonTop to bottom; the old 'light tip', the new 'light tip', the original tip.

I apologise for the rubbish pictures, my camera is struggling to maintain its focus and I cannot be mithered to sort out a diffuse light source. I will now move smoothly onto making a 'dolly section' to facilitate the use of the top two sections with the handle, to do service as a brook rod...probably. So, my Four-Piece Avon now is a 'Six Piece', with three tips, about ~1lb 6oz t/c, ~1lb 10oz t/c, ~1lb 12oz. Useful experiment.

I need to re-sew the bag now. I shall also have to get a T-shirt made with "Born to Fettle" on it. Or "Born to Fiddle". Pick one.

I have not forgotten the handle needs a proper repair...

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod30th October 2021. The Handle Repair of Sanity. It was time to fix the Four-Piece Avon's Handle Repair of InsanityI know, but it lasted five years. The corks cracked off earlier this year, pro tem I'd cut them away, added cork tape and heat-shrunk over it. Rough, but I'm loath to take my 'go-to' rod, used some 213 times to date, out of service.

I retrieved a nice real seat from the 'big box of fishing stuff' under the desk, cut away the repair, cut off another two inches of grubby cork, slit the reel seat, broke off the fore-grip, removed the fine pretty bobbin-wire whippings, the inertia to a full repair. Scraped off the detritus, VSSKVery Small Sharp Knife (Opinel No.5), then used pieces of glass paper, to square off the end of the old cork...explained half-way down this linked entry..

The 4 Piece Avon's wire whippings.The 'check winding' wire whipping...The 4 Piece Avon's wire whippings....the spiral intermediate...The 4 Piece Avon's wire whippings....and the spigot wire whipping.

There. I wanted to move the real-seat back from its original position. This was a thought catalysed by the butt-end in a coat pocket a few weeks back and a chat about long trotting rods - my 15' GTI weighs in at 8oz. The four-piece is 9oz, probably as it's got extra material for its joints and because I'd over-corked the handle. I've long since revised any notion that a long handle that sticks out behind the elbow is in any way useful. For the four-piece (sorry) this meant re-siting the reel-seat some 3" nearer the butt-end and shortening the fore-grip.

I cut off the requisite length of cork handle and using cork tape to fill the gap, fitted it on the handle with a fast setting epoxy, 'clamping' it by winding thick cord down the blank to the end of the new cork to compress it against the old cork, then tied it off until it had set.

Twenty minutes later, removed said cord, built cork tape arbours for the reel-seat (screw fitting towards the top of the rod*) and fitted that with more fast-setting epoxy. Because I had to empty the dishwasher and hang out the washing this got 30 minutes. I filled the gap in the top of the reel-seat with hot glue, cut this off flush, used a cyanoacrylate glue to put four small square of glass paper on it and then used that to cut out an inset in the fore-grip corks. This done, I stripped off the glasspaper pieces and used more fast setting epoxy to fit the fore-grip. All done.

I added whippings to make the butt section look 'less black', three 1" ('dark purple'/'evergreen') against the cork, a 5" gap, a 1" dark purple whipping by the spigot. This finishes 2" from the first whipping on the second section. Yes, this is deliberate. It's a kind of ruler.

The 4 Piece Avon handle, re-vamped.Just because I like those coloursThe 4 Piece Avon handle, re-vamped.Just because I like those coloursThe 4 Piece Avon handle, re-vamped.The 4 Piece Avon handle, re-vamped.

Top tips: clean the epoxy off the corks with a little nail varnish remover and kitchen roll - do this before it sets, use cling-film to protect corks and reel-seat from blobs of glue.

* This is the correct way. Three reasons: (1) the reel is always in the same position on the rod irrespective of the reel-foot's size (2) any pull on the line jams the reel-foot against the screw-fitting locking it and (3) holding the rod in the right hand does not tend to undo the screw fitting.

How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers? ?(and back to the top of the page) How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...? How can you not like perch bobbers...?How can you not like perch bobbers...?

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodFour-Piece Spinning Rod.

I bought this 'no-name' rod for one of the LittleAnglers to use. In the event it was much stiffer than it's quoted casting weight suggested and really not a good rod at all. ISold to the bloke at the back it on at one of the Romsey Tackle Fairs, but I'm damned if I can recall when.

The Four-Piece Spinning Rod was used at least once on 8th June 2008 and was then sold on.

Wild and Feral Carp...wild...(and back to the top of the page) Wild and Feral Carps...feral... Wild and Feral Carps...wild... Wild and Feral Carps...feral... Wild and Feral Carps...wild... Wild and Feral Carps...feral...

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodFox Floater Special Carp Rod

This was 12' with a nominal test-curve of 2lb and was the third part of my 'have-three-rods-in-one-short-bag-will- travel' project. Sadly, this rod didn't work for me, much too much like a long quiver tip stuck on a stick, so I swapped it for a Cardinal 66s (more-or-less). Then I bought another in late 2009, £70 brand new, which was used once or twice for its intended purpose as I thought it deserved another go. Then ISold to the bloke at the back it on for £70 as it still wasn't a very good rod - the tip was fine for casting light floating baits, aided by the sensibly wide ring diameters on the tip section, but the transition to the rest of the rod was sharp and unforgiving. It looked lovely though.

The Fox Floater Special was first used on 7th May 2007 and was used on at least 4 occasions, the last being the 25th April 2010. It was then sold on.

VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace...(and back to the top of the page) VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace VB Hook traceSingle 'VB' Hook trace

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodFox Trek 12ft 2½lb Five Piece

I bought this because it was five-piece and I wanted to be able to carry several rods to cover all eventualities in a small roll-up bag. The 'Trek', ostensibly a carp rod, had a middle action. It was beautifully made and finished if a little tip heavy even with a reel attached. On its first outing it easily dealt with a 15lb fish. Having said that I used it less than half-a-dozen times in 2006, once in February 2007 and not at all until 2009, when it was de-bagged for some serious snag-adjacent floater fishing.Sold to the bloke at the back in early 2010 for £70, as I'd stopped using it, but a very good rod.

The Fox Trek was first used on 14th April 2006 and was used on at least 13 occasions, the last being the 9th August 2009. It was then sold on.

A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box...(and back to the top of the page) A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodUgly Specimen Avon.

Eleven foot and a 1½lb t/c but an absolute dog of a rod. In May 2008 I bid £18 on Fleabay to see what it did. It sold for £18. It turned up on Thursday. It was probably raining. Wasn't sure what I'd do with it, but thought it might be a useful floater rod.Sold to the bloke at the back it for £20, I didn't need that and the Harrisons' Avon. Plus, it was as stiff as Rod 'Starchy' McStarch the actor on opening-night.

The Ugly Specimen Avon was first used on 2nd July 2009 and was used on at least 3 occasions, the last being the 31st August 2009. It was then sold on.

Not so very common carpI am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Not so very common carp...a very subtil fish Not so very common carpWatch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Not so very common carpif you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Not so very common carpI am content to wait. I am well used to it.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodThe 'Pen Rod'.

Today a tiny 4'9" 'Pen' Fishing Rod turned up; Telescopic and with an equally tiny fixed spool reel. I just wanted one (this is a place-holder, there will be more).

To date the The 'Pen' Fishing Rod has been used twice, the first time on 14th September 2008 and the last time on 28th September 2008.

Perch'perca fluviatilis'...(and back to the top of the page) PerchStripey Perch'Sarge' PerchA 'swagger' of perch Perch'Sarge' PerchA 'swagger' of perch PerchA 'swagger' of perch Perch'perca fluviatilis' PerchStripey Perch'Sarge'

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodFladen Maxximus 'Solid-C' 8ft Boat Rod.

I bought this in 2010 as a 'second' from the now defunct 'tacklebargains', for £42.55. It's a 10-20lb line (boat) rod, so my thinking was that it might make a good stalking/pier type type rod, plus, I was curious. There were, befitting a 'second', two problems with the rod: the first was that the 'counter' was a little under-sized that was fixed by applying a thin coat of araldite (btw, regular araldite is now sold as 'araldite precision' as great a marketing wheeze as I've heard) and polished back to a 'working fit'. The second issue was that five of the eight rings had rust spots and one was bent, so I replaced them all from those in the 'odd rings box' (Fuji T-NSG's) and bought in two new ones. The new rings were all whipped on with tan 'D' grade thread, with bottle-green reinforcing whippings, along with a new 10mm tip-ring. All the silver decals and writing were stripped off as they were horrible.

It's a cracking little rod and I had a 15lb fish with it first time out. It's not often used, but when it is, it's exactly the right tool for the job.

The Fladden Solid-C was first used on 15th August 2010 and has been used on at least 3 occasions, the last being the 5th December 2016.

A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box...(and back to the top of the page) A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box A bunch of hooks I found in my pike-boxA bunch of hooks found in my pike box

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodESP Floater Special.

Bought in August 2009 for £46 second-hand, sorry 'pre-owned'. It's 12ft, has a 2½lb t/c, and I rebuilt it so the ring pattern followed the tapers - unlike some previous rods the change in taper from the tip to the body of the rod was gradual and progressive, which is why I bought one only after checking a few out. I've caught scores of carp on this, it is a very good rod, although at the time it was slightly peeving to pay £100 for a rod and see the ringing apparently set for casting 2-3oz weights prodigious distances. It seemed to me that made little sense for floater or float-fishing - which is why I refused on principle to buy a new one.

One lives and learns; the sparse ringing that is designed to increase casting distance has otherwise little practical effect on the rod, other than the softening effect of 'fewer rings' compared with 'more rings' and with good quality carbon-fibre blanks this works perfectly well. Personally I don't like the look of a 12ft rod with only five rings. No rational reason, although my own experience is that for casting light(ish) weights with heavier lines, wider rings work better than really narrow ones, so I tend to use no smaller than 10mm rings at the pointy end.

Although a grand rod for float-fishing for carp it has enough backbone to land two 30lbL'Orange Daze and a 40lb carpTangerine Days.

The ESP Floater Special was first used on 29th September 2009 and has been used on at least 40 occasions, the last being the 5th October 2017.

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Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodFox Duo-lite Specialist Float 13'.

Bought to replace the DAM Quickfire Match, it was pushed at me by a 'helpful mate', it turned out to be a dog of a rod, another feeble bendy bit stuck on a broom handle. Yuck.Sold to the bloke at the back it at Romsey.

The Fox Duo-lite Specialist was first used on 19th May 2011 and was used on at least 5 occasions, the last being the 22nd September 2011. It was then sold on.

Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Carp? What addiction?...a very subtil fish Carp? What addiction?Watch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Carp? What addiction?if you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodHarrisons GTI 15' Float Rod.

In 2011 I did some research into a float rod which was predominantly tip-action, but had a decent progressive action and some power in the middle, so 'surprise' fish could be managed, a necessity these days. There were several votes for the GTI, so I bought a 15' blank with a hollow tip section, then built the rod myself. As built it weighs some 8.8oz, some 6oz of which is the butt section. I imagine a significant proportion of that is the corks. A judicious re-build with titanium framed rings could knock a couple of ounces off that - especially as I put a 6/0 thread spiral whipping on the whole rod for funsies.

It works well for grayling and light float-fishing, but with its progressive action through the tip to the middle, can handle double figure carp. I have even used it for long range floater fishing with 6lb line.

I once tried adding a counterweight to the butt-end to 'balance' it; this was done by cling-filming the bottom of the butt and wrapping lead sheet around it, to move the balance (CoG) of the rod to the reel-seat with the reel fitted. This required half a pound of lead! I then fished most of a day on the Kennet at Barton's Court and it didn't help at all; it felt great initially, but was terrible for hook-setting and was just heavier at the end of the day. In fact, well before the end of the day I took the whole lot off. So much for 'balance'. Random Fish

In 2016, with crucians in mind, I bought and built up a solid tip section for use with lighter lines. This, although bendier than the hollow tip, weighed more-or-less the same. To my mind the solid tip is a little feeble and I really want to cut 2" off it, which would make it the same length as its hollow sibling. Dammit now I've written all that I want to fix it.

The 15ft GTI was first used on 14th September 2011 and has been used on at least 66 occasions, the last being the 1st July 2022.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the 15ft GTI.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod28th May 2022. The GTI and its Tips.

For several Saxon pond re-stocking sessions I've used my Harrisons GTI 15' Float Rod with its 'fine' top section, which has a solid tip spliced into a hollow section. My first forays with this were not enjoyable, it seemed too gentle, but on a whim, I compared the length of this tip with the original, it was 4" longer, so I cut it back to the same length. It now fishes really nicely, curving over in a pleasing way with 4oz fish, but if surprise tench show up the tip leads nicely into the rod's back-bone. Now I need to move the second ring down a little, as I wanted to try it out before doing anything else...

It's also the case that the reel seat is 3-4" too far from the butt - there seems little point in having a 15ft rod that weighs a little over 8oz and having 3-4" redundant length. Altering this would probably remove a little more weight as well. Even when it's not broken I have to fix it...

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Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodJohn Wilson Specialist Avon 11'.

One of the earliest models, which a nice 'GOSGloucester Old Spot' sold to me for £20. At 11' and with a 1¼lb t/c, it is a cracking rod. It has a nice crisp action but is flexible all the way down. In comparison with (say) the Harrison's Four Piece, the top halves are almost the same, but the JW is slimmer in the butt-section. I needed to do something with the handle, it was 'over-slender' and the plastic reel-bands were a little loose and I don't like those anyway...perhaps needs re-corking. But it is a joy to use.

The JW Specialist Avon was first used on 16th March 2012 and has been used on at least 36 occasions, the last being the 24th November 2019.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the JW Specialist Avon.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod24th August 2013. The JW Avon's New Reel Seat. The old JW Avon reel bands were tripe - those sliding plastic reel bands - they never worked on my rod, being too loose a fit. What to do...?

I didn't really want to put a fixed seat on, that's way to much work, so I rifled the big boxes of fishing stuff in a cupboard upstairs and found a Fuji plastic tube reel seat...aha, this fitted over the corks, but was very tight...so I converted it into a sliding reel fitting. I didn't need the sliding aspect really but it's an experiment I've been meaning to try for some time.

Firstly, I put all the reels I use into the guide and drew around them with a fine permanent marker to ensure everything would fit.

I removed the top ring of the fitting, which I levered away using a flat bladed screwdriver. I placed assorted reel feet back in their outlines and completed the outlines with the marker.

The new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seat
The new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seatThe new Avon sliding reel seat

I dremmelled (using the little round saw blade thingies - take care, they'll have your finger off if they slip) a cut-out in the barrel of the reel seat along the outer line I'd marked previously. I checked the various reel feet fitted and then cleaned up the edges of the cut out with a small file.

Placed on the rod handle the only problem was that the fixed reel band didn't really hold the reel foot down as there was a gap. I debated turning the band through 180 degrees, but it would look silly. So I retrieved some of the plastic cut out previously and made a shim to fit in the fixed reel band's recess. I used some other bits to see if cyanoacrylate would really hold the pieces together well (it did).

Stuck it back on the rod...I had to removed the butt end of the handle so have bored a champers cork as a temporary butt, hot melt glued on, until I've fished it a bit and am happy with it.

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Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodShakespeare Alpha Graphite 8-9aftm 9' Fly-Rod.

A princely gift from Nobbyngton-Smythe, which I've re-built with a fine new reel-seat, a foundling, and lined titanium eyes. I've added a 3/8th" BSF thread to the end of the handle and plan to make an extension to the butt. It casts very nicely, even for a neophyte flinger like myself.

To date the Shakespeare Fly Rod has been used at least once on 15th November 2017. But one never knows...

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the Shakespeare Fly Rod.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod30th November 2016. I decided to rebuild a Shakespeare 8/9 aftm fly rod.

This was in part due to the handle being very worn and the suggestion of websites, various, that snake eyes might be better replaced with small rings as the back-cast is smoothed. And being an engineer first, I have to improve stuff. It's literally compulsory. I had a fine reel seat to fit as well, replacing the tinny one that came with the rod. This 'scavenged' reel-seat also had a 3/8" BSF tread hole in the bottom end. Investigation showed this to be a tight push fit in the body of the real seat, so I whacked it back in with Loctite 263 liberally applied. The rest was tedium, removing two part epoxy'd rings, but I knocked 0.5oz of the weight of the top section in the process. By complete coincidence, the rods' CoGCentre of Gravity with a 'Snowbee Stealth' #9/10 (with line) fitted, was at the right bit of the half-wells cork. Huh. I added one small snake-ring back on as a 'keeper-ring'.

Plan "B" was to make a butt extension - part of my idea was to allow myself the option of taking a breather and fishing conventionally now and then. The eyed fly-rod rings help this and it occurred, that a short butt-extension, that could screw into the blunt end would make that more practical. I robbed a bit of cane with a 3/8" BSF 'socket' on it (an aborted rod-rest, too heavy and too FTF FTFI'm sure there are Fundamental Traditional Fishermen who use nothing but split-cane rod rests, but for myself I tend to use (a) the toe-end of my foot (b) the tackle-bag and (c) the ground. Very occasionally I'll use (d) a forked hazel twig. If I remember to take it with me or haven't left it behind at the previous water. ) and cut a piece of studding just long enough to engage fully with the extension section, a 3/8" BSF full nut and the rod fitting. I put the studding fully into the rod, did the nut right up, unscrewed the studding 1mm, then Loctite 363'd the nut in place.

This is so when done up, the nut will bear against the flat surface of the handle fitting before the studding 'bottoms out'. Then this project, like the double quills above, got stuffed in the cupboard for 'later'...

I like porcupine quill floats...I like porcupine quill floats...(and back to the top of the page) I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats... I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats... I like porcupine quill floats...I really like porcupine quill floats...

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodThe Light Salmon Rod Experiment.

The LRSELight Salmon Rod Experiment was an attempt to make a strong through-action rod without spending a fortune, plus I'm curious. I 'internet auctioned' a 14 foot 8-10 aftm Bruce & Walker Spey Rod and did a cut-and-shunt on it. It didn't really work, the taper on the top section was so slight it's battle curve was a near quarter-circle. Ah well. Still, one should report the failed experiments as well.Binned It might yet be used to provide parts to the "Great Vaguely Imagined Portmanteau All-Purpose Rod". The 'GVIPAPRClearly, I need a much better acronym for this.'.

The LSRE was used twice, once on 14th December 2013, again on 2nd January 2014, then, if we're being kind, was 'recyled'.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the LSRE.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod11th December 2013. LSRE. The Lighter Salmon Rod Experiment #1 - the plan being to make a light through action rod of about 11' from an 8-10 aftm fly rod - almost fell at the first hurdle really. The 9/10 weight 14 footer was stiffer than my #10-12 Hex. ...which didn't seem right. I sought the maker's opinion for sanity, then, despite being re-assured it was a softer rod, tied both rods to a step ladder - I used a string bag and braid threaded through to the top ring on the bottom section of both rods - where they were tied across the steps. I plotted the displacement from horizontal (both rods bang on 140cm from the floor in this set up) and here is a small graph. I'm bu88ered if can make Excel display it how I want...weight in 'oz' and the deflection is in 'cm' from horizontal(no load position). So lighter the 8-10aftm really is...

The Hex wins by 10%...The Hexagraph wins by 10%...

I planned to set to work with the thread and rings - I'd bought some Pacbay Minima's and a nice tip ring, plus a 'match cork'. I have a reel seat and although the thread ordered was NOT the colour in the picture...no matter, I have a large reel of red grade 'D' so will use that. 'W'. Ring spacing, 'as is'. Now, before I desecrate a perfectly good (if going for a song) salmon rod, I've opted to tape on a reel and take it to play with some simple-in-the-head carpusules...OK it looked mad, but I wanted to know and if it was too stiff, then it would have returned to evilbay whence it came and I'd look for #7-9 13 footer. Lead on McFluffchuckerclick to the second part of the experiment.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod14th December 2013. LSRE Trial. Hopeful of a couple of easy fish to put a bend in the LSRE (Lighter Salmon Rod Experiment), I gaffer-taped on a reel seat, near the top of the butt section. This chimera turned out to be good at bouncing carp of the hook, slightly irritating, but I discovered that the whole rod wobbled about my hand/fulcrum and I suspect neither fish had a decent hook-hold as a result. I put it away and resolved to test it again once I'd sawn off the butt.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod19th December 2013. LSRE. The Lighter Salmon Rod Experiment #2. I thought the taped up 14' rod a 'bit boingy', but with 20/20 hindsight you would expect that - hold a 14' rod 5' from the thick end and wobble it about, you'll see my point. So, there was only one way to find out if the rod would 'work' so... to the worrying bit (try saying that in the same way you might say "...to the batcave!"). I used the handle on the GHSRE as a guide and marked up the butt section...and added an inch. I swallowed hard and got out the junior hacksaw...I debated leaving a few inches cork-less for the B&W logo, for 'tis nice looking...zoopah, zoopah, zoopah, zoopah...very thick walled this blank...zoopah, zoo-click. And breath in.

OK then, mops sweat from brow, my plan was have a fore-grip of about 2-3" (for the look of the thing), so sliced the cork handle in two 'as required'. That worked out, Now, several streaks of inspiration all struck at once. The first, was to hacksaw off the section of the butt with the Bruce & Walker crossed salmon logo as it would fit exactly over the 'new' rod handle, just before the grip, which would look nice (and brace it better than whipping). The second, was the thought that the cork butt-end on the salmon rod handle remnant was the right size for the new rod - I wondered if I cut around the cork joint between the rings done to the blank and twisted it hard - and away it came clean. Hah! Then thirdly, I recalled some large copper washers I got from a builder - was one just the right size to sit between the crossed salmon and the cork...? By golly yes it was.

The LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSRE

So, I removed the two rings on the butt section. Using cheap fly backing to build the blank (while leaving glue spaces) I hot melted the handle end in place - having previously 'bunged' the bottom of the handle section with a champagne cork (the thin end) and sealed the inside of the old cork end piece with cellulose dope to waterproof it from the inside. I spend a few minutes with a countersink bit manually countersinking the cork fore grip so the screw end of the reel seat was under the cork then put all to one side for the morning. As an afterthought I whipped a small snake-eye ring on, as a keeper ring. So much easier to use that the tiny bits of wire sold for that purpose...

The LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSREThe LSRE

I whipped a length of cheap fly backing along the blank, under the top half of the cork section, doubled it back about half way and tied it off. Doped it and let it dry. Wood glued and placed the larger of the cork sections, so tight a fit, it didn't need anything holding it in place while the glue set...overnight. I hot melted the tip ring on while the glue-gun was on and whipped over the tang.

I used thin strips of gaffer taped to space the reel seat off the blank, three such 'spacers' at intervals. The idea is the tape is temporary while the hot melt in the gaps does the actual job...so I hot melted it on...get the glue gun good and hot and move very fast. I should mention I'd already checked the orientation required and marked it up - oddly not the direction of the rings on the butt section - lastly, I carefully undercut (at about 45°) the fore-grip cork and with the same wood-glue (plus doped fly backing whipping), slid this down over the reel seat. I glued the copper washer over the end of the cork (having first shone it up with a wire brush and then degreased it thoroughly), epoxy'd the B&W logo section on and held it hard against the cork until the epoxy went off. Added a short whipping in front of the logo section. Spot on.

The ringing was a doddle (and if I'm honest was done first), reusing the spacing of the existing rings. I used a B&W pink ceramic butt ring left over from a rebuild of a Mk.IV 'G' and then put three double legged Pacbay Minima rings on that section, one more on the top section and then single legged all up to the tip ring. Having removed a double whipping I replaced the missing whipping with a dummy. It looks neater that way.

So more or less done. I've sealed the whippings with thinned yacht varnish and given them two coats of full strength. That's it, all done. To the lake! (Should be said in the same way one says "To the castle!")

Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it...(and back to the top of the page) Carp? What addiction?...a very subtil fish Carp? What addiction?Watch for magpies on your path. Throw salt over your left shoulder. Walk around ladders. Carp? What addiction?if you will Fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience Carp? What addiction?I am content to wait. I am well used to it.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodThe 'SkyLiner' Carp Rod.

This 12' 2¾lb test curve rod was 'found' by the ToSThane of Sussex during a misty day's fishing last year. He had already found a broken waggler-rod tip-section of some kind and while my request for "A complete rod next time..." was tongue-in-cheek, he returned some time later with this. It appeared to have been launched javelin-like into a reed bed and barring one broken ring, the first one on the top section, is sound if not a top-of-the range rod. One can only assume the original owner had a very bad day. It will, with a new ring out of the box, do very well for casual piking or sea-fishing.

I fitted a double-leg ring that more-or-less matches the broken single-leg ring. I whipped this on with a green 'D' grade thread, because it needed some colour and then for fun put another green whipping on the 'counter' end of the tip section. I then painted the top two inches of the tip-section white and whipped bands of orange and yellow thread over it, to make the tip easy to see. From 50 yards. I also noticed the real seat is floating at the top end, in fact there's a 0.5mm gap between the winding check and the seat. So I bored several 3mm holes in the seat and then injected hot-melt glue into the holes and cut back the excess. OK so that's all fixed then. Nearly. I bought some garish shrink-wrap handle stuff for the bottom end and put it on, mostly to see what it looked like.

The 'SkyLiner' Carp Rod.The whipped tipThe 'SkyLiner' Carp Rod.The reel-seat fill-inThe 'SkyLiner' Carp Rod.The garish butt-end

To date the SkyLiner Carp Rod has not been used, but might yet be...

Gobio GobioGobio Gobio (and return to the top of the page) GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobby GonkGonk Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GonkGobby Gobio GobioGobio Gobio GudgeonGudgeon GudgeonGudgeon Gobio GobioGobio Gobio

Carbon-Fibre Fishing RodBloke XGnP 9' 10wt 4-Piece Fly Rod.

Bought sort of on a whim as a 'kit', the price was good and the blank came with the reel-seat and a kit of (Pac-Bay) parts. There is a plan...

To date the Bloke XGnP 9' 10wt 4-Piece Fly Rod has been used at least once on 10th October 2021. But one never knows...

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the Bloke XGnP 9' 10wt 4-Piece Fly Rod.

Carbon-Fibre Fishing Rod26th July 2020. The Bloke XGnP 9' 10wt 4-Piece Fly Rod.

An extended furlough and a weather-change brought about this rod-build. This was something of a fiddle; the supplied thread, a nice dark blue matching the rod colour made it easy to produce neat looking whippings, but the blank's smooth glossy surface finish made it hard to cast on and awkward to hold the rings on for the job (many rubber bands were sacrificed). Having said that, it did not take that long, and I opted to mark the sections' overlaps with some orange whippings and add one of the few practical keeper rings in the stock, which I mounted on the 'top' of the rod, which I judged the least likely placement to snag line when casting. Ring spacing came with the kit, worked out on the handy (and free) 'Guide Calculator 4.2'.

Bloke Fly Rod ring spacingApparently that's the right spacing

The orange thread darkened nicely when varnished and looks fine against the dark-blue. There is a plan...

small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up...(and return to the top of the page) small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and wait for it... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...do keep up... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...and one more time... small split shotmedium one, small one, tiny one, silly one...got it?

In Summary

The observant and numerate reader can work out that I've owned, for at least a short period, 19 carbon-fibre rods, although I've sold or parted with eight of them.

The ones I really like, that is, I keep using, are:

The Old Carp Rod
The Harrison's 4-Piece Avon
The Harrison's 15' GTI
ESP Floater Special