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

I quite like fibre-glass rods. If a rod is inherently well designed, then the rod will be a good rod, within the limitations of the material. As with all materials the rod's design matters more than the material. You can make a bad rod out of anything, but changing the material will magically turn it into a good rod. Hollow glass-fibre rods have a slower action than (say) carbon-fibre, having lower 'stiffness'. This manifests as the lower speed with which a bent fibre-glass rod will return to straight and this relative sloth is compounded by the greater mass of the material. From this one might infer that glass is well suited to medium length through-action or middle-action rods and not so well suited to very long tip-action rods or rods designed to cast great distances (e.g. in comparison with carbon-fibre).

The major downside of some hollow glass-fibre rods is, that if too thin-walled, the round cross-section deforms to oval when the rod is bent. This has the effect of making the restoring-force as a function of deflection negatively non-linear. I.e. the restoring force for a deflection '2x' is considerably less than twice the restoring force for a deflection 'x', in comparison to a cross-section that remains circular and assuming the material itself is under its elastic limit. This can makes a rod feel 'spineless'. This came be countered with thicker walls and/or some fibres around the rod as well as along the length, but of course the weight will increase, as will the cost.

Seven-foot solid glass-fibre rods, beloved of the 1970's young angler, seem to me to be a sweet-spot of the material in this form. The length is such the rods are not floppy or excessively slow-actioned, while the relative softness and the solid cross-section of the glass-fibre provides a slow but purposful linear restoring-force as a function of deflection. It's certainly the case that both the solid glass-fibre rods I find very fit for purpose are seven feet long and do a very good job when otherwise suited to the occasion.

Anyhow...if you care how many rods there are or were in this category, you can see the summary at the bottom of the pageGuess where this link takes you?.

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

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  The Marco Seven-Foot Rod...'Mk.I'

...aka the 'Pool Cue', aka the 'Mk. I'.

This seven-foot solid glass-fibre rod has a 2½lb t/c and was made by the Modern Arms Company in Kent, (it is stamped on the reel-seat); this then was my first fishing rod. Despite its stoutness it has something of a 'through' action, although in 1974 I'd never heard of 'test curves', so for many years I cheerfully caught all sorts of fish without anything more sophisticated than 3lb Perlon, a small porcupine quill, a size 14 hook and a worm. Fish were 'hoisted' as I had no landing net and anyway there was nowhere to put one on my bicycle.

'Pool Cue' is a small injustice and it still has its usesHonestly, I've caught good fish by fishing from up a tree. Twice., having taken carp to 9lb. It is easy to underestimate solid glass-fibre, but it is tough and unlike a hollow section, does not deform when bent and is consequently better (I think) for playing fish.

The Seven Foot rodSeven foot (almost), blue, solid glass, 2½lb t/c, still got it. As well as the gazillion perch mentioned below, it has accounted for many pike including a 17lb fish caught through a hole in the ice, a very large wrasse, flounders, plaice, sea-trout, eels, bass and a couple of decent carp, ruffe, eels, bream, chub, roach, rudd...and a few gudgeon. It is due a complete overhaul (for 'funsies') and I may well do something creative with carbon fibre for the ferrules.

I have an irrational sentimental attachment to this rod and I promised myself, 'one of these days', I would re-build it and replace the ferrule...

The Mk.I 'Pool Cue' was first used on 2nd December 1974 and has been used on at least 18 occasions, the last being the 8th March 1978.

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

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  The Eight Foot Glass-Fibre Rod.

This 'not even top quality for its era' hollow glass-fibre rod was leaning in the corner of a Valley caravan full of junk, then cleared out by my father, so he donated it to the anglers. The rod was immediately designated a 'pike rod' or 'ledger rod' depending on the prevailing wind and got a fair bit of use in the later 1970's until some motor launch ploughed along the Marlow bank and among the rods that went in was that one, with its reel. That can just be an unfortunate accident, but when they stands on the back of the boat laughing...then they're just another Cnut, big boat or not. There was, around that time, a series of lamentable TV ads. for a well-known brand of tea-bag, featuring, among others, a chimpanzee with a bowler hat.Binned

The Eight Foot Glass Fibre rod was never used and was, if we're being kind, 'recyled'. Or 're-purposed'.

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.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  The Nine Foot Glass-Fibre Float Rod.

Circa 1977, flush with Saturday's 'JS' earnings, I went to the tackle shop in Green Street and bought a nine-foot three-piece float rod. This was very 'tippy', but otherwise at around ¾lb t/c was perfectly suited to 3lb line. Why I did not invest in a longer rod I have no idea. It probably just seemed like sufficient advancment on 'seven', so 'long enough' I guess. It was brown, had chromed stand-off rings, no lined rings at all, a duplon handle and sliding aluminium reel-bands. I thought it was great. For a bit.

In sooth it was a terrible rod, with no backbone at all, the worst sort of glass-fibre rod and was barely long enough to make up for its terrible action. It spent some years being referred to as 'the celery stick' and although it managed a 13lb pikeThe Rye Dyke. Fish From up a Tree No.1 and even, once, a decent carpAugust 1983, Fisher's Pond, these were 'in spite of' rather than 'because of' the rod itself. It got the 'Order of the Spanish Archer' OSA'El Bow'  in 2009 during one of the 'Great Garage Clear Outs' Binned . It would have made a useful and robust brook rod, so a mild pity...

...I do not miss it and had I even known about the B&W Mk.IVThe Bruce & Walker Mk.IV 'G' s/u I would have saved up my money. I once saw a B&W Mk.IV being used by 'Eugene the Bailiff' on the Rye Dyke. I marvelled at it, its scalloped appearance and impressively long handle, although not knowing what it really was; but when I saw one some years later (and by some, I mean '30'), I knew it at once.

The Nine Foot Float Rod was first used on 15th July 1977, was then used at least 19 times, the last occasion being the 1st September 1992 and then, if we are being kind, was 'recyled'.

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

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  The Marco Seven-Foot Rod...Mk.II

This incarnation came about in 1979, when I had the 'interesting' idea that the tip of this rod fitted to the lower two sections of my 9' fibre-glass float rod would make a handy, powerful, tip-and-middle-action 9'6" carp rod. To construct this chimera carp-rod, I cut off the brass counter of the Marco's tip section, then ground/wet-and-dry'd the solid fibre-glass into a spigot that fitted the middle section of the 9' float rod.

(If the reader would prefer to visualise this rod emerging from a mysterious pool borne triumphantly aloft by a shapely mail-clad hand, accompanied by a few ominous bars of Wagner, then by all means do so.)

The end result was a very powerful 9'6" tip-and-middle-action rod, with a t/c in the region of 2½lb that would undoubtedly have stopped most carp - but it felt and looked unwieldy. Not completely mad, but neither did it really work.

That said: the 'Mk.II' incarnation emerged from the c. 1980 restoration of the 7' rod. This necessitated cutting off the previously created 'spigot', leaving the rod at 6'9". The new counter was never quite in-line as a result, not that this stopped it doing a fine job. I fitted a new female ferrule, reinforced it with a soldered brass wire whipping, which was covered over with black thread whipping, then fitted ceramic lined Fuji rings. Overkill perhaps but it then accounted for some fine fish, including a 17lb pikeIn my mind's eye, I can still see that pike swimming up and down under the ice., even if only used where space was at a premium.

I retained an irrational sentimental attachment to this rod and promised myself, 'one of these days', it would be re-built and get new ferrules...

The Mk. II 'Pool Cue' was first used on 15th December 1979 and has been used on at least 10 occasions, the last being the 14th May 1995.

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Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  The Glass-Fibre Aerial Rod.

Circa 1979, I came by one of those trendy solid glass-fibre car aerials from a mechanic friend who'd taken one off somebody's involuntarily re-configured 'Carlos Fandangomobile'jplRemember the Jean-Pierre Luni 'Super Skis'?. It was barely five feet long, a reddish-brown colour, had a core of fine wire and the taper of a fly rod. Nevertheless, I decided to make a fishing rod out of it. I made an 8" handle, with bottle-corks, two salvaged reel-bands and two demi-john corks, the latter fitted at each end, narrow-end inwards to make a neat flared effect (and to keep the reel bands on). I fitted five stand-off chromed rings and an 'agatine' tip-ring (I think agatine's the right word, essentially 'glass') with a quiver-tip thread, although I have no idea why I thought that would be useful. I have no recollection of using it at all, although it is linked in my mind with 'the bridgeWhere's that confounded bridge?', a false memory. A friend, much taken with it, offered to buy it for £20 and I took the money, Sold to the bloke at the back something I regret, but only because I do not have it any more. I often wonder what happened to it. With hindsight, it would have been smarter to make a 16" × ¾" dowel handle and araldite 4" of the glass-fibre into a hole in the middle, then fit corks over the dowel...

The Car Aerial Rod was used at least once on 15th May 1975 and was then sold on.

All tench are good tenchAll tench are good tench...(and back to the top of the page) There are no bad tenchThere are no bad tench All tench are good tenchAll tench are good tench There are no bad tenchThere are no bad tench All tench are good tenchTinca tinca little star...

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  The Winfield Specimen Fisher.

A really very good 10' three-piece rod, with a medium action and a 2lb t/c. This belonged to the bother and I added a screw-lock reel seat to the handle section in the mid 1980's which helped. It served me well for quite a bit of pike-fishing and I started a restoration of it in 2010 or so; Then, deciding the bother did not deserve my labour and undervaluing the rod myself, I gave it away to an aficionado of such things, something I now regret as it was a good fishing rod. With the embryonic split in the bottom section benefiting from some carbon repair cloth, a new set of corks, a new reel seat and some titanium Minima's it would made a very fine occasional piker. Pity. Still.

Binned But on reflection it would make a fine project and I may yet re-visit this.

The Winfield Specimen Fisher was first used on 15th February 1993, was then used at least 20 times, the last occasion being the 23rd October 1994 and then, if we are being kind, was 'recyled'.

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?

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  Webley & Scott Super Avon.

This cost me £10 in a Leominster junk-shop while holidaying in July 2007, making it just under £1 a foot. I wanted a softer rod for those fish that bounce of my Harrison's Avon, especially Frome grayling, so I planned to restore the Webley & Scott for this purpose. The male/spigot on the butt section was split and it still had a mud-plug inside, which was presumably how it got split. The rod also came with a selection of bent and corroded 'low Bells' rings, three of which were broken or bent beyond redemption. The bottom end of the butt was mangled for good measure. The rod then spent the rest of the holiday lying along a shelf in the Bodenham holiday-let's kitchenette, giving me time to contemplate how I might make it a 'user'.

In the end it was a very nice rod to use and much more flexible that it first appeared, landing several carp to 11lb and a 5lb chub, among others, but then it sat on the rack for two years, so I gave it away to an afficionado of glass-fibre rods, so not Sold to the bloke at the back as such.

The Webley & Scott Super Avon was first used on 27th August 2007 and has been used on at least 10 occasions, the last being the 21st February 2009.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the Webley & Scott Super Avon.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod 25th August 2007. The Webley & Scott Super Avon. This required considerable 'restoration'...I removed the damaged section of cork on the butt and shook out the dried mud [the bottom foot of the butt was aluminum tube]. I cleaned the inside up and cut a piece of old carbon roach-pole section to fit inside the broken spigot to make a 'splint', by dropping it through from the butt end. This was sized to be about 1" too long on the outside and also to run the length of the existing spigot plus 2" or so, well past the ends of the splits.

I roughed up the bit of roach-pole, cleaned the inside of the spigot with very fine emery, put araldite rapid on the inside of the spigot using a legnth of garden cane, then dropped the pole section through, pulled it home, turning it a few times to smear the epoxy evenly around. I pulled it through far enough to open the splits to get glue in them, and then pushed it back a tad so they closed up. I then put a small cable tie on the piece of pole to stop it slipping back down into the rod, and then used several small cable ties and some thick thread to bind the spigot while the epoxy went off.

Once the glue was 'off' I pared back the excess glue with a scalpel, cut the splint off flush with the end of the original spigot and made a cork 'bung' to fill the new spigot hole. The rod's selection of bent and rusted 'low Bells' rings were removed and binned. I rebuilt the rod with Fuji rings, kept the green-with-yellow edging whipping style and preserved all the rod's markings, include the initials 'FB' and the number '25'. I made a butt-end out of a champagne cork - I selected one that was a good fit in the tubing and would also overlap the existing corks, by the simple expedient of super-gluing tiny pieces of fine glass-paper on the end of the tubing and turning the cork round until it was slightly recessed and flush with the existing corks. I removed the pieces of glass-paper, then epoxy'd the cork back into place. It looked better than the original.

The Webley and Scott Super Avon.Rod Butt-Section Decals The Webley and Scott Super Avon.Rod Butt-Section Decals The Webley and Scott Super Avon.Replacement Butt-Cap, clearly a champagne cork...
The Webley and Scott Super Avon.Cracked Butt-Section Spigot The Webley and Scott Super Avon.End View of the Repaired Butt-Section Spigot. The reinforcing inner sleeve is visible, as is the cork filler. The Webley and Scott Super Avon.Tip Section Decal The Webley and Scott Super Avon.Tip Section Decal

I never did investigate how the tube and the fibre-glass were joined. It will be interesting to see how it fishes. I wish I had taken better before-and-after pictures now.

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

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  The 'Milbro Tourist'.

A four-piece seven-foot solid glass-fibre spinning rod I bought in February 2011 for brook-guesting. I decided it had to be fixed. At least once. Eventually...then I did nothing with it for literally, years.

To date the Milbro Tourist has been used twice, the first time on 5th December 2016 and the last time on 9th June 2019.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the Milbro Tourist.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod 28th February 2011. The 'Milbro Tourist' is in the building.

This kinda cute seven foot four-piece green solid glass-fibre spinning rod turned up today. Needs work. OK, needs 'a complete re-build'. I immediately ordered an 8.5mm flat-end brass ferrule for the butt-section as the existing was corroded into one lump and also had come loose from said butt-section.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod 14th September 2016. 'The Milbro Tourist' restoration. Bought on fleabay about five years ago for £5, after I failed to buy one seen at Romsey. It's a four-piece solid glass-fibre rod and this one was in a bad way. The ferrule on the first joint was ruined, torn with pliers. I'd bought a replacement and then put the thing to one side...

Recently I picked it up again, took the rust-speckled 'bells' rings off and chucked them. The handle was sound but dry and the butt button was a mess. The orginal reel-bands were binned. I resolved to fit a small reel-seat, a nice one which came via one of two broken fly-rods in a rubbish bin. I cut off three cork rings to make space for the reel-seat. I glued the counter on the second section, left it overnight and then put the female on the first section, pushed them together and put the rod on a flat surface to ensure that any 'set' the rod was in line with the reel seat setting. The alignment marks can be seen on the ferrule, rod and the reel seat.

'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The original cork handle...1
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The original cork handle and the posh reel seat...2
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The bottom end of the old handle...3
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The counter ferrule on the third section. The aradite
was cut off flush when ¾ set. The tissue
and duct-tape stop the glue running out of the join...4
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The handle with corks removed, the female ferrule,
the third section, fore-grip cork and the reel seat...5

I 'super-glued' two small rectangles of fine grit sandpaper on the end of the reel seat and spun it a few times on the cork to flatten it off. Removed said sandpaper and glue, then araldite'd the reel-seat in place. I reamed out the hole in the new fore-grip cork, just enough to slip over the thread of the reel seat and cascemite'd it on, extending the handle by about 2", leaving the original logo and name in place.

I removed the last two inches of cork from the butt-end and put a champagne cork over the glass, araldite'd it on. I rubbed it down with the 'plastic half-drainpipe' PHDThis is a 5½" piece of 32mm plastic pipe, cut in half lengthways. Wrap sandpaper around this, following the inner diameter. Working with even strokes while rotating a cork handle a little after every few strokes, it's possible to achieve nigh-on perfect handles with a little practise. Use a micrometre to check the diameter regularly as you go along. , to meet the original handle's diameter. The female ferrule was then araldite'd on using the alignment marks.

'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The bottom end of the handle with corks removed
and the champagne cork replacment...1
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The plier marks on the third section...2
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The plier marks on the third section...3
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The reel-seat and foregrip fitted and glued. The green
whipping at the rear of the seat is also visible. A black
whipping has been added to the glass by the fore-grip...4
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
The chamfered down champagne cork...5
'The Milbro Tourist''The Milbro Tourist'
A view of the finished butt (first) section...6

I put black whippings on the ferrule end and in front of the fore-grip - which was rubbed down, but not quite to the diameter of the main handle. At the back of the reel seat was a clear area of metal - this was designed to be under cork on a fly rod - there's little point to that with this rod, so I whipped over that section with green thread and varnished it. Before I put the rod together I considered cutting this piece off flush with the flange, but decided it made no odds. With hindsight it might have looked neater like that, but araldite is a powerful incentive to leave it alone.

Above the counter on the third section were two horrible digs into the fibre-glass. It looks 'just like someone undid the ferrule using pliers'...I didn't much like the look of that, although thought it unlikely to break. I ran waterproof cyanoacrylate into the cracks to bind the fibres and whipped over with black 'D' thread, an extension of the ferrule whipping. The female ferrule on the third section had a slight knock, so I used a modifed pipe-cutter to tighten it up see belowIt's really quite simple for how that works.

Rings. The original pattern was two rings on the fourth (tip) section, one on the third and one on the second. I've changed that to three, two, one using 'Pacbay' titanium, plus a titanium lined tip ring. There was a nick in the glass just south of the tip-ring, so I made sure that was on the 'underside', dabbed it with waterproof cyanoacrylate to lock the fibres , gave the tip section a severe bend test, then whipped over it. The ring spacing used was [T, 4", 9½", 16½", 25½", 36½", 49½]. I lightly scraped down the old varnish, whipped everything with black thread and varnished. It looks very smart, especially with a Cardinal 33 loaded with 4kg braid. Nifty. Fits in a back-pack.

'The Milbro Tourist'The finished rod, all four sections 'The Milbro Tourist'The finished rod, all four sections, with Cardinal 33 fitted. 'The Milbro Tourist'How it looked when I got it (picture swiped from the internet) and this is 100% better looking than the one I bought.

...replacing a ferrule, adding that reel seat and those new rings means the fittings have four times the value of the rod. Still...'up-cycling' is all the rage. upA cynical view is; 'upcycling' is a word used by a type of person to suggest 'Second-hand, but I could afford a new one, I'm doing this because I'm environmentally conscious, not because I'm one of those wretched poor people.' No-one is fooled by this.

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Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  Bruce and Walker S/U Mk.IV 'G' 10'.

I was lucky to nab one off an internet auction site in January 2012, before they got trendy. It needed a repair to the top section 'female' ferrule and a champers cork to repair the bottom of the handle. Plus a new tip ring. Something of a project, not used it for some time, but a very good rod which I like a lot. Then I picked it a few times during 2015 and got somewhat attached to it as a 'first rod to grab'. Hm. It had one of those re-eaaaly long handleslh    In conversation with a well known rod maker, it was strongly suggested to me that really really long handles were 'fashionable' rather than 'any use at all'. Not just me then., presumably for 'balance'. The reel bands were 'adequate'. I decided it could be improvedimp    I once saw a poster in respect of engineers which read "On my deathbed I will build a better deathbed". I cannot handle a rod without thinking, "Wouldn't it be better if...". I've rebuilt some rods several times, adjusting this and that and while I've made mistakes, I've learnt a terrific amount about rod making for the use of the things. So, for example, I snort at notions of 'balance'.  ...

...I stripped off the corks and removed all the rings. I replaced the handle with new corks and added a rounded composite butt-end and mounted a winch reel-seat 15" up from that. With a rod this length that's not going to be 'in the hand' all day, it makes no sense to have any wasted length behind your hand. That done, I replaced the intermediate rings with Pacbay Minima's (very very light) and it became a new rod altogether. Love it. Stops a 15lb carp in its tracks.

The Bruce & Walker Mk.IV G s/u was first used on 11th February 2012 and has been used on at least 18 occasions, the last being the 2nd December 2018.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the Bruce & Walker Mk.IV G s/u.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod 5th February 2012. The Bruce and Walker MKIV "G" s/u, Part I. I was fortunate to bag one of these on a well known auction site - I'd always wanted to try one and serendipitously it arrived on my birthday. It wasn't perfect of course, but a good 'user'.

Specifically, there was the tiniest of cracks in the top section ferrule, telegraphed by the cracking of the whipping varnish and the tip ring came apart in my hand when I tried to remove it for re-whipping. I determined to buttress the crack by cutting a 1 inch section off an old whip and dropping it over the top section and aralditing it on. I took all the rings off and having cut the section, on a whim at lunchtime, found a repair kit on the 'net, carbon cloth, resin etc. Hm. I ordered it and it turned up the following day. It was £30, good for three repairs, in fact more than this on inspection. I went for that.

I, of course, first read the 'pdf' instructions for the repair kit and made my custom rod jig as shown below. I then carefully mixed resin and grinding paste in the 3:1 ratio, threw it away and mixed the resin with hardener. You can see the cleaned rod section, and make out the shadow of the two whipped areas and the cracks if you look really closely. I should have phot'd the whipping which shows the crack starting well before it's clearly visible on the fibre glass. Here's one which shows the same thing.

It's a good policy to check the whipping on the female of ferruless rods, as the cracks in the varnish telegraph a crack forming well before it becomes a problem. My plan was to use graphite cloth to replace the whipping at the cracked end. As the whole idea is to use heat shrink wrap to force resin into the cloth, I decided to run an experiment on the site of the second whipping. I'd put the 'tack' layer on, whip over it in Garnet 'D', finishing the whipping just outside the tack area (or you'd never pull through to finish) and then put a resin layer over it and shrink wrap that as well to see how it worked.

The snaps below show:
The tack layer.
Shrink wrapped and shrunk.
And cleaned up ready for whipping over.
And whipped over.

I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrulecustomised precision rod jig... I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule...showing the way whippings split over a crack - on a split hexagraph I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferruleThe carp
I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferruleTacked...(tack layer applied) I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule...wrapped, shrunk... I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrule...and cleaned up

Impressions; well it's filthy stuff the resin and the cloth. One really must wear the gloves, not a fun job in the main, I can enjoy whipping, but there's little joy in this job. Cut the carbon cloth outside as well. The resin itself seems on the brittle side to me, it's not unlike high build whipping on trashed rods, which I've picked off to salvage rings, not yet convinced this resin is worth the coin, perhaps araldite "precision" would have done just as well. The strength after all is in the carbon and while it's done a good job, once that resin's used up, I'd consider sourcing the cloth and shrink tape elsewhere - heat-shrink tubing might even be better.

The impregnated whipping is 'OK', there was a lot of air bubbles in the thread itself, some which remained when it had set, although thinned varnish filled most of them. I may try using thread for such a repair in the future, but using probably some clear shrink tubing of the right diameter. More to follow later in the week.

I admit the crack is hard to spot - 'G' top section ferrulemended top section whipped over with one coat of varnish

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod 9th February 2012. The Bruce and Walker MKIV "G" s/u, Part II.

The always helpful folk at Bruce and WalkerCourtesy and proper customer service sent me replacement butt and tip rings for my rod. The tip-ring was a 'write off' but the butt was OK, but, well you know. I replaced the top section rings and tip-ring using a medium green Gudebrod thread, which was not the original colour, but the carbon repair wasn't original either...replaced the butt ring and added a tiny bells ring to the butt section an inch or so up from the logo, about 45° offset from the butt ring - this is the 'keeper' a much more accessible keeper than the tiny slivers of wire sold in this guise.

The corks were cleaned off with a plastic kitchen scourer and washing up liquid, when rinsed and dried, then wiped down with white spirit. The butt end of the rod was full cork, but the corks were split and frayed, so the cork was cut off flush with the end of the blank, the impacted cork extracted, then fitted a champagne cork into the hole, paring it down so it met the handle corks, more or less spot on.

The rod was then cleaned off with a damp cloth and rubbed down with white spirit. Both sections got a coat of thinned yacht varnish (60/40), which leaches into cracks and scratches sealing them. Any spot where the varnish had lifted, leaving a kind of bubble, I punctured with a pin and sealed with the same varnish, which sorts it out, more or less. One last full strength coat will go on later today. Photo's below.

The champagne cork temporary repair The handle The reel-bands The butt-ring and one of the tip-section 'low bells' intermediate rings
The low bells 'keeper' The female ferrule (repaired) The solid glass-fibre counter and tip-ring Another of the tip-section 'low bells' intermediate rings
See, it really is one The rod on the whole Just admiring the rings under the shade of the tomato plants.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod 17th September 2016. The B&W MKIV 'G' S/U. I picked this rod up a few years backThe Bruce & Walker MKIV 'G' S/U and in 2014 decided to 'ring' the changes and fitted titanium 'Pacbays' then re-built the handle. The handle was a wreck so I completely replaced it and added a reel-seat, I find the original reel-bands are, respectfully, 'not that good'.

The B&W MKIV 'G' new handleThe very fine original butt-ring... The B&W MKIV 'G' new handle...with the Pacbay ensemble

The original handle was 29" long, possibly driven more by fashion than function, so put the reel-seat 15" from the butt-end. With my hand on the reel-foot there is 2" of handle sticking past my elbow. The 'fighting butt' is convenient at netting-time, for wedging the rod-end into the abdomen without causing injury. T'other end is a bored out champagne cork. Sanded down it looks nice, although there is the slightest concave shape to the fore-grip, which I will remove presently.

The B&W MKIV 'G' new handleThe handle with it's new reel seat The B&W MKIV 'G' new handleThe view down the handle

Because the reel-seat ('liberated' from an old Cormoran telescopic rod) had chromed bands, to remove the flash I carefully coloured them with a purple permanent marker, then whipped over them with garnet thread then varnished - now they are garnet. There is probably someone throwing up their hands somewhere (with any luck) but with modern rings (removing 1oz from the tip section) and the new handle configuration, it is a better rod - and it was a pretty good rod to start with. One of my favourites.

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...

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  The Hardy Carp Rod Blank.

A Hardy Glass-fibre 11ft s/u carp blank acquired from the nice Mr. Ted Oliver in 2014. A blue-eyed project...that never came to fruition.
Binned

The Hardy Carp Rod Blank was never used and was, if we're being kind, 'recyled'. Or 're-purposed'.

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...

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod  The Marco Seven-Foot Rod...Mk.III

I had been eyeing up the old glass-fibre 7' rod for some time. Well, OK then, 6'9". I have no idea why it has such a hold, just my first rod, 'tis all. But it looked weary.

To explain:

The 'Mk.I' incarnation was 'as it came' from the shop in 1974, at exactly 7'.

The 'Mk.II' incarnation was the result of restoring the rod after an ill-judged attempt to make a carp rod out of this rod's tip and a fibre-glass float rod.

The 'Mk.III' incarnation started off as a rebuild just to smarten the rod up. Honest.

...after its third incarnationThe Other Mk.III, I have started using it occasionally and it does a fine job of flicking a sprat au naturale some 30 yards, making it a good rod for gentle sink-and-draw, although I'm now pondering a larger butt ring and enlarging the following rings by one size...in the hope of improving the range, especially with the '66x in place of the neat little '44x.

The Mk. III 'Pool Cue' was first used on 13th July 2017 and has been used on at least 8 occasions, the last being the 29th May 2020.

Other Diary and Fettling Entries relevant to the Mk. III 'Pool Cue'.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod 9th July 2017. The 'Mk.III' Incarnation of the Blue 7' Rod. I had been eyeing up the old glass-fibre 7' rod for some time. This project started off as a 'tidying' rebuild. My whippings needed to go; these were very neat, but with less varnish than would prevent dirt runnels between the threads. The ferrule need replacing and the corks, long ago varnished, a score of years perhaps, looked OK but...the reel seat had acquired a slight looseness, which had bugged me for some time.

The Seven Foot rodThe 'MKII'. Seven foot (6'9" then), BLUE, solid glass-fibre, 2½lb t/c. As well as a gazillion perch, it has accounted for many pike including a 17lb fish caught through a hole in the ice, a wrasse in the 8lb range, flounders, plaice, sea-trout, eels, bass and a couple of decent carp, ruffe, eels, bream, chub, roach, rudd...and a few gudgeon. I know, 'I don't get out enough'.

I stripped off the rings and using the hard square edge of a steel ruler, removed flaky varnish. The glass is a really fine BLUE colour, which is embedded in my psyche. It occured to me, while idly staring out the window, on the sill of which was a cheap 24" 'ice-rod' , to make an extension to the tip-end with some 10½" of the said 'ice-rod' (9). I decided to fit this using a carbon-fibre sleeve (8), an old telescopic rod section cut to fit. My first thought was to make this sleeve into a ferrule, using the BLUE glass-fibre tip (7) as a spigot, but then decided to epoxy it on. I cut ½" off the tip (7), as there was a suspicious white area at that point - whether this was caused by strain or the heat used to remove the tip ring, I know not.

The join of the 'ice-rod' (9) and the 'sleeve' (8) is shown by the arrow (10) in the first picture.

This 'ice-rod' tip is nigh-on unbreakable and in use I'd expect it to fold out of the way rather, like a quiver tip, so I resolved to cut the carbon-fibre sleeve (8) just long enough to take the strain and whip a lined intermediate ring over the point on this sleeve where the two solid sections meet (11). This provides a de-facto tip ring, onto which any serious strain will be thrown. This will allow the use of lighter lines for gudgeoning. The overall rod length is now up to 7'7".

In the second picture the point where the 'ice-rod' (9) butts against the fibre- glass tip (7) is shown by the arrow (11). Once glued into place, I fitted three rings of reinforcing carbon-fibre at each end of the sleeve and one over the 'join' (10), the latter will nestle between the rod-ring's 'feet'.

The Mk.III Pool CueThe 3.5mm diameter fibre-glass tip (7), the carbon-fibre sleeve (8), the 'ice-rod' section (9), and the arrow (10) shows the top end of carbon-fibre sleeve (8). The Mk.III Pool CueShowing fibre-glass tip (7) inserted into the carbon-fibre sleeve (8). The arrow (11) shows the marked point on the carbon-fibre sleeve (8) where the fibre-glass tip (7) butts against the the 'ice-rod' section (9).

The sleeve (8) had the slightest looseness of fit to the fibre-glass tip (7), a mis-match between the tapers of the two parts (an inevitable consequence of this type of fettling), so before gluing them together, I rubbed the thinnest coat of epoxy onto the top 1" of the fibre-glass tip. Once set, this provided exact alignment for the final gluing. When gluing, I found that the air-tight fit of the sleeve (8) to the glass-fibre tip (7) prevented it being fully inserted, despite me applying sustained pressure. In the end, I bored a 0.3mm hole right on the point where the two sections meet in the sleeve (11). This worked fine and any weakness will be supported by the de-facto tip-ring and a small carbon fibre sleeve. I did nudge the middle reinforcing ring a mm or so up the sleeve(11), so had to shave ½mm off the 'tip-ring' foot to seat it properly.

On to the ferrule replacement. The butt-section female ferrule had a neatly whipped black thread coverall, to cover the flashy but careful brass wire whipped-and-soldered reinforcing I put on in 1980. Clearly I'd resolved to make it as stout as possible. You can see the wire, the solder and the epoxy. Actually not a bad job. It came away easily, the soft (lead) solder barely resisting and I discovered it was a '× 2' whipping.

The Mk.III Pool CueThe female ferrule, with its neat black thread whipping. The Mk.III Pool CueThe female ferrule with its brass wire reinforcing whipping. The epoxy on the fibre-glass bears the imprint of the thread. I porably whipped over it while it was soft. The Mk.III Pool CueThe two wooden arbours that supported the reel seat.

I cut off the fore-grip cork, removed the excellent winding check, to be reused, and worked the reel-seat off, pulling it up the rod and twisting it 2mm back-and-forth. A blister later and it was off. It's good quality and is stamped "MODERN ARMS COMPANY LIMITED BROMLEY KENT". The reel-seat was mounted on two turned beech or boxwood arbours, a good solution. However, the reel seat needs turning round - the screw lock at the top has two advantages - firstly the natural action of the right hand on the rod works to tighten the screw NOT loosen it and secondly any strain on the reel pulls the reel-foot into the screw, locking it, as opposed to providing slack for it to come loose.

This means the rear-grip needs to come 4" up the rod in order to keep the reel foot more-or-less where it was before. I pondered keeping one wood arbour, but decided, after discovering the impossiblity of boring carbon arbour without a lathe, to use the tried and tested tape-and-glue, using hot melt and epoxy.

I pondered making a carbon-fibre ferrule - replacing the brass - with the glass-fibre on the butt-section acting as a 'natural' spigot. This would be lighter and possibly stronger. Hm. I spend a few days batting this mental ping-pong ball back-and-forth. In the end, although kind of liking brass as part of the soul of the rod (I know...), I went for the technical superiority of carbon-fibre. This was also free and I'd gain experience and expertise of making spigot joints.

I opted to make and fit a spigot onto the butt-section, not really liking the idea of the bare glass-fibre spigot. To get the best fit, I first made the tip-section 'female' (1) from a piece of the old telescopic rod. I dropped it over the tip section (2) and then carefully cut away ¼" at a time until I had a good working fit and an overlap of the tube (1) with the glass-fibre (2) of 1½". This was the length of the old brass counter. I wanted the spigot to be about 2½", so cut the bottom end off the tube at that mark 'plus a bit'.

The Mk.III Pool CueThe carbon-fibre 'sleeve' (1) and the thick end of the fibre-glass tip section (2) The Mk.III Pool CueShowing the 'sleeve' fitted over the tip-section (1). The line on the sleeve shows how far the glass extends into the 'sleeve'. The Mk.III Pool CueThe reel-seat, the winding check and the butt-cap.

I used the 'other bit' (4) and slipped it over the butt-section glass-fibre (5) and cut it back a bit at a time until it overlapped with the glass by 1½" as before and cut the other end off 1¾" from the end of the glass. I then cleaned up a piece of an old fly-rod flyTwo butt-sections of 6-7aftm rods found in a rubbish bin at Bishop's Green, along with broken top sections...  to use as the 'spigot' (3), having first cut the thinner end down to ensure a good fit in the tip-section 'female' and then cutting it to length, inserting it through the butt-section 'sleeve' before replacing it. That'll make more sense with the pictures. I epoxy'd a thin section of an old roach-pole top section through the spigot and when it was set, cut if off flush - to add a little strength. I can't make an impression on it with my bare hands, so rationally, it's probably strong enough.

The Mk.III Pool Cue(5) The narrow end of the glass-fibre butt-section, (4) the sleeve that will both contain the spigot and mount over the fibre-glass and (3) the spigot. The Mk.III Pool CueShowing the spigot (3) inside the sleeve (4) The Mk.III Pool CueShowing the spigot(3) + sleeve(4) fitted over the fibre-glass (5)

I was going to chamfer off all the various edges before gluing, but why weaken the tube where it's under strain? So I expoxy'd the spigot (3) in the butt-section sleeve (4) and then epoxy'd this assembly over the end of the glass-fibre (5). The female on the tip-section was done when the butt-section had set, as I wanted to double check the spacing before gluing. I wanted about ¼" gap (6) when assembled tight to allow for some wear.

That sounded too easy...What I did was mark with a pencil the point on (3) where the sleeve came down to. I then put a rough spectra braid whipping up to this pencil mark. This stopped me misaligning if the pencil mark is obscured by glue. The whipping also prevents the epoxy running out of the ferrule...inside the spigot/sleeve they'll be quite a bit of epoxy, but this will settle at the bottom and any air bubbles can escape though the middle of the spigot. I wrapped the two places where epoxy might get out with cling film and stuck rubber bands over them. I left it for 24 hours...

I again decided to add a little more strength where it was most required. If you think about it (or try it), you can crush the end of a tube a lot more easily that the middle of the same tube. So, the ends of the load bearing tube will be reinforced and also the places where the tube meets the internal fibre-glass. I used carbon-fibre tube sections for this pundered from an incomplete JW Avon I got in a junk-shop.

When flexed, there a bit of a flat spot (something one can also say about the brass ferrule), also the rod is now another about 4" longer, making the overall 'restored' length 96" (8 feet).

I wanted to keep the BLUE theme, so I put a coat of white paint over parts of the carbon-fibre ferrules and (gently) whipped over the paint with D-Grade blue thread - so it looked BLUE when it was varnished.

There was a ridiculous pleasure to be had from the lack of reaming required to fit the corks to the glass-fibre. So easy...the butt-cap was a kind of white neoprene, still solid enough and attached to the 'ally' cap by what looks like a nylon thread. I decided to just reuse 'as-is' and cleaned it up, inside and out first. I had a small tapered spinning rod fore grip. I reversed this so the taper fitted inside the butt-cap. I then put epoxy inside the butt cap and fitted it over the cork - which was essentially acting as a template to centre the cap. I left it to set overnight, standing on the butt-end. I pulled the cork back up the rod, then mixed more epoxy smeared a little on the glass and put a good dollop inside the butt-cap and then worked the cork back down the rod and slowly pushed it into the butt-cap. The idea was to do this incrementally and wait for trapped air to be forced back out through the cork. So I applied pressure three or four times about 15 minutes apart. Then it was left standing on the butt-cap to set. The next issue was that this re-purposed fore-grip shI'm sure you've noticed that posh folk and virtue-signallers use phrases like 're-purposing' and 'up-cycling' rather than 'second hand' or 'make do and mend'. This is to make absolutely sure we all know they can afford to buy new stuff but they're doing us a favour.  had a slight rounded profile at the thick end, where it will adjoin the main corks.

The Mk.III Pool CueThe butt-end before sanding. The Mk.III Pool CueEnd of a spare piece of cork, with four sandpaper pieces glued on

Top tip; get something round and flat, like a piece of spare cork handle and glue four small pieces of sandpaper on the flat surface with cyanoacrylate. When it's dry, place over the rod and against the surface to be flattened off and sand it back by turning it. It's also handy for flattening off cork sections after you cut them to fit and with care you can even make a tool to recess the end of a reel seat into a piece of cork.

I glued the main cork on with cascemite and then made an arbour from duct-tape about 1" down from the corks. I filled this with epoxy and pushed the reel seat into place. (I'd already done an alignment exercise and mad marked the corks and the reel seat with a black line with an indelible pen). I then ran the rest of that batch of epoxy into the reel seat from the other end and used the 'fore-grip' cork to hold the seat central while the epoxy set. When it had, I ran another batch of epoxy into the tube and repeated the process. When that had set I filled the remaining space in the reel-seat tube with plastic melt glue.

I trimmed the hot melt off flush and glued a few strips on sandpaper on the surface with cyanoacrylate (see 'top-tip' aobove) and sanded a recess into the fore-grip for the reel seat, removed the sandpaper strips then epoxy'd the foregrip on. I epoxy'd the winding check on, ensuring a thin film of the same covered all the forward facing cork.

I covered the reel-seat with cling-film and then put a turn of duct-tape at each end. Using a 6" piece of 1¼" plastic pipe, cut in half length-ways as a sanding block, I chamfered the fore-grip down to almost meet the winding check and chamfered the reel-seat end the same amount. I did the same to the corks at the other end of the reel-seat and also smoothed off the joint at the butt-cap end of the handle.

If you've got this far, it might look as if I've galloped though this re-build, but in truth, most stages were a day apart. The handle, for example, took 20 minutes but spread over four days.

So. I then put a Fuji lined ring on the butt and the 'de-facto' tip and Pacbay Minima's in black for the rest. Black thread (which looked nice) but blue thread on the new tip, which is black in itself...

The Mk.III Pool CueThe butt-end sanded down, plus the top-section 'ferrule' The Mk.III Pool CueTip of the rod, with the 'male' ferrule on the bottom section.
The Mk.III Pool CueThe third ring on the joint, a lined 'Fuji' The Mk.III Pool CueThe maker's name

The Mk.III 'pool-cue' is over a foot longer than the 'MKII' and a foot longer than the 'MKI'. It's lighter due to the carbon 'ferrules' being about 10g lighter overall than the brass/wire and the orginal rings mostly being changed for lighter ones. Now I need to fish with it. Just because...

The Eight Foot rodThe 'Mk.III' Pool-cue'. Eight feet now, BLUE, solid glass-fibre, 2½lb t/c, sort of. At least I have a hobby.
...yes, the top section has a slight curve, caused by years of use 'the other way up'...

Lessons learned:
• Cut tapered tubes down a ¼" at a time, or less, until they fit.
• Cut those tubes with a knife-edge needle file. A hacksaw will split and splinter the tubing.
• Keep all the off-cuts.
• Wear a mask, carbon-fibre is horrible stuff.
• Decent carbon-fibre fly-rods provide 100% better quality carbon tubes for this kind of thing, with twice the wall thickness of most rods and easily four times the thickness of pole-sections.
• Carbon-fibre is amazingly strong.

Glass-Fibre Fishing Rod 23rd December 2019. The Other 'Mk.III'. Again.

The Mk.III proved unexpectedly good at throwing a single sprat and its hooks 30 yards or so, limited only by an under-filled '66x spool. It was also great fun catching pike with it. So as previously intimated, I changed the butt-ring to a 30mm Fuji BNLG to better suit the larger diameter spool when I felt the bigger reel was warranted, and then changed the next ring up to a 25mm black Minima and shuffled all the others up one place. I replaced the ferrule whippings with dark blue NCP 'D' thread. The smear of epoxy added to the ferrule spigot, to tighten it up, needed the merest rub down with 000 wet-and-dry. There. Finished. Honest.

The Eight Foot rodThe 'Mk.III' Pool-cue'. Eight feet now, blue, solid glass-fibre, 2½lb t/c, sort of. Cardinal 44x, metal spool, 20lb braid. Fine for small ones.

Probably.

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...?

In Summary

The observant and numerate reader can work out that I have owned, for at least a short period, nine glass-fibre rods, although I have sold or parted with six of them.

The ones I liked enough to use and hang onto are:

The Bruce & Walker MKIV 'G' s/u: Exactly, to my mind, the right length for its action and material, especially with a reel-seat at the sensible point on the handle and titanium rings to reduce its weight.

The Marco Seven-Foot Rod: Partly sentiment, but it has done well when it was the right rod for the job.

The Milbro Tourist: This is very handy, nearly unbreakable and just neat.

JAA