Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Respect , Restoration and Pike

I was going to just post about what may be my last fishing trip for a month or two but after reading some blogs I've been inspired to put a little extra in.
 First tho I'm going to do something somewhat childlike (in some peoples eyes at least) but I want to say Hi and thanks to Gurn, my first member/follower , and yes I am grinning while I type this :) .
 I started to read his blog as soon as I saw he had read the drivel on here and Im honored he saw fit to follow me. Theres a post on his blog where he restored a cane rod and had before and after pics throughout, excellent guide and I wish I'd seen it before I started on mine! I've done two restorations in the past but niether were quite as bad as Gurns when he started altho the 12 ft came close. Unfortunately I didnt have the sense that you did gurn and didnt take pics before i started altho I did snap a couple throughout the process on the first, the second I just got on with...
 The first rod is allegedly a 12 ft Aspindale 'General Purpose' rod, and I'm inclined to believe the seller's word and the bag it came in (which is indeed an aspindales bag). While the gentleman was gathering together the bits of tackle he was selling I couldnt help notice the picture of him in his uniform and medals ,if i cant trust a veteran in his Eighties then shame on me. He told me before I even looked at the rod that it had been 30 years since he refurbished the rod and 20 years since he'd used it last.
 Suffice to say there is no provenance on the rod itself, no makers mark etc but to me thats by the by. The rod had a glorious feel to it from the moment I picked it up. When I got home and took it out of its bag I almost cried, every single ring had a coating of rust and a fair number of the whippings were completely rotten. It took me 2 weeks to find a shop that sold rings that looked similar and paid i think £2.50 per ring.
 Now let me apologise for the state of some of these pics, not all cellphone cameras are this bad...
 First thing I did was strip off all the whippings, rings and varnish from the butt section marking the places for the rings/whippings as I went.No fancy tools used ,just a craftknife , some very very fine sandpaper and a couple of buckets marked 'patience'. 

Then started to replace the eyes and felt like screaming , whipping is not as easy as it looks but I struggled on safe in the knowledge that the eyes were the easiest part, I still had the intermediates to come..

 Now no-one has ever shown me how to do such narrow bands of whipping before so I was extremely grateful when my clever clever mother came up with the idea of using 'thread pullers' from her sewing kit to pull the tag ends back under.
 First section was ready for varnish and I looked at the second section and was quite pleased with the comparison between the two...
 Bear in mind this was my first ever attempt at re-furbishment. i would have been happy if everything had just stayed where I'd put it but this was actually looking fairly good to me.So now I've taken this rod to many venues in the uk and caught with it several times, and each time is just as exhilarating as the first. Here's some of the fish ive had with it...

Four cracking chub from the river Tame at Reddish Vale and a mix of Carp , Bream and Barbel from Llyn Y Gors on Anglesey                          
 The second rod that I worked over came from the same gent and was sold as his 'piking rod' along with an old baitcaster/multiplier type reel. I've tried using it several times without success, at least until yesterday that is.Before i get into yesterdays antics this second rod wasnt quite as bad as the first but had a major hole in the cork handle which had been covered with some kind of tape at some point. I removed maybe 3 inches or patchy crap and replaced with cork sheeting out of mothers crafting supplies. I'll try and post a pic of that repair job next time along with pics of some of my cannabilised floats.
 I decided to try piking on the canal up near Droylesden instead of Debdale reservoirs due to not having had so much as  a single bite from there in the last 18 months. As things turned out it was a wise decision altho I must admit to thinking otherwise after no bites in the first 4 hours...
 And then it happened. The perfectly magical moment that we all dream of, someone comes along , asks a question like " is there fish in here then?" or " had much" just as your float dips...
 This time the question was " getting many bites" but the effect was the same, I turned and sadly replied " nah mate, not even a bite " before glancing back to where my float was only to see it wasnt ." errm having said that i do believe we have a runner.."
 I'm very glad i had a witness to the battle that ensued as it was one of the most fantastic battles ive ever had from a pike, the beastie even tail-walked for me and I'd only ever seen that on TV! 

 Fortunately the chap stayed around for the full fight and took these pictures and my email addy. Thanks Nick hope you enjoyed the show :). Now it may not be a record breaking fish by any shot but its my first pike on cane rod, the fact I repaired the rod myself makes it just so much sweeter. 
Tight Lines All.


  1. Nice one fella and I'm proud to be your first follower..You can't beat the feeling of catching something on a rod you've brought back to life. Some nice fish there. Welldone onthe re-furbs. A good idea to use a threader for the loose end of the whipping. I used a loop of 2lb mono which was laid in place and whipped over for the last five turns, the end of the thread was then put through the loop and pulled back.

  2. I normally use a line threader like that for whipping eyes on but the intermediates were less than a dozen turns and had me stumped. The things mother passed me were made for threading needles.Apparently you put the wire on it thru the eye of the needle, then your thread in the wire loop and pull it back, they have a small thumbnail size plate on them making em easy to grip and less fiddly.