I bought my first vintage rod from a car boot sale and I've continued to find some quality tackle at car boot sales, antique fairs and on the internet. I've really enjoyed some vintage float and ledger fishing with these different rods.
The first vintage rod I bought was this Olympic Match 13 from a car boot sale for the bargain price of a fiver! The match float rod is hollow fiberglass and it's the rod I have to thank for taking me on the start of a nostalgic journey.
A 13ft Shakespeare Strike which I really enjoyed using for both float and light ledger fishing for a while, although it got a little heavy when fishing all day! Looking on the internet, the Strike was a popular rod in its day.
A Gladding Sealey 13ft Black Arrow 2 Float Rod, which I bought in a job lot with some other vintage tackle. It was in near mint condition with its original bag and I used it to float fish a few times but found the tip too light. I sold it to a local guy who also collected old rods.
One of Woolworth's rods, a Winfield Young Anglers 56, a fibreglass, 5ft 6inch rod, hence the '56'. Ideal for some vintage spinning fishing. A local bloke bought this rod for his son who was just getting into fishing and wanted a short rod that his son could learn the basics with.
I bought this very heavy, solid fibreglass Allcocks Seaswell rod and intended to repair the broken line guides. The different sections made up a 9ft or 10ft rod and I decided I didn't have the knowledge or experience to do it justice and it was sold to someone in Scotland.
Another Olympic Match 13. This one was bought in a job lot of vintage tackle and although the model name had worn off, it still had the 'Olympic' logo. I fitted a new line guide to the tip before selling it and then it got lost in the post.
The Auger 10ft Fly King fly rod 'made by anglers for anglers' with its sliding Fuji reel. I bought this rod at a local garden centre along with the Young Anglers 56. You never know when or where you’ll come across vintage tackle.
I bought this rod from an antiques fare and wasn’t sure what make it was as the label had worn away. It's a 12 foot float rod and after some research and debate on the internet I narrowed it down to either a Black Seal or Milbro rod...maybe.
This Daiwa Matchman Mk2 10ft ledger rod was bought from a Volkswagon show! Someone displaying their vintage camper was selling some old rods and I saw this one and paid £6 for it, bargain! I just liked the look of the black rod sections and cork handle.
Here's another Daiwa 10ft ledger rod. This one is a 3 section Sensor rod and although it's not as old as the Matchman Mk2, I liked its vintage looking cork handle and it came in a nice old canvas bag. This rod was in a job lot with 2 Daiwa spinning rods.
The 13ft Constable of Bromley, Companion rod. I found the Companion also had a very light tip and although I used it to float fish for a while, I found I couldn't cast very far with a light float.
A five section bamboo and cane rod with a nice old dark wooden handle and brass fittings. It didn't have a makers mark, just 'Made in England on the butt cap. The wrapping had come loose on most of the line guides so it needed some TLC and had 2 tips for a 9ft 10ft rod.
This Kyoto hexagonal split cane rod went to someone who used one as a youngster and was planning to meet an old school friend to fish one of their favourite childhood haunts. It's always nice to hear different stories about the vintage tackle.
An unnamed 7ft, two-section, hollow fibreglass spinning rod, in really good condition. This was bought as part of a job lot and I was going to keep this rod and use it for lure fishing with my Mitchell 300 but I ended up selling it on.
This was one of my favourite vintage rods I've had over the years. It didn't have a makers mark, but I’ve seen an Accles & Pollock Taperflash which looked almost identical. It's a 10ft, hollow fibreglass rod with brass ferrules and a threaded swing tip fitting.
My only sea fishing rod...so far! An E R Craddock & Company Limited solid fibreglass pier rod. Made in Redditch, England, probably in the 1960s or 70s. I bought it from one of those old school tackle shops in Derbyshire where you could spend hours just looking.
An E R Craddock Goldie with aluminium butt section, the remaining two sections are fibreglass. I bought this rod with the Redmayne & Todd cane rod and although I used this rod a few times for float fishing, I found the tip a little too flexible on the cast so I sold it on.
Another old spinning rod. This one was 8ft long and was in mint condition. After some online research, I think it may have been made by either Shakespeare or Roddy. It was quite a heavy rod and may have been a good pike rod, I used it once for spinning without any luck!
Although I've got, had and sold a few cane rods, the 10ft Redmayne & Todd I bought inspired me to buy another slightly longer cane rod. This 10ft, 3 section Aqau Superb, Lee of Redditch rod is just the job for some trotting on the river.
This Japanese 5ft Kiraku lure rod was an impulse buy! It's a 2 section, hexagonal cane rod, imported in large numbers during the 1960s. It originally came in a wooden box with accessories and 2 other sections, allowing the rod to be used for fly fishing.
These split cane rods were bought as part of a job lot. The three-piece rod is an Anon Shaw, although I don't know which model. I think it would be ideal for Pike fishing with its large end section. The two section rod doesn't have a makers mark or logo, just 'Foreign Made' printed on the handle. A ferrule and the butt cap are missing, so a good renovation project for someone and weighing just under a Kilo, a bit too heavy for me!
I bought this Milward 7ft Steel Centre, cane rod at a car boot sale while on holiday in Norfolk. The rod was in an old Efgeeco canvas holdall, which, to be honest, was what I was interested in buying. I'd seen several of the Efgeeco holdalls on eBay but never bought one as I wasn't sure how heavy they were and some weren't in the best of condition. After weighing up the holdall and seeing it was in very good condition, I bought both items. The rod was in excellent condition, both cane sections straight, with original whipping, cork handle and wooden a ferrule plug. Unfortunately, by the time I got the rod home, one of the line guides had broken off and although I thought about keeping the rod for display, I decided someone would appreciate the rod, so I sold it. I've found the holdall ideal for carrying rods, landing net, handles, rod rests and umbrella for a good days fishing and it holds a few reels in the top, when my bag's too full.
This 12ft, 3 section rod was bought on the way home from work one cold January evening. It's fibreglass, with a nice cork handle, whipped line guides and brass ferrules. It could be an early fibreglass rod but as there's no label I don't even know who made it.
Here's my 10' Redmayne & Todd of Nottingham cane and split cane rod. After a good few years of service and catching my PB Carp I decided to sell the rod as I preferred my Lee of Redditch cane rod which is longer and has a longer handle making it easier to cast.
I was going to sell this 6' Brent solid fibreglass sea rod. Then once I'd photographed the rod, I decided to keep it! The rod was bought with a job lot of tackle and it doesn't owe me anything. Plus, it makes a nice display piece and I might even get to use it one day.
A circa 1950s Allcocks Viking rod. Part of a large job lot of tackle I bought online and collected after a wheelchair basketball game in Wolverhampton. I think it was cane and bamboo and it was just under 10½ feet long. I think the end section had been shortened sometime in the past. The butt cap, handle fittings, reel holders and ferrules looked to be brass and in good condition. The label was also in a good state, although some of the line guides were missing and the rod needed re-whipping. An interesting restoration project for the person who bought it.
A Japanese split cane, fly and lure rod, still boxed with all its accessories. This mint condition rod had 3 tip sections to make up a 5', 7' and 8' rod. The box had sliding wooden panels which revealed all the original accessories, flies and line, some still in their original wrapping.
A Fuji FS-6 reel seat. Originally on the handle of the Shakespeare No. 1801 rod below. The rod had been shortened to 9.5' probably due to damage and the plastic handle had cracked with some pieces missing. I tried to sell the rod on the internet. However, it didn't sell, which I wasn't surprised about due to the condition - but it was worth a go! I decided to use the line guides and butt cap to repair an old Milbro rod and the reel seat was sold independently. I still have the rod blanks which may come in useful in the future.
An Ernest Stamford of Sheffield 10' ledger rod with a Fibatube blank made in Alnwick. It's a nice 2 section hollow fibreglass rod with a glow in the dark built-in quiver tip. Probably dating back to the 1970s the rod is in excellent condition and I've enjoyed using it several times.
A lovely 3 piece 11'9 whole cane rod with what looks like a greenheart tip. It has a nice handle with an old style fixed reel seat towards the back, snake line rings and traditional cork ferrule stoppers. Very Mr Crabtree!
A mysterious 12' hollow fiberglass rod inscribed "The Champ Re-Built For L E Treece DH". I had a look online and I'm not sure who L E Treece or DH are. The plot thickens. Maybe one day I'll be fishing and a passer-by will recognise it and tell me.
A two section 9'6 hollow fiberglass fly rod called QUALTAK, made by The East Anglian Rod Company. The EARC made quality rods from the 1960s through to the 1980s when they were taken over by Leeda. Some of their other rods I've seen since buying this rod in a job-lot are a 12 match rod and a 10' Avon rod. I'm no fly angler so this one went for sale online.
A Scottish made 7' spinning rod, Sol-Glass by Milbro. Ideal for some pike fishing on the canal or river, or even some sea fishing for mackerel.
I already have a nice E R Craddock & Co sea rod, although I still haven't used it yet! It's in better condition and longer than this 7' rod from Redditch, so I'll be selling this one I bought as part of a job-lot.
A hollow fiberglass, 9'6 Billy Lane Swing Tip rod bought at the Antiques Fishing Tackle Fair in Redditch. You can watch a video of this rod being used here.
Another 7' solid fiberglass rod. This one in green, made by Forshaw’s of Liverpool and called Couriette.
A 9.5" hollow fibreglass, two-piece, East Anglian Rod Company Ltd QUALTAC Fly Rod. The company started in 1966 from the bankrupt RC Kirk Co Ltd operating in Wymondham, Norfolk, England. Originally just selling rods in the East Anglia area.