With a quest to uphold traditional angling I acquired a R Chapman 500 cane rod, this one a late 60’s model. The bag it came in was thin and showing signs of wear but still retained its three fish logo label.
The rod was the correct size, two 4ft lengths with detachable handle section with internal brass ferrule. All eyes are in reasonable condition, whipped in red but the only downside was that someone had varnished the cork handle much in the same way that those cork tiled floors of the 70’s got a coat of varnish so that as you got out of the bath you would glide to the other side of the bathroom with ease. On reflection my in- laws still retain their cork tiled bathroom floor…
With its deep honey coloured cane this rod will be a delight to use, even with its varnished handle section. The end of the handle still retains the plastic end cap, a late feature that was done to reduce the price of these rods to market. Earlier versions had a full cork ball end to the handle. The original label is still crisp and details R Chapman, Ware, Herts with its hand written 500 on the cane.
The Chapman 500 was a rod made to a budget, an affordable cane Avon style rod. This rod along with my B James Kennet Perfection, a B James MK IV and a Hardy Wanless makes an ideal collection for all types of river fishing.
Chapman of Ware still make cane rods and having recently spoken with John Chapman it may be worth while having a new handle made rather than struggle to remove the varnish from existing one plus I would opt for a full cork button finish. If you want to find out more about the specifications of Chapman rods then visit their web page http://chapmanblanks.co.uk
I hope to get to the Creek tomorrow, it’s a small back water of the Thames that is a delight to fish especially to make use of the warm weather forecast for the weekend. It’s been a few days since our return form Norfolk where the only thing we caught was a sun tan, so a spot of fishing is in order.