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Norfolk waterways and rivers

Norfolk waterways and rivers

It’s that time of year when we pack our bags and head to the North Norfolk Coast for our annual vacation. This year it will be a short stay as we will also be heading to the south-west to Falmouth and the Lizzard in a few days time.

The Chapman Shelford split cane rod

The Chapman Shelford split cane rod

The car will be packed with a couple of vintage sea rods, a fly rod for bass fishing and we’ll take a new addition to the collection of rods a Chapmans Shelford split cane rod. Paired to these rods will be a dependable Mitchell 306 and Abu Cardinal 77 for the sea rods, an old Shakespeare Beaulite for fly fishing for bass and a Mitchell 300 for the Shelford.

The Chapman Shelford split cane rod was a great find, purchased from a lady in Manchester, it was the prized rod of her late husband.

The Shelford and Amwell were both 11′, 3 piece bottom rods made in the 50’s. Chapmans made an Amwell SP during the 60’s but the longer 12′ and 14′ Hunter version were made in the mid fifties. These rods are now fetching good money on the second had market and a mint condition Shelford or Amwell will set you back £150-250.

I recently saw a ‘Peter Stone 600, 10’, 3 piece and a Peter Stone Ledgerstrike 2 piece make £295 on eBay. Some other split cane coarse rods have been trading hands at £600-700, does this indicate a trend towards vintage rods and a preference to cane over modern carbon composites?

I will be writing up about my recent meeting with Chris Clemes and his fantastic Harmony and Symphony fly rods which I tried out in Green Park in St James’s of all places. These split cane rods I classify as ‘tools of the trade’, simply one of the most balanced and beautifully made rods I have ever tried, effortless casting with silk line and married to one of his own hand-made reels that are made with the precision of a watchmaker. See http://chrisclemes.co.uk for further details.

detail of the Chapman Shelford

detail of the Chapman Shelford

I hope to be able to report back in a few days details of our fishing exploits and hopefully a picture of a bar of silver from the beach at Salthouse or Weybourne. There will be without question the annual crab catching competition from the Albatros moored at Wells-next-the-Sea see http://www.wells-guide.co.uk whilst I partake in a pint of Woodforde’s Nelson’s Revenge or Wherry Bitter.

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