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The restored Martinez & Bird Windrush fly rod

The restored Martinez & Bird Windrush fly rod

I recently gave an old Martinez & Bird fly rod to Richard Narewski to restore, it wasn’t in too bad a condition but was in need to a bit of tidying. There were several whippings where the thread had become brittle and loose.
Several of the guides were a little corroded and the rod just looked a little tired. I originally purchased the rod from John Andrews, a purveyor of fine vintage tackle who takes up station in Spitalfields Market on a Thursday, normally seen between the hours of 7am and 3pm drinking mugs Victory Gin. In its original state the rod was worth the £25 I paid John and was probably fishable.

My friend Bob introduced me to Richard a few months back. Hidden under Richmond Bridge was a small workshop from where Richard operates, building and restoring rods to a very high standard. We met with Richard during the week to take delivery of Little Tales restored rod. It was beautiful done, the light honey coloured cane worked well with the ruby silk intermediate and guide whippings.

Unfortunately earlier that day we learned that Richard had been the victim of a break in, his shed at home had been broken into and the perpetrators of the crime had stolen his hand made spinning rods, Korum rod bags, Korum fishing seat, all his terminal tackle and his prized Gary Fisher bike.

We had time to share a jar or two of Young’s Special at the White Cross, partly to cheer Richard up and give us time to talk about our recent fishing exploits in Cornwall. Richard makes great spinning rods, light spinning rods were what was required to fish some of the rocky outcrops of the coves we found.