The big news from me is that I’ve picked up my new split-cane Bob Nunley blank from R. Chapman & Co, and used it to put together a brand new six-foot rod, which can handle my quick flies and very long tippets. Since so many fishing tackle shops have ceased to exist, it’s very difficult to find rod wings or a real seat, never mind a handle, so I was glad to track down the Chapman brothers at their shop in Ware, Hertfordshire. It was great to see them in their workshop, and they did a wonderful job on the rod, which has slightly varied spacing in the rings and a swell butt fitted to it to improve presentation and to put more power into the tip.￼
I recommend checking out R Chapman at www.chapmanblanks.co.uk, and making up your own rod to get into the joys of a completely different way of fishing! When I was putting together the rod at home, varnishing presented a bit of a problem. EU regulations removing a variety of solvents from varnishes means that they tend not to cover as well as they used to, running and blotching. The best one for my money is an outdoor, clear, waterproof varnish by Ronseal.