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Old Cane rods

A number of years back I inherited a few cane rods. I have never used them due to condition, having missing or broken rings or loose whipping. I don't think any of them are of high value and would like to have a go at restoring them myself. One of them appears to have agate (?) rings.

Any fishermen/women on here have any tips on rod restoration, or a book recommendation to help me.

The Rods are:

Martin James (Redditch) Three piece, approx 12 foot

Fields (Highgate Road, London) "Thames delux"  also 12 foot, three piece

Capella "Elasticane" approx 8 ft, two piece.


First question mate.
Are they split cane and if they are, are the canes coming apart?
If not a restoration is quite easy(ish). If you have the sections seperating it gets a bit more complicated.
Can you post any pics?
If it's only rings, whipping and finish I can help but if the Canes are seperating I think you may need Gareth's advice re. Clamps, Adhesive etc.

The smaller Capella rod is split cane, but in good condition apart from missing/rusty rings.

The other two rods have round cane butt and middle sections with hexagonal tip sections - the cane on both is in good condition, rings and whipping missing or rusty , as above rod.

I've taken a few pic's, just downloading them - not sure how clear they will be.

I should add, I know nothing about fly or course fishing, having only ever sea fished. But I'm treating myself to a fly fishing lesson as birthday pressie !

Ok a few pic's - any advise gratefully received

This is one of the (only) rings left on the Capella rod, which is in the worst condition of the three

BarryK is your man  He'll be able to advise you on the best course of action for refurbushing/renovating vintage fishing tackle.

Couple of suggestions;
first log in to ask them there advice.
Second contact Hooks and Tackle in York (local knowledge, sorry) and ask his (Chaz) advice. He hand makes rods and is one of those fellows who knows everything there is to know about fly fishing.

Gareth wrote:
BarryK is your man  He'll be able to advise you on the best course of action for refurbushing/renovating vintage fishing tackle.

Right here goes, firstly you get yourself a can of butane lighter fuel......oops, forget that - thats an entirely different process..........don't ask.

The main thing is, when you start the restoration, do not strip off the make and model details from the Butt section.

I'd aim to remove all the old varnish from the rod, right down to the whipping immediately above the decal/logo etc.

The easiest and safest way to remove the old varnish is to scrape it off with a really blunt stanley knife blade, work with the blade at right angles to the rod and take great care not to cut into the cane, another good tool for this is to use a piece of broken bottle  (as it has a nice curve), again make sure that you don't cut into the cane.
An old engineers scraper or a piece of flat high speed steel, even the side of an old carpenter's chisel would do. (make sure you blunt the sharp end first tho...)

To remove the guides, use a sharp stanley knife to cut through the whipping, just along the foot of the guide, that way the guide foot itself will protect the cane, you'll then find that the whipping will peel off the guide area, any that remains can be removed by finding the tag end and just pulling on it, allowing the rod to revolve, just like pulling the cotton from a cotton reel.

The most difficult part is going to be to match the thread colour and varnish to the original - use proper whipping silk and remember that after sealing the whipping it will darken in color, you can minimise this darkening by first treating the whippings to a coat of thinly diluted, PVA wood glue or unibond.

That should get you started, get back on if you need any more advice - Also, have a search through the internet for rod restoration/repair there's stacks of stuff out there.

Good Luck


PS - there are a couple of UK suppliers of rod building materials, Seymo is one, can't remember the name of the other but it's basically the same stuff that Seymo import, but at a slightly higher price, I'll look out the web site addys and post 'em up tomorrer......

Thank you everyone for your replies  

Will search the www later today for materials and hopefully with materials sourced will make a start with the Capella rod, as thats the one most in need of help.

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