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B. James & Son, Ealing, London - Richard Walker MK IV Avon - green whipped c1953. 

This is a very rare, original & early example of the classic 10’ 2-piece Avon rod.  I have heard it said that the Avon accounted for about 10% of MK IV production, and of these, 10% were green whipped.  I suspect there is no way of knowing how accurate this assessment is, but I don’t think I’ve seen such a super example of this model in the thirty two years that I’ve been in tackle trade.  The ferrule is a nice snug fit with no knocking or clicking.  The blank is as straight and steely as the day is was made.

As were all B. James rods of this period, it was built on a blank supplied by Bob Southwell of Croydon.  The cane is darkly flamed, displaying perfect straight grain and neat hand-pressed knots in the classic 3 x 3 configuration.  Hand-planed split cane didn’t come any better than this.  We very rarely sell rods by other makers, and when we do, they must be judged by us to be exceptional in every way.  This is such a rod.

The rings are clean and sound, the transfer is superb, the original small blued split ring hook keeper is still in place and apart from one or two tiny drops of varnish neatly (and very sensibly) applied over unobtrusive nicks in the original finish, the rod’s originality is uncompromised.

The whippings were applied by Mrs Murgett, wife of well known London tackle dealer and bait supplier Frank Murgett.  They are dark green silk throughout, with very closely spaced intermediates, especially at the tip.

The intermediate rings are the original chromed steel bridge pattern, with the early clear lined Amberfin butt and tip rings.

The cork handle has a trumpet-shaped top.  The alloy butt cap (with its red rubber button), sliding bands and shoulder collar were made by WR Products (of Speedia reel fame) of Shepherds Bush.  The blued brass reinforced splint end suction ferrule has a spigotted male, and the hand turned hardwood stopper appears to be a very good facsimile replacement.

The rod has its original bag, which is in very good condition (in common with many very early MK IV & other models, it has no B. James label).

This is an Avon to be treasured and fished with.  Used in accordance with our standard care & maintenance advice, there is no reason for this rod to deteriorate or lose value.  There is no better rod for wild carp, pond tench, big perch or small stream specimen hunting.  What a joy it will be to fish with such a light, lissom tool, knowing that it is full of vigour at sixty five!

Price: £1,500

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