B. James - Avocets

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PershoreHarrier
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B. James - Avocets

Post by PershoreHarrier » Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:30 pm

I have a late all built cane B.James Avocet restored by Edward Barder some years ago during which he made a new top as the one that came with the rod was wrong. I use this rod regularly and like it immensely but I am regularly told that the earlier rods were better - these being the ones with the whole cane butt.

What I cannot understand is that B.James replaced the whole cane but for an all built cane version and I struggle to believe they did that for any other reason than to provide a better rod.

There are sure to be folk on here who know why B.James changed the rod from part whole cane to full built cane and there are bound to be folk on here who have and use both versions. I would be delighted to hear your views.

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Black Prince
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Re: B. James - Avocets

Post by Black Prince » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:27 pm

I’m lucky enough to have two all built cane B. James avocets,I like them alot :Happy: but I have never got my hands on a whole cane butt one , from what I’ve read they ran out of cane after the Second World War and could not source any more,I like the action on mine ,missed out on a whole cane one recently but would of liked to compare them :fishing1: mike

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Bob Brookes
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Re: B. James - Avocets

Post by Bob Brookes » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:29 pm

As I understand it they switched to built cane butts when good quality cane of the right diameter became difficult to source. It was an essential change rather than one of improvement. I have owned and used both types in the past and always preferred the whole cane version. As always it is up to the preference of the user.
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Northern_Nomad
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Re: B. James - Avocets

Post by Northern_Nomad » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:52 pm

I am extremely fortunate to own a very early B James Avocet, in fact the first version made.

Having fished with a later full split cane Avocet there is no comparison.

As Bob has said it was down to a regular guaranteed supply of suitable cane that forced the change. The next biggest change came when they started producing the split cane blanks themselves instead of buying in Southwell built blanks. Two decisions made on commercial reasons that made sense to the company but not necessarily the end user :Confused:

I’ve posted this before with John Oliffe-Coopers blessing when I was restoring my Avocet, so here it is again

http://www.inthenetuk.com/pages/Vintage ... lution.asp
"We knelt side by side looking at it. I knew it was big, and suddenly it dawned on me it was more than that. It was tremendous!" - Richard Walker

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Re: B. James - Avocets

Post by Tengisgol » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:41 pm

The most beautiful cane rod I ever waggled was a who,e cane butt Avocet, previously Bill Quinlan's and handed on to his dearest friend Len Arbery. It was just perfect.
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PershoreHarrier
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Re: B. James - Avocets

Post by PershoreHarrier » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:22 am

Northern_Nomad wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:52 pm
I am extremely fortunate to own a very early B James Avocet, in fact the first version made.

Having fished with a later full split cane Avocet there is no comparison.

As Bob has said it was down to a regular guaranteed supply of suitable cane that forced the change. The next biggest change came when they started producing the split cane blanks themselves instead of buying in Southwell built blanks. Two decisions made on commercial reasons that made sense to the company but not necessarily the end user :Confused:

I’ve posted this before with John Oliffe-Coopers blessing when I was restoring my Avocet, so here it is again

http://www.inthenetuk.com/pages/Vintage ... lution.asp
Many thanks Northern Nomad - I am now better informed which leads to a dilemma of whether or not to try and secure an earlier version than the all built cane Avocet I use and which I like a lot. Semi-retirement still brings an income which can be diverted to things I would like BUT I cannot be semi-retired for ever!! Well I don't think so !!

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Northern_Nomad
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Re: B. James - Avocets

Post by Northern_Nomad » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:41 am

Don’t forget although the two are quite different, as John O-C says in his article - it is still a fine rod in its own right :Thumb:

I did have an inkling of organising a TFF Avocet day on a lake local to me. I chatted to Mal who has a version 2 Avocet about the idea. The idea being that people could wander around and see and handle different rods in a fishing situation. The reality though is to get enough members who could bring rods. It would appeal to non Avocet owners as well which then could lead to a situation where we have good attendance but no Avocets :Scared: also I was unsure who would be willing to travel to the back end of the world in West Wales for a days fishing :oops:

Idea is on hold. :surrender:
"We knelt side by side looking at it. I knew it was big, and suddenly it dawned on me it was more than that. It was tremendous!" - Richard Walker

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PershoreHarrier
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Re: B. James - Avocets

Post by PershoreHarrier » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:18 am

Northern_Nomad wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:41 am
Don’t forget although the two are quite different, as John O-C says in his article - it is still a fine rod in its own right :Thumb:

I did have an inkling of organising a TFF Avocet day on a lake local to me. I chatted to Mal who has a version 2 Avocet about the idea. The idea being that people could wander around and see and handle different rods in a fishing situation. The reality though is to get enough members who could bring rods. It would appeal to non Avocet owners as well which then could lead to a situation where we have good attendance but no Avocets :Scared: also I was unsure who would be willing to travel to the back end of the world in West Wales for a days fishing :oops:

Idea is on hold. :surrender:
I would certainly agree that the all built cane James Avocet is a fine rod in its own right and I really enjoy using mine which has accounted for some excellent Chub, Barbel and Carp over the years.

If you do decide to go ahead with a TFF Avocet Day in West Wales then I would certainly be most keen to attend.

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AshbyCut
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Re: B. James - Avocets

Post by AshbyCut » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:08 pm

I'm fortunate enough to be custodian of not only 2 B. James Avocets (one whole cane butt and one split cane butt), but also 3 (soon to be 4 when the 'double taper' arrives tomorrow) Precision Rods 'R. Sealey's Festival,' their 'Avocet' with whole cane butts.

Image

Listed top to bottom, with their lengths, weights, and handle lengths ... the photo shows :-
a) Precision Rods 'Festival' restored by Lee Covey. 11ft 1 1/4in. 375gr (13.25oz). 21 1/2 inch handle.
b) Original finish Precision Rods 'Festival, with "Tom Watson, Nottingham" retailer's transfer. 11ft 1 1/4in. 392gr (13.85oz). 20 inch handle.
c) Precision Rods 'Festival' restored by Andrew Davis. 11ft 1 1/4in. 364gr (12.85oz). 21 1/2 inch handle.
d) B, James and Sons all split cane 'Avocet,' once owned by Chris Yates. 11ft 5 1/2in. 399gr (14.05oz). 25 1/2 inch handle.
e) B. James and Son 'Avocet.' (An unusual rod, possibly a one-off customer order as it comes with a separate 16" handle which, when used with the split cane centre and tip sections makes a 10ft. rod.) 11ft 1 1/4in. 322gr(11.35oz). 26 1/2 inch handle.

Naturally, the all split cane rod is heavier due to it's extra length, but it also has a more powerful action, the tip taper measuring 3.6mm just below the tip guide whipping, compared to the B. James whole cane butted rod at 2.90mm, and the three Precision Rods at a) 3.76mm. b) 2.95mm. c) 3.01mm. Indeed the letter from Mr, Yates states "this splendid old stick belonged to me, Chris Yates, for many years and was successful in securing many fine specimens of Tench, Barbel, Carp, and Chub from my favourite ponds and streams."

The Precision rods are, for me, absolutely lovely rods, and I enjoy using each and every one of them ... with the caveat that they would benefit from longer handles for my 'style' of angling, the shorter handles making them feel a tad 'tip heavy' for me ... so I have to admit that the lighter weight and the more delicate tip of the early (spigot ferruled) B. James and Son rod makes this the 'Avocet of choice.'

ps. The double taper rod arrived safely this morning, si I'll add it's details here :-

f) Precision Rods 'Festival' restored by Paul Cook. 11ft. 0". 361gr (12.75oz). 21 3/4 inch handle.
"Beside the water I discovered (or maybe rediscovered) the quiet. The sort of quiet that allows one to be woven into the tapestry of nature instead of merely standing next to it." Estaban.

http://www.AshbyCut.com

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