Edward Barder interview on M&M

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Beresford
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Edward Barder interview on M&M

Post by Beresford » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:29 pm

I came across this interview on M&M – I've only read the first part but it's fascinating.

http://www.merchantandmakers.com/split- ... d-company/
Last edited by Beresford on Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Edward barder interview on M&M

Post by Snape » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:46 pm

An excellent find and a good, interesting read. Thanks Tim. :Hat:
It is interesting that Edward only makes 6 or 7 coarse rods per year.
I will make you Fishers of Men said Fish to Fishes
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Re: Edward barder interview on M&M

Post by Marc » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:03 pm

25 isn't a lot is it. Great find, very interesting and some good photos.

Kind of disagree that there's no place for high volume low (which really should have read 'lower') quality cane rods as produced by the major manufacturers of yester-year. If someone started producing rods to say allcocks or sealy standards today and selling them for a hundred quid a piece or less they'd have anglers taking their hands off at the elbow.

Barder is without doubt the Rolls Royce of rod makers, truly in a class of their own, but there's still plenty of us who'd be happy with a Ford Focus and I'm one of them.
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Re: Edward barder interview on M&M

Post by SeanM » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:23 pm

An interesting and enjoyable read which reminded me of a long conversation I had with Edward when he was just starting out. I'd sampled the heady delights of a friend's Pezon et Michel fly rod and was keen to acquire a cane rod of my own. Edward's enthusiasm nearly convinced me, but his price list was a little too rich for me and so I settled for a second hand Sharpes rod. :hairpull:

I suppose the number of trout rods reflects the relative amounts of disposable income in the two branches of the sport.
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Re: Edward barder interview on M&M

Post by Beresford » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:28 pm

I was amazed that Edward makes so few rods in a year and with so few coarse rods built by him each one is a real rarity. As Sean writes that has to be a reflection of the disposable income in the respective branches of the sport and perhaps a wider acceptance that cane fly rod of about 8' 6" is a very useful thing to have, whereas the appreciation of the abilities of cane are perhaps lost in many coarse fishing situations.

I must read the second half.

To pick up on PoD point – as far as fly rods go Zhu fits that exact bracket you mention – typically you can buy one of his rods for £60 with two tips. Now a MkIV uses more materials and might be difficult to ship but if such a rod cost £120 I'm sure many would buy them just to try cane. At the lower end of the market you are really looking at vintage rods such as the Chapman 500 and 550 which is not a bad place to start.
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Re: Edward barder interview on M&M

Post by Snape » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:40 pm

SeanM wrote:An interesting and enjoyable read which reminded me of a long conversation I had with Edward when he was just starting out. I'd sampled the heady delights of a friend's Pezon et Michel fly rod and was keen to acquire a cane rod of my own. Edward's enthusiasm nearly convinced me, but his price list was a little too rich for me and so I settled for a second hand Sharpes rod. :hairpull:

I suppose the number of trout rods reflects the relative amounts of disposable income in the two branches of the sport.
Back in 1990 the Barbus Maximus MK1 was £250. An early one was just sold by Edward for over £2000! :shocked:
I will make you Fishers of Men said Fish to Fishes
For Fish is Fisher of Man who Fishes
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Re: Edward barder interview on M&M

Post by Beresford » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:52 pm

Edward must have been earning next to nothing in the early days. Of course 25 years have passed by but he's still not turning over a massive amount of money. Had his prices not increased they way they have he may not have been able to continue in business. I guess there's a break point where he was making say 50 rods a year, as he used to, at £x cost now he's making half the number at twice the fee. Interesting that he mentions how much time the internet and emails take up and how that clearly eats into this rod building time.

One day, somehow, I shall own one or two of his creations. I had to smile when the 50th birthday present was mentioned, that thought had crossed my mind…
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Re: Edward barder interview on M&M

Post by GoldCrest » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:02 am

Prince of Durham wrote:Barder is without doubt the Rolls Royce of rod makers, truly in a class of their own, but there's still plenty of us who'd be happy with a Ford Focus and I'm one of them.
This is a true sentence -- but we can dream ...

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Re: Edward Barder interview on M&M

Post by Nobby » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:47 am

I'm not absolutely convinced by the 'Barder Myth'. No disrespect intended to the man or his customers but his prices are simply double everybody else's. And I won't go comparing his work to others...you know who they are, I'm sure.
Now his work is beautiful, particularly if you like deep flawless varnish, ...but is it worth double?

I know a few of you have both his reel and some of his rods and I wouldn't dream of criticising you or questioning how you spend your money. But double?? And don't get me started on that reel price! We all know who made them...we all know the likely wholesale unit cost.

Now if you want to argue that his work truly IS worth double, I'm listening.

Otherwise, when you 'buy Barder' you're buying into something else.....and I'd be interested to know what that might be, so I'm still listening.......

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Re: Edward Barder interview on M&M

Post by Beresford » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:29 am

There are a few things that appeal to me about his work. Aesthetically it's perfect. When you look at the finest details on rods, for example, the intermediates Barder gets the spacing spot on. The eye can pick up the fact that the intermediates are evenly spaced on each side of a ring foot. A minor thing but to me it's telling as to exactly how pedantic he has been during the construction of the rod. It makes no difference when fishing as to how pretty the rod is but it's all about the luxury of the user experience. Same with the car analogy noted, the Focus and the Porsche both stand a good chance of getting you from A to B but the experience of that journey is rather different in each car.

Then there is Barder's experience that you are buying that ensures the rod is made as well as a cane rod can be. Next there is the material quality. For example he mentions buying the best grade cork then rejecting half of it - that level of perfection comes at a cost.

Finally there is the brand value. This is the probably the bit most wince about or hate but you are paying for the premium brand name. In years to come when EB stops making rods the value may rocket due to the market positioning that he has carved out for his brand.

Most can't afford them and many don't want them which is why he only builds about 7 coarse rods a year. I would love to have a couple but I would also like to own rods by a couple of other UK based builders.
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