Bob Southwell fly rod

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SofaSurfer
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Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by SofaSurfer » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:50 pm

I am now the lucky owner of a Bob Southwell fly rod. It is in very good condition. The rings are original and are not rusty or cracked. The tip and butt rings are clear agate and the linings are not damaged. The makers label has a very small chip. The rod has not been re-varnished or messed about in any way. The cane is a dark caramel colour. I have adjusted the photo colour balance to remove a blue colour cast. The nodes alternate around the blank and the node fibres are straight from being hot pressed rather than planed or filed. The ferrules are tight and don’t knock. The rod has the original ferrule stopper and rubber button. I’m not sure about the rod bag, it looks like a bag for a Mk IV and has no label.

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The rod is 10’ and is dead straight with a slight sag when held level. It feels rigid and has a steely quality. As I run my hand along the blank I can feel a compound taper but it is impossible to photograph.

I only received the rod this morning but it has already become my most treasured possession.

I have not been able to find any information about the rod on the internet. Southwells production of carp rod blanks and kits overshadows his other rods. The only mention of a Southwell fly rod that I can find is for a rod called the ‘Blagdon’ but without any details. I’ve read all the Southwell related posts on here.

Does anyone own a Southwell fly rod ? Does anyone know when Southwell stopped making rods and does the address, 30 Station Road Croydon, date the rod ? The phone number on the label does not have an STD code and is therefore pre 1958 but that would be when the label was made rather than the rod.

If anyone can give me any information about the rod I would be very grateful.

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Scott
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Re: Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by Scott » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:56 pm

Can't help you with any info I'm afraid SS but it looks a delightful rod, amazing condition given the age. Blagdon is a big stillwater trout fishery isn't it? Your rod would appear to be suitable for such a water so perhaps it is a 'Blagdon'. Any idea of line weight? I'll look forward to reading a post about how it fishes. Thanks for showing us...

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SofaSurfer
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Re: Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by SofaSurfer » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:07 pm

It looks a beast, intimidating. I have just had a few short casts on the lawn with an AFTM 4 WF floater and I was surprised by the action. It is probably about #6 but knowing how brittle Southwell rods are I will treat it gently :-)

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The Tuesday Swim
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Re: Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by The Tuesday Swim » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:33 am

I own a 7' Bob Southwell Brook rod that he made for his wife, it has the lightweight Hardy reel fittings, a delicate little and lovely rod. Again the rod bag is plain.

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SofaSurfer
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Re: Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by SofaSurfer » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:26 pm

That sounds a nice little rod. I took mine to the river this morning to try it out. I used a Hardy Marquis and a Rio line. The action took a little getting used to, it's quite slow. After two hours I had settled into the rhythm and found myself attempting a few tricky casts into awkward corners. No trout but an enjoyable trip :-)

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Paul D
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Re: Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by Paul D » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:31 pm

That does look a lovely rod, one day we really should get a cane colour chart sorted out, I would call that "toffee" rather than caramel colour or even "burnt umber" :Hat:
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Lea Dweller
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Re: Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by Lea Dweller » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:44 am

I am far from being an expert, but the rod looks superb to me, well done! :Hat:

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Santiago
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Re: Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by Santiago » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:12 am

The colour of the cane and the nodes look like my Mkiv kit rod, at least from memory. I will check tonight and try to upload photos for comparison.
"....he felt the gentle touch on the line and he was happy"

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SofaSurfer
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Re: Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by SofaSurfer » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:56 pm

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The top photo shows the alternating nodes around the cane at the same distance along the rod.

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The second photo shows a hot pressed node where the fibres in the cane have not be filed or planed away but squeezed into alignment. Don't take any notice of the cane colour, I took the photos in poor light and have adjusted the colour balance and exposure to exaggerate the features.

Having got the rod out, I think I'll take it fishing :-)

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Beresford
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Re: Bob Southwell fly rod

Post by Beresford » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:31 pm

I thought hot pressed nodes still had to be filed although not by much, which is why they look shorter than un-pressed nodes that have only been filed.

As to line weight I'd guess at a #7 or #8. Most cane rods tend to have a higher line weight for a given length than most modern carbon rods. Often you'll see 9' #7 cane rods and 8' #6. I think the Hardy Pope, which is a 10' cane rod, is a #7. Ultimately though it depends how long a line you want to cast.
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