Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Traditional landing nets large and small.
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Len Arbery
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Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by Len Arbery » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:01 pm

Whilst carp fishing with my long-time good friend, Chris Ball, he asked if I'd consider restoring a cane landing net that he'd owned since discovering it for sale in a junk shop, back in about 1971. On our next outing Chris brought along what he calls 'The Guildford' net for an assessment: the major problem being one hinge had fractured, with the other clearly stressed. In addition there were clear signs evident of long and active service. Although, of course, realising 'conservation' is to be preferred to 'restoration', there was no alternative - the net plainly required 'major surgery' to make it serviceable. 'The Guildford' net journeyed back home with me; the agreement being, that I'd do my best, and the job would take as long as necessary.

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Pic 1. Chris with 'The Guildford' landing net in 1972.
Now, those interested solely in cane might like to skip the following paragraph:

The rod Chris is using here is based on one of the very first successful fibreglass carp blanks - the 'Goddess'. This was developed by Jack Hilton, his close friend & regular fishing companion, Roger Smith, & Don Neish; Jack & Roger require no introduction of course, but, maybe, Don might not be so well known. In fact, Don was the proprietor of one of the best known specialist tackle shops in the 1960's & 1970's - 'Don's of Edmonton'. He was also a well-known & successful tournament caster, thereby understanding much about rod design. The 'Goddess' blank, Roger Smith tells me, was of German origin, (probably supplied by DAM), it came in one 9ft length, and originally intended as a 'double-haul' casting rod. Brass ferrules and a false beech wood butt were fitted, allowing a rod of 10ft. The 'Goddess' was supplied by Don in three specialist-angling forms: blank only; kit form; and as a finished rod. Many big fish anglers of the period chose the 'Goddess', including Bill Keal, Alec Lewis, Bill Quinlan, Chris Ball & myself, among countless others.

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Pic 2. Chris landing a carp with the net at a charity 'Do' at Cuttle Mill, in the late 1980's. Many well known carp anglers gathered for this event, in order to raise funds for a youngster suffering from some terrible and particularly nasty disease.

I also recall it for two further reasons:
1. It was the first time I used a mobile phone; Mickey Sly's in actual fact.
2. Being beaten to a 'take' on one of my rods by a bystander! (To save his blushes, he'll remain anonymous.)

'The Guildford' net is clearly a quality item, (the arms being triple-strip lamination), dating back to around the mid 1950's; the original builder being unknown. There is some evidence that the alloy block is from a batch made by Jack Opie: Yes, the very chap who caught that Redmire Pool 27lb 5oz fully-scaled mirror, in 1954, and whose company, Metal Pressings Ltd., first introduced 'The Heron' bite alarm. This evidence is based on two further alloy blocks of the period; the first once owned by John Nixon, who reported that it was supplied by Jack Opie, the other on the ex-Derrick Davenport cane landing net; Jack and Derrick knew each other very well, and were at Redmire together when Jack caught that beautiful fully-scaled mirror. All three of these alloy blocks are very similar in design & dimensions, and all possess some sort of plated chrome-like finish; unusual for this early period.

Another unusual feature this net possesses is mesh-clips at both ends of the arms; quite a good idea, and something new to me.

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Pic 3. The hinges as received.

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Pic 4. Arms, lower, showing mesh-clips.

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Pic 5. Whippings now removed from lower arms.

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Pic 6. Arm top showing mesh-clip.

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Pic 7. Whipping removed from arms top.

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Pic 8. Discarded components (returned to Chris.)

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Pic 9. Main ferrule poorly fitted & with over-long whipping covering handle damage.

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Pic 10. New hinges made & fitted.

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Pic 11. Thong mounts made & initially glued.

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Pic 12. Thong mounts re-whipped.

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Pic 13. Oak from Redmire Pool's original dam rail for replacement spreader. (Previous spreader discarded because no need to over-whip new hinges.)

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Pic 14. New spreader undergoing manufacture.

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Pic 15. New thong & stainless steel key-ring type connectors.

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Pic 16. New mesh-clips re-positioned on lower arms. (Upper mesh-clips now surplus as mesh now to be clipped into thong connecting rings.)

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Pic 17. Main ferrule refitted & lightened from within.

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Pic 18. The finished net, on the left, awaiting collection. (The other cane net, although of much later vintage also required 'major surgery', and came to me via 'Hilty Junior', Jack's son.)

This picture, taken in my office, shows other items that may be of some interest: The cased carp is actually a Brian Mills' carving of the Redmire specimen we knew as 'The 38', with life-size dimensions taken by me at the time of Bill Quinlan's capture, at 38lb 2oz, in October 1973. The glass case, itself, was actually made & furnished by Peter Stone.

'Stoney' also presented me with the sparrow-hawk under the glass dome, after it killed itself colliding with an outward opening clear glass door.

And, yes, the hat on the dome is one of Dick Walker's. Yes, really!

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Final pic. Handing 'The Guildford' net back to Chris Ball. Now ready for a further sixty-plus years' service.

Regards to All,
Len.
Last edited by Len Arbery on Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mark
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Re: Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by Mark » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:12 pm

Brilliant Len, what a lovely post and by the look on Chris's face he is very happy with it. :Hat:
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Muscavado
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Re: Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by Muscavado » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:14 pm

What a superb restoration!
I take my hat off to you :Hat:

John

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Nigel Rainton
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Re: Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by Nigel Rainton » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:19 pm

Excellent, I love these posts :-)

Jardine
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Re: Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by Jardine » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:32 pm

Nice story and photos Len, did you get your nets mixed up when you said it was the one on the right awaiting collection?

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Loop Erimder
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Re: Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by Loop Erimder » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:40 pm

Absolute marvellous.......I too have a piece of the original dam rail sat in my fishing room
Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish

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Len Arbery
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Re: Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by Len Arbery » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:47 pm

Hello Jardine,

Yes, sorry, got my left & right mixed-up again! My only excuse being that I was rushing toward the end because June was calling me for dinner; and, as my friends will certainly aver - June is not one to be ignored!

Thanks to all for their kind comments.

Regards,

Len.

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Len Arbery
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Re: Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by Len Arbery » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:50 pm

Hello (again) Jardine,

Now (hopefully) corrected!

Len.

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RBTraditional
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Re: Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by RBTraditional » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:51 pm

Wow, that is truly superb Len.
"Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it..."

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Paul D
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Re: Restoration of a Cane Landing Net:Before & After photos, etc.

Post by Paul D » Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:53 pm

That's wonderful Len, you've made a lovely job of that. :Hat:
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