1. 3rd. June, 2013. Yesterday I attended the AGM of the Traditional Fisherman's Forum, and took part in the charity raffle which has been an annual feature of this super event.

To know that the raffle raised £780 for "Find the Wonderful in Today," which raises funds now in memory of little Charlie Coddling, would have been reward enough for the price of the tickets.


Imagine my utter delight, therefore, when my name was called out as the winner of this boxed "J. W. Young and Sons Ltd. 'The Purist 2030' Centrepin" reel, complete with a spare spool !!!!!

My hands were still shaking at the end of the auction, to the extent that I dropped a half full glass of shandy !!!

As if things could not be better ... I sent a message of thanks to the donor for his generosity, and received a message back which stunned me.

Tucked away in the reply was this snippet of information ... "It does have some history. It belonged to John Searl." Yes ... the John Searl who's artistic works I have long admired (I have a print of one of his roach water colours hanging beside where I keep my cane rods), and who can be watched on the dvd of "The Compleat Angler" fishing for barbel and showing Geoffrey Palmer how to catch chub.

Needless to say, I am honoured to be the keeper of such a treasure. It will never leave my ownership, and I will say a quiet 'thankyou' to both Gentlemen each time I tackle up with it.

2. 4th. October, 2015. A couple of years ago I was invited to a days fishing on a secret estate lake ... the first time I had angled with a gentleman who has become a great friend.

When we arrived at the lake in the early morning he said he wanted me to use a reel of his for the day ... and handed me a bag.

I opened it and was stunned to discover a 4 inch Coxon Aerial ... a stunning creation in brass, ebonite, and wood ... and I spent happy hours luxuriating in it's action as I reeled in my favourite tiddlers.

Needless to say, from that day I promised myself that if the opportunity ever arose I would try to acquire one of these wonderful reels ... so when a 3 1/2 inch version poked it's head above the parapet I pounced.

Winging it's way to me is this beautiful reel, made between the years of 1896 and 1929 according to Mr. Waller's excellent reference book "Fishing Reels Volume 1."

I think a day's crucian angling may be the order of the day after it arrives !!!

3. 24th. November, 2015. It was inevitable, I suppose ! Having one, I simply couldn't resist when a 3 inch version became available (also a 6 spoke) ... and when My fair lady said she'd make kit my Christmas present this year I jumped at the chance.

It arrived today, and it's an absolute delight. I suspect this will become my Crucian pin !!!

4. 9th. December, 2015. When a chance like this comes along it simply has to be grasped. I was offered the opportunity to own Number 9 in a limited edition run of 25 reels of this model ... the 'Specialist Roach Perfection," made for Perfection Angling by The Mill Tackle Company of Redditch. A wonderful piece of engineering, and a true centrepin, in 'graphite' finish ... it came to me in unused condition ... something which I intend to change in 2016 !!!

5. Looking delightfully like tortoiseshell, this "E.L.O." Bakelite reel spins remarkably well ... and I love the look of it on a cane rod. Measuring only 7/8 in wide, 4 inches in diameter, and with a 3 1/8 inch arbour ... and with no provision for a line guard ... this is one only to be used on days when the is NO wind, I suspect. Circa 1950's, as far as I can ascertain.

6. 30th. May, 2015. This has taken my breath away.

An internet friend who had watched the postings about the creation of my new rod ... the Chance Cane 'AshbyCut's Roisteach Snas' ... and who is also a talented artisan ... has designed and built for me a centrepin reel which he believes will compliment the rod !!!

I have only just received photographs and some details about it ... but as I won't receive it for another 10 days I can't tell you yet how it feels when mounted on the handle.

However ... it's an approximately 4 inch diameter, narrow drum, 8 pillar, unventilated quick release spool reel with switchable ratchet ... and it comes in it's own lined leather case !!!

Following the "Arts and Crafts" feel of my rod, this reel immediately brought to mind a quote from William Morris who said "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." It sums the reel up perfectly.

Thank you Martin Herrington, Sir. I am in your debt.