My dream becomes reality ... thanks to the Gentlemen at Chance Rods !!!

26th. May, 2015. I was invited to be part of a small group of anglers gathering to look at the two prototype rods which the Gentlemen at "Chance Cane" have designed and constructed ... and was looking forward to seeing them immensely as it would give me a real idea of the rod they are building for me, which I'd been told would be delivered on 8th. June, 2015.

Little did I realise the surprise in store when, on the evening before, we had assembled for dinner and chat ... and out of the blue I was handed my rod, ready to fish the next day !!!

My hands were literally shaking as I slipped it from it's hand made bag ... with the extra section already there to accept the second butt when it comes. I admit to a lump in my throat !!!

To reiterate, I had designed a rod which would be 'perfect' for me and my style of angling ... light and fast in the tip, but with a little power in the butt, and a 24 inch handle ... and light enough for me to use all day as a Gentleman of advancing years with the inevitable arthritic joins (including my right shoulder). This was to be my take on a 'Roach Perfection' meets an 'Aero 894' meets 'Precision Rods.'

My initial brief to the builders was for a hollow-built split cane butt, and after some discussion and design input from them both, it was decided that the rod would come with an additional butt section ... which would be finished first. This would be constructed of whole cane spliced to a length of hollow-built split cane, and would offer an even 'steelier' butt for the occasions when a surprise 'specimen' fish might come along. I was astounded to find that it weighed in at a meagre 13 ounces !!!

The resultant rod looks and feels sublime ... as you will have seen in the pages detailing it's build ... but how did it feel in real action ??? I discovered the very next day, when I was allowed to be part of the small, select group who gathered to celebrate the Chance Cane Inaugural Day on a private lake in the south of England.

I assembled the rod at the lakeside, pairing it with my Young's 2030 and a specially made Andrew Field cork and quill float ... and hoping for a tench to christen my baby.

There was a chill north-westerly breeze scudding over the surface ... and I believe that the cold spring we've had has had it's effect on the warming of the water (or lack of it), especially given the depth of this lake, dropping away to over 13 feet deep in the matter of a couple of rod lengths ... so it was a while before I was able to test the rod's mettle !!!

I have to admit that I felt a certain 'pressure' to catch ... as I knew the Gentlemen of Chance Cane really wanted me to succeed, although they hadn't said so !!! ... but the float finally slipped away, and I struck into what proved to be an old warrior of a tench.

I have to say ... and believe me, I would be honest and say that my design was awful if so it proved ... but it was as much beyond my wildest expectations as the quality of the build had already been.

The strike was positive yet soft ... just enough to set the hook ... and the tip began to arc beautifully as the fish responded.

With increasing confidence in the rod's ability I was able to hold each surge the tench made ... one stronger than the one previous ...

... until the rod comfortably controlled the fish ...

I was delighted that Colin, a good friend and part of "Chance Cane," was on hand to net the fish for me ... and that the man who actually built it ... Jakobus Durstewitz ... were both there to witness the "Chance Cane #001" bring it's first fish to the bank ... and witness the fruits of their labours as it handled the whole thing with consummate ease.

Colin nets ...

... and Jakobus helps on the unhooking mat ...

Remember ... this was designed to be a 'roach rod,' so having the power to handle a tench with panache and ease, albeit it one of 3lb 2 oz as it proved to be, delighted all who witnessed it.

The way the tip handled the fish ... complimented by the power in the split cane section of the butt as it arced slightly ... and the added power of the whole cane section of the butt ... and the way the 24 inch handle enabled me to not only balance the rod to the reel I selected ... but to vary the power by holding it in different places and to use it fully under my armpit to assist my arthritic shoulder ... made the rod an absolute joy to use.

To sum up ... I love this rod ... and not simply because I had a hand in the original specification ... or because it has come a new 'company' made up of friends (old and new) ... but primarily because it ACTUALLY WORKS !!!