Thursday, 19 November 2015

A Special rod - B.James & Son - Peter Tombleson

I purchased something special today.
I am an acquaintance to the son of a sadly departed pillar of the local angling community, a respected gentleman who lived to a decent age and fished to the bitter end.
His son has had many conversations with me about how they fished together, along with his uncle, and the great catches they had. The stories of their time together, always a joy to hear.
His father purchased the best tackle that money could buy in those days and his rod collection would make many a collectors toes curl. He was also fortunate enough to have some very esteemed angling companions.
The son has always been aware of my interest in vintage tackle and has furnished me with many a tale about the fantastic rods he knows the whereabouts of..At first, I listened with a bit of disbelief..Until I delved deeper.

About six months ago he declared that although he would be holding on to the majority of his late father's rods...he did have one I might be interested in purchasing....when he got around to sorting his Dad's stuff out.
His description of the rod had me quite excited, I had an inkling to what it might be but I was respectful and didn't want to push the issue.
Today I received a phone call saying he would bring the rod to my workplace where I could peruse it and make an offer.
A colleague brought a rod bag to my office, an immaculate green rod bag..Upon it was the label which read B.James &Son..On the inside of the flap, the ex-owners name and address in his own hand.
It soon became quite apparent that I was holding something special.
This rod has been hardly used, if indeed at all.
The original whippings are green, it has an onion butt and the guides still have the varnish on them giving them a golden glow. The ferrules pop nicely and it is as straight as an arrow.
It is not however a MkIV...The words upon the rod read "Peter Tombleson"....a rare rod indeed, especially immaculate and green whipped....and the name on the inside of the bag?...Bernard Pollard.
Now that name may not ring any bells with most of you, but Bernard was a recipient of one of the original Walker made MkIV's and a good friend of RW. They fished together many times.
I have to say that sitting there looking over this rod and wondering what to offer for it was difficult..I am quite aware that I could've purchased it for perhaps a third of my eventual offer, but I wouldn't have been happy with myself. My offer was accepted happily and I am delighted.


  1. What sort of action does the rod compare with Gurn? Is it like an Avocet perhaps?

    And have you wiped the drool off as it leaves a mark :o)

  2. Hi Dave..I've never handled an Avocet so I couldn't compare. It's quite light for it's length but I would describe it as a "heavy float" rod..Ideal for tench, chub and bream perhaps. I was hoping to get out on the Ouse today with the intention of trotting a worm..Didn't happen, Lady Sarah and I were out last night and I felt a tad delicate this morning!
    It really is a beaut of a rod mate, so I will have to get out with it soon...Hope you're well fella.

  3. Hi

    It was interesting reading your blog today as I also have something very similar to this -
    The description you gave and the attached pictures are identical to the rod I have - left to me by my father.
    The bag is a little more worn though.
    I have always known it was something special but would appreciate more information or a good home for it as it is stored away.
    Any advice would be welcome

    1. Hi Steve,
      One of the rarer (and therefore more desirable)B.James rods. Peter Tombleson was known as a good bream angler and this rod would be ideal for that species, as well as tench and chub. The green whipping was used by B.James for only a short while so this adds to the rarity. As for value, well these thing can be quite fluid so it would be foolish to put a number on it. B.James (James Bruce, in reality) is one of the makers held in high esteem amongst users and collectors.