As a young boy I always had a keen interest in how things were made... inevitably this often involved taking them apart much to my parents horror. I think this keen interest and then eventually finding a love for fly fishing was a way that I could focus my ability in something that I loved doing. I refurbished my first fly rod when I was aged 13, an old ‘Milbro’ Glass fly rod that my Auntie gave me... I think that was probably the beginning of my rod building story.
I soon found myself with a job working for ‘Hardy’ based in Alnwick where I spent three years as a young apprentice working alongside time served Craftsmen, building rods like the 'Marvel' and the 'cc de France' and then perfected my skills over the 30 years I spent with the company. I spent four amazing years working alongside the late 'Tom Moran' on the new range of Hardy Bros bamboo rods, the 'Moran' and 'Gladstone' series...and also with Tom's private orders. We took the building quality of these split bamboo rods to the highest level ever seen in a Hardy bamboo rod before... the hand split culms and hand filled nodes, silk wraps and flawless finishing throughout. These rods were very well accepted throughout the bamboo world and became the bench mark for every rod I build today, with no compromise on quality!
In 2013 - 2014 we attended the Catskill Gathering in the US to help host the Hardy Cane Casting Competition. This was a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the top American Bamboo Rod Builders, Per Brandin, Mark Aroner, Walt Carpenter, Jim Downes and cast some of the many rods at the show. You never get tired of talking bamboo with these guys, so into their bamboo rod building and dedicated to their craft.
Fond memories of the conversations between Tom and Walt Carpenter... Happy Times!