Brian Holland


As I sit here with all the modern trappings for carp fishing, costing hundreds of pounds. Nothing is sentimental and can be replaced at a click of a button. Even if you think you cherish it you don’t unless you have had it handed down and it belonged to someone who had sadly passed away, such is the case when my father gave me his business partners MK IV cane. I do not know how my father had it as Chris was still alive when he gave it to me. It was worn, tatty with damaged eyes and cracking all along the cork handle. I am lucky enough to work with a gentleman called Ian Jillings who in the past was a rod builder, I asked him if he would kindly refurbish the rod, he agreed and I hand it over to go to the rod hospital.

Unfortunately, in life we hear of illnesses to people we care for this was the case with the original owner Chris who I was informed had cancer and was in hospital. The urgency was on to finish the rod so I could take photos to send to Chris of his old MK IV. With regret this was not to happen as Chris sadly passed away two days prior to me receiving the rod back.

The craftsmanship of Ian was exceptional, all the eyes had been removed and the cane had been re lacquered, the cork handle filled and reworked backed, all the eyes had been replaced with matching original ones with the original coloured whipping. This was a beautiful rod and just a shame I could not have shared this with Chris.

Now I required a reel to suit the rod as a modern one just did not suit it, I tried a centre pin but again it was not quite right. So on to eBay looking for old reels, this is where I came across a 1967 Mitchell 300. A bargain at a tenner and it needed refurbishing as well. So, a quick click of a button it was purchased. When it arrived the first thing was to do a total strip down cleaning all the parts, the body and the spool was handed over to the paint shop of the firm I work for. Whilst I repaired any damaged parts. The body was repainted black and they also re infilled in white all the decals. It was now ready for re assembly. Again, the work carried out by Andy, Wayne & Cath was exceptional and it looked new.

As it was a carp rod, I filled the spool with 15lb line. The reel was now ready to be paired with the rod. I believe they were meant to be together as it suited it down to the ground.

I use it occasionally mostly for surface fishing, the action is completely different to what you get used to using with a modern rod and with this set up you learn to play a fish but it is totally enjoyment.

This is now cherished, and I hope Chris would be happy with accomplishment of so many people to bring it back to life, those involved in the refurbishment many thanks.


2 replies on “Sentimental”

That must be very satisfying to fish with tackle that has a lot of personal history, the mitchell 300 was the cream of reels in the 60s then soon followed by the 410 i hope you get a lot of enjoyment using them in the future.

Fantastic, I bet Chris would be well pleased to know his old rod is still being used for what it was build for, I too use some older gear, ie Hardy Carp and a Mitchell 300.

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