What have I been doing since leaving Hardy back in early 2020?
The answer is, working on a project thats been in my mind for almost 30 years!
The Blanks have incredible qualities. Prepare to be amazed by how those feel!
This particular part of the story begins back in 2007 when I joined Hardy with a view to expand my knowledge of the business of salmon fishing tackle. 13 years on and much experience under my belt, changes in the marketplace meant I knew that again, the time was right to move on.
One thing about being longer in the tooth is we can draw on experience, looking back at the good, impressionable things we have done in the past. One of those was when I worked closely with Ken Walker (Bruce and Walker) back in the 1990s. Ken was a true innovator, a man of vision, someone who’d never rest on his laurels. One of the things we worked on at this time was changing the actions of rods by adding different sections, however, at this time rods were generally longer and made in three sections, so although a great concept, what we could achieve was somewhat limited.
However, with the help of Ken Walker, this was something I first did when working with four section rods at the Carron Rod and Case Company, this was also where I designed the first Carron Jetstream line. Ken also produced the first 6 section rod, something that really caught my attention. It was here we also spawned the idea of a fully bespoke rod, something designed for the needs, requirements and, importantly the “technique” of the individual. Much of the problems I see associated with AFTM ratings on double handed rods come back to the fact we are all different and not one fits all. Unless of course we “clone” a technique such as the Underhand or Scandi Technique. However, even with this, I see very few people doing it properly. Almost everyone pushes with their upper hand, thus leading to the rod loading and unloading, in a slightly different way!
In 2001, with my friends, Jimmy and Gywneth Jack, we began a brand called Carron, which, with the help of Ken Walker, we making 100% bespoke and custom built rods, bags and cases. Rod actions were changed to suit the technique of those casting them, something which required the combined skill and experience of both the rod builder and teacher.
After Leaving Carron, I went on to help a great team of people develop a new range of rods, reels and lines under the Partridge brand. This was extremely successful and very well received in the marketplace. The main reason for this success was, we worked very well as a team, had a clear plan and we’re in tune with the fishing public and the marketplace. This was in 2003 and was where I first saw the true value of 6 section rods. We even made a 12 section rod at Partridge and trialed it in the heavy winds of South america.
Wind the clock forward 18 years, advances in both materials, manufacturing and experience, means we now have the potential to make six section rods with almost any action we wish and so much lighter, stronger and responsive than at any time. For me, this offered me a time of innovation.
My first years at Hardy saw me designing the Zenith range of double handers, made from high modulus carbon and using the then revolutionary sintrix resin system. Those were the bestselling double handed Hardy rods ever. During this same period, whilst in the Far East, I designed a six-piece rod made of the same material. Although I knew the market would love this, and pushed hard for it to be developed, unfortunately it took Hardy more than 10 years to bring it to the market. Not so good for them, but great for their competition during this time. It was at this time I knew my career in tackle wouldn’t finish at Hardy. That said, it provided me with a great insight into the business, especially the pros and cons of working with factories in the Far East. Like them or loathe them, at this moment in time, this is where the best, most consistent, and versatile fishing rod blanks are now made. Well, in my opinion anyway. More about that in another blog!
So what have I been doing since early 2020?
I’m pleased to now be back working with some of the people I worked with at Partridge, in my opinion, James Robbins is one of the best all round anglers I’ve ever met and has a “passion” for fishing and the business, like that of no one else I know. Match, Coarse, and Game, he participates in and excels in all.
After he’d heard I’d left Hardy, James approached me and asked if I’d be keen to develop the game side of a new brand he had been working on for coarse fishing, called Cadence. Although I had two other very tempting offers with very well established brands sitting on the table, saying yes to this took about 5 seconds. The main reason being, I know how passionate he is, I’d worked with him before and know the value of working with a truly great team. This, and I knew, along with the rest of the team, they would love the idea, which had been burning since my early day of working with Ken and Jimmy, I was about to bring to the table.
Over last summer we have developed an exciting range of rods, reels and lines. But not just another same old range. In the Cadence, Ian Gordon double handed rods and lines, we have an imaginative and innovative product based on a lifetimes experience.
Given the leap forward in carbon, particularly manufacturing in the far east, I could see a good opportunity to combine my knowledge of casting, fishing, rod design and teaching into a very different product. A radicle solution to the problem that one rods doesn’t fit all.
Testing involved trialing so many sections with different actions
Our concept means that we can fit the angler with the rod that suits them as an individual. Clever use of technology involving clients sending a short mobile phone clip of their casting will ensure they get the perfect rod/line match for their personal technique.
Our range consists of 12’6”, 13’6”, 14’6” and 15’. However, this is not simply 4 rods. We potential of delivering a great many different actions. I’ll get into this in more detail later. The addition of the correct line for that meaning we can find a perfect rod/line match for everyone.
In simple terms, we have used our understanding of the science to cut through the the uncertainty of which rod and line to pick, taken a bespoke product and made it affordable.
How will you know which to pick? Our plan is bringing the product to you via a series of events to be planned this year. Those who cannot attend will find details on our website of how interactive technology can do this online.
We will fit you with the rod/line match that best fits your technique by using either mobile technology, or, on the river at a series of events. Keep an eye on the website and blogs for venues and dates.
After some time away from innovative rod design it's great to be back and looking forward. This is certainly the most interesting product ranges I’ve been involved in for some years.
Why are Cadence Rods some of the lightest and strongest on the Market?
The “T –Mesh” system! Is a By-Product of the collaboration between knowledge of casting and what is happening to the rod whilst under load, and our engineers understanding of the properties of different weaves and types of carbon. In simple terms its mixing the correct Carbon Fibre so ensuring strength is built into the correct part of the tube.
What is T-Mesh? The “T” part related to the Japanese word for Carbon and ”Mesh” relates to the unique layering system devised by our engineers ensuring the correct number of fibres follow exactly the orientation required for max strength and performance. By paying close attention to fibre orientation, applying muti weave layering and ensuring seams are less uniformed, we can cut down the overall weight of the blank whilst keeping strength.
View the full range and purchase by clicking the link below.