Centre Line Patent rods of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

Centre Line rods occasionally turn up and what a good idea in principle they are. This 14’ 3 piece model is a heavy river or casting rod in hollow fibreglass, perhaps for barbel, pike or even salmon. Tewkesbury sits on the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Avon, both famous for such species.

The principle is that the rod has no external rings or guides and the line runs inside the blank, not outside.

The line is threaded using a needle or wire through the tiny red agate on the butt section, appearing from the alloy tube end ring. The good news – no damp line sticking or freezing to the rod blank, no tangling or wrapping on the rings. The bad news – the size of the entry red agate is an issue for any fixed spool reel. The large-diameter loop generated from the spool is huge by compassion and causes friction at this point, so it’s better for centre pin style reels.

They never really caught on, probably a distinct lack of trust from the angler in not being able to see the line throughout the rod’s length.

I see on the bag label the Patent is Pending and may not have been granted or sealed.

They were not the first and probably won’t be the last to try this design. I remember trying out a Daiwa white centre line boat rod the rep brought into my tackle shop in the ’90s. I used it barracuda fishing in the Florida keys with braid, it didn’t work and the braid nearly cut through the rod internally, it was clearly not for that job.

All said there are quite rare rods and not a huge number of them about.

The bag is good; the spare top guide plastic adapter is good as is the maker’s intact label with makers details.

Tewkesbury should be rewarded with an accolade for an ingenious design that’s never quite made it, but worth the try. Click here to see our listing.