Tank radio aerials converted to fishing rods

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I was reading the obituary of Tim Benn in The Times (28 October 2019) in which it was reported that he started off his fishing career using a tank radio aerial as his first fishing rod. I am of the vintage who can recall seeing these advertised in Exchange & Mart and other publications. How I longed for one, but was told that my parents could not afford one and I had to make do with the top section of my father’s sea rod with a brass reel taped to it.

Does anyone on the forum have experience of using such a rod?

I blame this disadvantage in my early years for the rod collecting habit I have now acquired.
 

spawny

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I used one in the sea but unfortunately the eyes are all corroded. Have new eyes to put on it but have not got round to it yet! Quite a soft action but nice feel to it.
 

budge

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I remember my dad's kicking around the garden shed when I was a lad, can't remember trying it though

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Bruino

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First rod I owned was made in a coal pit workshop from a tank arial along with a small brass reel
 

AlanT

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I still have one. It was my uncles. They were common post war as surplus.
Apparently all tank aerials came out of the same factory. I can't remeber which one.
My uncle knicked his when in korea and brought it home
I've never used it but will take a photo when I get back home.
 

rodbender

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I remember being jealous of my cousins tank aerial! you could buy them at a stall at Glasgow barra`s
 

Elibank

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I still have one. It was my uncles. They were common post war as surplus.
Apparently all tank aerials came out of the same factory. I can't remeber which one.
My uncle knicked his when in korea and brought it home
I've never used it but will take a photo when I get back home.
Accles and Pollock Ltd of Oldbury
 

mcminnow

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My first spinning rod in 1960 was an 11ft tank ariel. It corroded just above the butt so I had it adapted to a 9ft rod. I landed 8 salmon using it before I received a fibre glass rod for a Christmas present. I used it with a Mitchell 300 reel which I ended up using for 40 years.
 

westie4566

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Never had one but a pal did back when I was a kid. At that time my flyrod was 9'6" Milbro glass one (which was like a piece of spaghetti). My mates tank aerial was even more so!:D
 

Richardt3227

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Started my coarse fishing in late 50s with one of these. Bought from an army surplus shop in Cardiff, added corks to make a handle and whipped on rings. Used to catch quite good roach (1-2lb) in the River Taf in the centre of Cardiff (if you watch Glamorgan county cricket club on the box) the prime spot was an excellent pool directly in line with the wicket at the Taf end. Also used it in the dock alongside what is now the Welsh Assemby building although bsck in the day the dock was full with proper ships.
 

happy days

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I well remember them, used to buy them from the army and navy stores in Lime street which was an emporium of war surplus everything from gas masks to nazi uniforms and trench coats, tents, knives, boots and flags, Its now an emporium of drunken coke heads and late night lonely hearts, how times change.
 
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My first fishing rod!Caught my first ever sea trout on worm-felt a bite and struck so hard the fish about 1 1/2 pounds landed some 15 yards behind me.Must have had some strong nylon!Aged 6.Those were the days.Richard.
 
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Thanks to all who have responded. I was just wondering what I had missed. I continue to blame this experience for my tendency to acquire more rods than I will ever have a use for.
 

goosander

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My first rod was one obtained from a place in Glasgow. That was about 70 years ago. Very floppy with a mind of its own. Replaced it with a solid glass rod and later with a hollow glass rod.
At the end of this season with all the high water I decided to try out the old Hardy Graphite 15ft 4 inches on which I have had hundreds of fish in the past. You could throw a 2 inch brass tube across the river with it. It was horrible to fish with being heavy and no life in it. Went back to my Hardy Swift and the difference was between night and day. We do not realise how lucky we are with todays tackle.
Bob.
 

tenet

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Had one back in the mid 50's before my dad bought me a 13ft Spanish reed spliced split cane top section bottom rod made by Martin James of Redditch. Still have it up the loft.
Caught many a bream and skimmers on the West Drayton gravel pits and river Colne. Happy days😁😎
 

budge

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Had one back in the mid 50's before my dad bought me a 13ft Spanish reed spliced split cane top section bottom rod made by Martin James of Redditch. Still have it up the loft.
Caught many a bream and skimmers on the West Drayton gravel pits and river Colne. Happy days
Ha ha my first "proper" rod was also a Spanish reed /spliced cane 11 foot carp rod. Bought 2nd hand from a local tackle shop by my dad. It saw many years of service used for everything from pond to sea fishing. It might even still be lurking in my dad's shed

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guest2938

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My uncle talked of having one of those tank Ariel rods, recalls walking into the beat hut on the Dee and getting a bad reception

DCH
 

Middle Bay

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My fishing pal's Dad made him a tank aerial spinning rod back in the 60's when we were boys. It was about 9 feet long, very flexible and I recall him catching plenty of perch from the Barrhead dams on it. Even then I thought it was heavy with a floppy action in comparison with the solid glass rod I used.
 

Llandogo

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My very first rod was a tank aerial that my dad bought from Exchange and Mart. Caught just about every species of fish that swam in the Wye. Can’t remember what action it was but I think it was a bit whippy. Like most rods I have owned ended up breaking it.
 
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