We have received an email from Steve Stayner who sadly reports that almost a year to the day, he has again fallen foul of a burglary at his home. This time, thieves felt the need to relieve him of five rods, one rod blank, and a digital compact camera.
Steve explains; â€œI appeal to anyone who may be able to help with retrieval of these items. Obviously I would like everything back, but realise the chances of that are rather slim. I'm told by the police, however, that because of their scarcity (meaning that the majority of stolen rods are easily identifiable), I can live in hope.
At the top of my returns wish list are two precious (to me) Barbel Master rods. There are approximately only 50 of these rods in existence, owned by a few anglers countrywide. Because the manufactures cannot locate a special material incorporated into one of the twin tips, the rod is no longer commercially available. Being of my own design, these rods carry a label that reads 'Steve Stayner (small text) Barbel Master (large text), Hand built by Harrison Advanced rods'. Should this be removed, the rod can still be identified by the emerald green coloured blank that has a 1K woven finish. Most easily identifiable, however, is the tip incorporating the 'soft top' technology, which allows the final nine or ten inches to bend more quickly than the material below it. Uniquely, the action rests somewhere between a quiver tip and conventional rod top, but there in no splice.
Being the very first and last models to be built, I value both of these particular Barbel Masters far beyond their retail price. One is brand new and therefore totally unused. Because I always take extremely good care of my tackle, the older one shows minimal wear, notably by the possible absence of the Fuji reel seat sticker, and the addition of a little dirt around the stainless steel handle button. Even if I never resume fishing, I would like these rods back. In particular, the older one holds memories of a few wonderful captures.
Moving on to list other stolen items: Quorum Rod. Unlabelled 3-piece prototype rod with two butt sections, both of which are fitted with increased diameter handle grips, making them easily distinguishable from run-of-the-mill fittings. Not many manufactures produce rods with two butt sections, least of all with fat duplons attached.
Specialist 12' rod. Two Piece. Again fitted with unusually fat duplon grips, this may well be offered with three separate tips. One is a straight 2lb top. The second has a spliced in quiver-tip (sprayed fluorescent white/yellow, with two light attachments whipped on). The other contains the very first soft-top ever to be built, so therefore has the quiver tip-like action with no splice. The blank is dark grey and has my name written of the underside.
10ft Stalker. Prototype unlabelled blank with full cork (soiled) handle with sliding Roberts reel fits. Looks like it's had some stick this one. Very slim dark grey blank.
10ft Stalker: Blank only with maybe two tips. I guess few of us are ever offered rod blanks. Easily remembered if you are asked if you want to buy one - especially for next to nowt.
Digital Camera. Canon Powershot A80. Has a rotating display screen, enabling self-protraits to be easily composed from the front of the camera. Cameras like this are ideal for anglers. This model was discontinued around two years ago and replaced with the A95. Both models look virtually identical. My stolen A80 will be offered with rechargeable batteries (usually not supplied by Canon) but no software. The case in which it was kept also has a couple of spare compact flash cards and some standard alkaline batteries in it.
Please note that I have so far notified the angling weeklies and the Derby Evening Telegraph about the theft. Any information leading to the recovery of any of my property will be greatly appreciated and may even be rewarded - especially concerning the Barbel Masters. Thank you very much for your time"
Any other fishing sites willing to help, please feel free to cut and paste this message on relevant boards. Anybody with information can call Steve Stayner on his mobile: 07966 734225 or the Derbyshire Police on 0845 123 3333, who appeal for any witnesses or to anyone with information about these rods to come forward.