Simba rods, handmade in Scotland

Attention to detail and an innate understanding and passion for angling are three factors that make Simba rods stand out in the somewhat overcrowded marketplace. You won’t find any Simba rods for sale in the angling outlets as they are all custom-made to order. The rods are handmade in Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland by Fisher Simon Barnes, and are personalised to suit the angler’s requirements.

The importance of understanding customer needs is the backbone of Simon’s work ethic. He was first introduced to fishing at the age of seven by his grandmother who taught him how to guddle trout. A close family friend showed him how to fish and to tie flies resulting in Simon catching his first trout on a fly he’d made. Simon spent more than 30 years farming trout in Scotland and introduced hundreds of beginners to the sport. The trout farm and fishery in Comrie won numerous awards over the years. Simon has fished all over for trout and salmon, from tiny hill lochs in the Highlands to the large Irish Lough Corrib.

Bespoke rod making was a natural progression for Simon, so in 2014 he created Simba rods, to offer a custom-made range of trout, salmon and saltwater rods. “With the huge increase in mass-made fishing rods, I felt that I would like to make rods, both for myself and for others, and to take the time to make them as individual pieces that will give years of service and pleasure,” said Simon.

Attention to quality and customer care were essential skills in Simon’s lengthy career in trout farming, and these principals are apparent in the Simba range of rods and how they are finished and presented to the customer. The rods are fitted with traditional cork handles and, unique Scottish-themed ferrule stoppers, supplied in handmade rod bags and Harris Tweed covered rod tubes (which carry the Harris Tweed logo of authenticity). All rods are covered by a two-year warranty and take approximately two to three weeks to turnaround and are delivered worldwide.

One of Simba’s best sellers is the ‘wee loch rod’, and was influenced by a very popular ‘smuggler’ rod from the 1970s. It’s ideal for the hill lochs and can be tucked into a rucksack as you head off into the hills with a map and a compass. Early April, John Dix, a Simba customer was fishing a small loch on Jura when he caught a 10lb trout on the ‘wee loch rod’. Simon said. “It took a small black pennell and, at least ten minutes for him to feel he had some sort of control over it. He couldn’t believe such a big fish on such a small fly! He hasn’t stopped grinning according to his wife.”

Simon also does his bit to support the Pink Ribbon Foundation. He offers a pink threaded rod and donates £20 for each one sold. Visit the website to keep up to date with developments of the range. Exciting news is coming soon!



Telephone: +44 (0)7976591717


This year you will be able to meet Simon on the Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Stand at the Scottish Game Fair, Scone on June 30th, 1st & 2nd July. More information can be found here