returned from an afternoon's visit with Peter Anderson, undefeated
World Casting Champion and former head of rod design
Milbro latterly of Carfin, Motherwell Scotland.
as a company started life as DW Millard Ltd of Caledonia Rd London
then changed to Millard Brothers, but was most famously
as Milbro which was their famous trading name before their ulimate
demise some time in the mid 1980's.
joined Milbro back in 1955 and quickly became their chief rod
designer. He was also very much the face of Milbro because of his
a World Champion caster bringing them much press coverage and
publicity. He has been a champion in most casting events be it fly,
mulipier or surf casting and featured in about every Milbro brochure
of the time.
was behind the design of all Milbro rods and his successes include
the very highly regarded Milbro Truefly trout fly rods and the
Milbro Ghillie spinning rods.Other rods were the Verre range
of salmon fly rods in lengths of 12, 13 and 14 feet, the Enterprise
and Maestro range of course fishing rods, the budget Spinwell solid
glass rods and of course your very own Milbro Envoy.
wanted to improve on the then ABU Caster, so designed the Envoy
which you own (and shown above), from Milbrolite hollow glass and
married this 6 foot 3inch rod to an ABU speedlock handle to form a
rod which Peter required for accuracy rather than distance. In
essence it had Gottleib rod rings and less of a tip action which
Peter favoured when teamed up with an ABU Ambassadeur reel.
in the late 1950 and early 1960's, Milbro were so successful that
they were the sole UK importers of Mitchell of France spinning
reels, Penn of the USA reels, D.A.M of Germany, KP Morritt of
England, but most importantly to us, ABU of Svangsta Sweden.
the early to mid 1960's, James Whale McCallum of Milbro
apparently known to all as "Moby Dick"left to join ABU. He had
joined forces with Lennart Borgstrom and thus ABU GB was formed with
James McCallum at the helm.
was a frequent visitor to Svangsta and was well known to Len
and his father Gote and considered them both his friends. Peter
features in ABU Tight Lines of 1962 holding a brace of salmon one
17lbs., the other 26lbs. both caught on ABU Toby lures.
1968, Peter won the 5/8 ounce casting event with a record
distance cast of 106.23 metres with a Record 2100 Sport reel. He was
presented for his effort with a gold plated Ambassaduer
5000CDL reel with inscribed teak presentation case by non
other than Gote.
you have it, a very real connection between Sweden and Scotland and
your rod designed by the man himself.
Thanks to Mike Elsworth for this earlypre-Envoy and ABU Caster
Milbro catalog page
that does for you Wayne, Peter is quite a man. He was recently
invited to fish the opening of the River Dee. There were 12 rods
on the beat but only 1 man caught fish. Yes, you guessed it,
Peter. For a man now in his 80's his knowledge, skill, wit and
charm are unbeaten and undiminished. I feel privilidged to know
anything else comes up from Peter, I'll be happy to share. Peter
hoping to dig up some brochures, photos etc. If your emailing to
Len, tell him Peter and I send our very best regards.
An interesting local newspaper article sent to me by Duncan to
further paint the picture of Peter Anderson
Published on Tuesday
16 August 2005 18:38
JOHN Wayne, Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra and Tiger Woods:
American icons with one unique thing in common.
They have all had fishing lessons from Kirkintilloch's very
own 'Lord of the Flies', Peter Anderson.
A legendary figure in the sport, Peter (79) is a British,
European and world casting champion, and the inspiration for
many of the world's best anglers today.
Born in Luggiebank Road in 1926, by the side of the canal,
Peter developed a love of the sport at an early age.
"My father was a fanatic, the finest angler I ever saw, and
at that time the canal was the focal point of Kirkintilloch."
"I found it pretty easy to begin with because it was
absolutely teeming with fish.
"That probably kept my interest up initially and I used to
catch fish for the French soldiers during the war, which I
would exchange for chocolates and cigarettes."
After attending Lairdsland Primary and Lenzie Academy, Peter
left school at 16 to become a mechanical fitter, combining a
full-time job with his beloved hobby.
A spell with the national coal board followed before Peter
became a professional caster and angler during the 1950s.
From there, Peter's amazing talent took over and he won
countless national and international titles, while also
running successful, and massively productive, fishing courses
He said: "For over 20 years, I had 30 to 40 people per week
from all over Britain attending my fishing schools.
"Most people came for two weeks and I would teach them in
places like the Tweed Valley, the Spey, South Uist, Caithness
"It was a great time and we would give the hotels in all
these areas a big boost."
Peter, who still holds both the British casting record and
world professional record in salmon fly distance on water,
also worked as a consultant for a Glasgow fishing company, a
position which opened up an array of worldwide opportunities
He said: "I designed rods for the company, which became
Grampian Holdings, and also went all over the world giving
demonstrations to show that the rods worked perfectly.
"I ended up travelling to New Zealand, Australia, Canada and
America, where I did a lot of major shows and filming for the
"I also gave 100 demonstrations in Britain every year and
filled the Royal Albert Hall with 5000 people during this
Peter's success in angling was gaining him fame all over the
world and he became a star attraction at the annual Cow Palace
show in San Francisco for eight consecutive years.
He said: "It was a major show that eventually attracted
crowds of a million and they loved all the tricks I could do
with a rod, like slicing cigars in two.
"I could entertain them and the Americans used to call me
the 'Lord of the Flies' and the 'Kilted Kingfisher'.
"I still return regularly and was invited to the San
Francisco World Tournament in April this year. It was a great
occasion for me because the top five places were filled by my
It was also during his annual visits to San Francisco that
Peter started rubbing shoulders with some of America's most
"Every year they would have a different celebrity at the Cow
Palace show and I would give personal demonstrations," he
"Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio, Jack
Nicklaus and John Wayne - I gave lessons to them all
"More recently, I took Colin Montgomerie, Mark O'Meara and
Tiger Woods out to fish on the River Liffey after being
invited to Dublin's K Club for the Irish Open.
"I've also taught the Queen Mother, while Paul Young, who
has one of the most successful angling programmes on TV, was
another of my pupils."
Peter, who once won a world record ten medals at an event in
Switzerland, insists his proudest moment was winning the World
Championship at salmon fly distance - which he dedicates to
his late father.
He said:"My father was a classic example of the happiest and
most content man I have ever met.
"His love of nature inspired me and he was a shining light
on how much you could get out of life."
Peter, who has two children and four grand-children, is in
constant demand from angling enthusiasts all over the world
and still lectures and gives demonstrations to youngsters
through his Anderson Angling Academy.
He has also recently joined forces with rod makers Aquarius
to design the Peter Anderson Paraflex X.L series of rods.
Peter, who still lives in Kirkintilloch, is also fully
behind the bid to have the National
Casting Centre based at Campsie Outdoors in Milton of
Campsie, near Antermony Loch.
He said: "There are a lot of obstacles in the way at present
but hopefully we can get over that soon and get proper access
to the loch.
"It would give the youth something to do and help keep kids
off the street.
"Jim Curtis, the owner, has built brilliant facilities and
we could hold tournaments and create a Scottish casting team.
"East Dunbartonshire needs this facility - it would make a
Visit Peter's website on www.andersonanglingacademy.co.uk
you are a person that has significantly had an effect on
design/development/testing of ABU equipment over the years
please contact me
if you wish your contribution documented for posterity and the
immediate interest of the ABU fans worldwide!