Hardy Rods and Reels– A History Of Hardy Bros Tackle Makers

Download Fly fishing rod – Royalty Free Stock Photography
from © Dreamstime.com The House of hardy has been known as one of the worlds greatest tackle makers for over a century. Quality and excellence are their trade mark. They are recognised everywhere as one of the worlds greatest makers of fine fishing tackle.

William Hardy and his brother John James formed the Hardy Bros partnership in 1873. Initially they dealt in high quality firearms but soon changed direction. They both loved to fish and their passion became their business. Thus was started the famous line of Hardy rods and reels.

The early rods were made from greenheart,lancewood and hickory. In 1880 bamboo was added and soon the company invented split bamboo rods. Split cane rods were made from six segments split from a bamboo cane. These were glued together to form a tapered hexagonal rod. The Hardy Palakona split cane rod won them a gold medal in an 1881 exhibition.

Since then many kinds and models of split cane rod have been made by Hardy. They vary from the lightest of trout fly rods,through huge old salmon fly rods of eighteen feet in length. Even larger are rods made to handle the Mahseer. This huge and powerful game fish was caught in rivers in India where many Englishmen dwelt in the heyday of the British Empire.

In 1891 Hardy introduced their model Perfect fly reel and patented it’s design. This very fine fly reel has continued in production with minor alterations up to recent times. A favorite of both anglers and collectors the model Perfect reel is perhaps their best known product. This excellent reel was made in all sizes from small trout reels to large sizes for salmon fishing.

Hardy Bros invented many improvements in fishing tackle design. For salmon and trout rods they produced spiral lock joints which prevented a rod from loosening and coming apart. Stud lock joints and split end joints were also a Hardy Bros invention. Screw grip and W fittings for rod handles and bridge rings to allow freer line movement were other developments.

The first ball bearing fishing reels were made by Hardy Bros. Their invention of a check mechanism inside the reel arbor was a first. In 1911 they introduced the first large arbor reel. Hardy Bros were a true innovator in the field of highest quality fishing tackle.

The Hardy Bros partnership became a limited company in 1911 and in 1928 it became a publicly owned company. During world war two fishing tackle production had to take second place to munitions manufacturing. Immediately after the war Hardy Bros continued to expand its manufacture of fine fishing tackle.

Hardy Bros has won more than its share of awards for excellence over the years. A Hardy reel won the first American Kudos Award For Design Excellence. In 1984 House Of Hardy became the first non Japanese company to be awarded a Japanese Industrial Design Award and was in fact presented with five of these awards.

The House Of Hardy continues at the present time to manufacture the very best of fishing rods, reels and tackle. Their name continues to inspire anglers all over the world to own a Hardy product. Nothing else can quite compare.


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