2017 marks 110 years since fishing tackle supplier Hardy first incorporated. Their reputation for quality stands to this day. Hardy was always committed to maintaining this reputation. This drive spurred them on. The results of their innovation have made modern angling what it is today. This blog reflects on those innovations, and the history of this legacy brand.
Three years of rigorous development resulted in Hardy’s first patented reel. Released in 1891, it was ambitiously titled ‘the Perfect’. Its design addressed many needed improvements for fishermen. For one, it was very easy to disassemble for maintenance. The Perfect was also amongst the first reels to introduce a revolving ring line guard. This prevented the line from getting caught around the back of the reel. The design of the Perfect forms the basis of modern fly reels. As such, it is regarded as the most successful in history. The Perfect has been consistently updated to this day. See for yourself how the classic design has been modernised for 2017.
Launched in 1932, the Altex was the first to include Hardy’s patented full bale arm. It solved a common cause for frustration amongst anglers: repeated tangling. It was now much easier to efficiently retrieve fishing line. Today, the full bale arm helps anglers switch between casting and retrieval modes. However, there was one big issue at the time of the release of the Altex. Braided natural fibre lines were still the norm. The Fishing Museum writes that it 'allowed anglers to cast light rigs with extreme precision. But the lines that were available for them simply weren’t up to the job.' The Altex was ahead of its time.
In the 1960s, the Ministry of Supply identified the benefits of carbon fibre in aerospace and automobile manufacturing. Eager to discover other commercial opportunities, they turned to Hardy. This sparked a collaboration between the Moncrieff Rod Development Company and the Royal Aircraft Establishment. This resulted in Hardy launching the first spinning rod.
Never before had a rod been so powerful, but there were complications.
It was too powerful. Flies would snap repeatedly upon cast. Hardy resolved this by reducing the diameter on their mandrels. Despite the new lighter cast, there was still work to do. As this took place, carbon fibre rods were beginning to flood the market. However, taking time to perfect their designs had its rewards for Hardy. Amidst ferocious competition, Hardy carbon fibre rods stood out for their quality and reliability. Hardy carbon fibre rods remain a go-to choice to this day, with popular products such as the Hardy Shadow Fly Rod.
Hopefully, this blog has shown how Hardy has profoundly shaped how we fish today. We sell a range of Hardy rods, reels and accessories at Harris Sportsmail, all at the lowest price online thanks to our price match guarantee. Click here to take a look at our Hardy products.