Hardy’s Diamond Jubilee Perfect Fly Reel

  

Hardy’s “Perfect” is a legendary fly reel.  Brass versions were being marketed by 1890 (Jess Miller, The Dunkeld Collection, 6), and several versions are still being produced today in Hardy’s Alnwick, England factory.  The plate-wind reel with internal ball bearings has given birth to several other Hardy reels, and it has inspired the production of reels from many other manufacturers as well.  It is one of the reels approved of by Frederick M. Halford (b 1844, d 1914), the famous “dry-fly purist,”  who was notoriously rigid in his recommendations of fishing tackle and technique.  In his preface to 1919’s The Dry Fly Man’s Handbook, he offers descriptions of the reel provided by Mr. J.J. Hardy (then managing director of Hardy Brothers, Ltd.), in “whose judgement and bona-fides” he has “full confidence.” (1).  Halford quotes J.J. Hardy as saying, “Those who have once used Hardy’s ‘Perfect’ reels with ball-bearings, regulating check and line guards, which can be dismounted in a minute without the use of any tools, would hardy be satisfied to go back to the older form, or indeed any reel which requires a tool chest and some knowledge of mechanics, before it can be dismounted” (26).  Apparently, J.J. Hardy was right, since the Perfect remains in production.

The first edition of Halford’s Dry Fly Entomology.
A plate of actual flies, included in the Dry Fly Entomology
The latest version of the Perfect to be released by Hardy is the Diamond Jubilee Reel, made to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th year on the throne.  On Hardy’s website, the reel is described as, “One of a Limited Edition of 250 reels commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the 140th anniversary of Hardy Bros., and marking 100 years since the introduction of the ‘1912 pattern check’.”  Hardy USA President Jim Murphy tells me the reel will retail for $2,400.00.  All 250 reels, however, have already been claimed.
 
In the above pictures, notice the strapped tensioner and famous rod-in-hand logo.  According to Hardy’s 2011 Fly Fishing Catalogue, the latter is being reintroduced to the made-in-England “Hardy Bros” range (formerly the “Heritage” range).  You can read more about the Diamond Jubilee Reel here, on Hardy’s website. 
 

Me, in front of a display at Hardy's Alnwick, England headquarters.

2 Responses to “Hardy’s Diamond Jubilee Perfect Fly Reel”

  1. Hardy’s Diamond Jubilee, further notes « The Literary Fly Fisher Says:

    […] The Literary Fly Fisher A Website for the Contemplative Angler « Hardy’s Diamond Jubilee Perfect Fly Reel […]

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  2. Hardy’s Diamond Jubilee Reel, further notes « The Literary Fly Fisher Says:

    […] The Literary Fly Fisher A Website for the Contemplative Angler « Hardy’s Diamond Jubilee Perfect Fly Reel […]

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