Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: S Ontario rivers plus various lakes for warm water species.
Much in angling is 'a state of mind'. Hardy's farmed out their production or reels to save costs, to both mainland Europe and the Far East, letting go many fine reel makers who had worked at the company for years, only to re-instate them later on
The Lost World of Mr Hardy film , on You Tube touches on this and is most interesting.
However, like so many companies, Hardy's did not anticipate the backlash - why pay the same for a Perfect reel made by a robot far, far away from Alnwick. It is not the same.
I have a few old Hardy's, plus photos and bio's of the men who made them and exchanged letters (handwritten in envelopes) with one of them. Thinking here of the late Jim Hardy whom I sent a picture of a Perfect that he made , he informed me that he made it plus two others, when he started with the firm in 1950. Luck had it that I managed to also find the second of the three Perfects which he had made so many years ago, with his initials inside.
A couple of the reels of mine (early Hardy Silex's) took the 'finisher' a day and a half to make in the early 1900's. His (Walter Dingley) initial (D) being stamped into the reel for posterity.
There seems to be a trend for 're-shoring' lately, in other words, bringing production back to where it started, as customers don't mind spending the extra for the history and the quality of what they are buying.