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Hardy Fishing

How the leader in fishing tackle innovation and technology has stayed that way since 1872

by Evan Orensten in Design on 29 August 2011

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Inspired by founder William Hardy's initial foray into gunsmithing in 1872, the Hardy family has designed intricate reels and rods for over a century, creating mechanisms as eye-fetching as they are functional. Their pivotal innovation came in 1880, when Hardy (based in Alnick, England) turned to the exotic yet industrious material of bamboo as a material for their line of rods, becoming the first manufacturer to incorporate the material into a tackle device. The Hardy Fishing legacy continues today, bridging traditional craftsmanship with advanced technical design, establishing it as the leading name in game fishing tackle.

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Appealing to anglers, Hardy's dynamic Demon Reels, made of high-impact glass spools, have launched the company into the 21st century with what Trout Fisherman magazine describes as "Beautifully engineered...totally different from anything else on the market." With detail as the driving force behind their products, Hardy products have continuously pioneered the future of fishing, earning them numerous Royal Warrants and the Queen's Award for Export Achievement along the way.

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Ranging from the classic St. George Hotspur Salmon reel—made between 1920 and 1925 and just reintroduced— to the increased weight sustainability of the performance reel, the Angel 2 Reels, Hardy also keeps improvement at the heart of its production. The approach has brought the brand international recognition too as the first non-Japanese manufacturer to receive the Japanese Industrial Design Award five times over and being awarded the American Kudos Award for Design Excellence.

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Hardy also takes a forward-thinking approach with its SINTRIX fly fishing rods, a carbon fiber comprised of silica nano matrix material that enables a higher resistance to line drag and a stronger cast. Originally designed for the aerospace industry, Hardy is the sole U.K. license-holder of the patent.

As the forerunner of fishing tackle design, Hardy has seamlessly expanded into performance clothing with its EWS MK2 Range and an accessory line featuring tools like scissors, nets and pliers. To learn how to angle with the best of them, Hardy also has academy training centers throughout England.

Reels and rods begin around $500 and reach $8,000 for the new lightweight Zane Ti titanium reels.

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