When Jim retired, the firm found itself without a Hardy at the helm for the first time in 120 years and in retrospect, this changed things more than anyone bargained for at the time. R Hardy's trip to the Chicago Fly and Bait Casting Tournament in which they came first and second in one of the classes, after which the firm was solidly represented at the major competitions until well after the Second War.
It was an instant success and the firm has built it, with occasional interruptions, right up to the present day, a feat that no other tackle manufacturer can even begin to challenge.
Other reels made by Hardy include the Fortuna (1921-1966) which was an "in" joke, given that it was for tuna; the Cascapedia, the original of which was sold from 1932-1939; the Alma, a multiplier made from 1925 to 1937; the Zane Grey multiplier, which sold from 1928 to 1957 (and is amongst the most collectible of all Hardy reels now); and the impressive Jock Scott multiplier, which was on the shelves from 1938 to 1952; but there were many others, such as the St. Hardys had a talent for innovation and one of the firm's many firsts was a patent on the full bail arm, which was introduced on their Altex spinning reel in 1932.
This model features a wide spool for better capacity, a time proven check system, and that classic Perfect sound.
Ever since Forster Hardy was first granted a full patent for the Perfect reel design in 1889, our engineers, developers and consultants have been constantly striving for ways to improve on perfection, tweaking and adjusting to bring you what we believe are the best reels in their class to date.
By then, the writing was well and truly on the wall for the Bondgate building, which, state-of-the-art though it might have been 80 years previously, had become cramped and unsuitable, not to mention a serious fire hazard, thanks to decades of glue, varnish and oil soaking into the woodwork.
A new factory was planned, but before the transition could be made, the firm ran into a serious cash flow problem, caught in the vice of the far eastern tackle trade expansion.Even though Hardys are no longer a family business, the company continues to value its tradition as well as its founders' endless quest for improvement.In the past decade or so, Hardys has paid homage to its history with several lines of reels designed specifically for the collectors' market - these ranges have tended to sell out very quickly and have provided many anglers with a second chance to own reels which would otherwise be far outside their price range.To begin with the brothers bought in most of the tackle they sold, their reels, for example, coming from Malloch.However, as the firm expanded, Hardys found themselves with a reputation for superior quality tackle to defend and realised that they could hardly continue to depend on products made by competitors, so in 1891, after three years of patient development, they launched a reel which became their most famous product, the Perfect.While William kept the firm on a sound financial footing, JJ's fertile mind never stopped thinking up new ideas and even after retirement he continued to devote his time to products like the Hardy angler's pipe, much to the annoyance of his sister Emma, who had to put up with him smoking all the experimental versions in the evenings.