I’ve always been a big Hardy fly reel fan, and I consider the Zenith Series of fly rods to be truly exceptional. So when I received an announcement that there was a new Hardy website I obviously took a look. Here’s an excerpt from that email:
We’re delighted to announce that our new website showcasing our Hardy Bros. range and the craftsmen behind it, is now live.
The Site allows you to shop online from anywhere in the world.
Hardy Bros. rods and reels, made in Alnwick available to buy online, by phone or mail order, and via your local Hardy dealer.
The website has some Hardy history, including some great old photographs, and it provides some information on Callum Gladstone, Tom Moran, and Charlie Norris. These craftsmen certainly need no introduction by me, but if you don’t know who they are click here. These gentlemen also provide the key to what you’ll find for sale on the new site, because if it isn’t made in Alnwick, you won’t find it for sale on the Hardy Bros. website.
The old Hardy website is still up and running, and it provides information on the complete Hardy product line, but offers nothing directly for sale.
With the announcement that Pure Fishing had purchased Hardy/Greys just days later (read Press Release), I’m curious as to what the strategy is for launching the new website now, and why it only includes the Alnwick produced products. But the timing isn’t the only thing. If I consider the fact that they also just announced that they are moving production of their classic reels back to Alnwick, which will make them Hardy Bros.® reels, (not just Hardy® reels) I really begin to wonder what is going on.
The old website has listed/labeled certain reels and rods as Hardy Bros. for quite some time, but the new website feels like a distinct shift in product placement to me, truly separating the two lines. The Bouglés are the first of the classic reels to be “repatriated” with models scheduled for availability beginning in September of this year.
I certainly don’t know what is to come for Hardy. But based upon the correspondence coming out of Hardy right now, one thing is clear to me. They recognize the cachet that the traditional Hardy Bros. equipment holds, and that a large part of that cachet comes from actually being produced in Alnwick. I own Korean made Hardy products, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. But if I had a choice, I’d prefer they were made in Alnwick, and have all the tradition, history, and clout that comes with it, even if that means a small increase in price. So based upon the information I currently have on the repatriated Bouglé pricing, I’ll declare,
The British are coming, and I’m glad they are!