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Old 03-09-2013, 10:29 PM
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Default Hardy Reels

I have been fishing with a Hardy - Hydra that was given to me by my dad for several years now and have been poking around on Ebay for another one or at least another vintage Hardy reel. However, I have yet to see a Hydra come up for bid and am unfamiliar with many of the other Hardy reels, specifically what line weights each reel is made for. Is there a good summary out there for this information?

Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Hardy Reels

Not sure where to look for a summary but if you name a few reels you are wondering about I'm sure some of the forum members have them or know the specs on them. Welcome to the forum btw!
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Hardy Reels

I'm familiar with the lightweight series which range from the Flyweight (too small to be used by anything above a 2 wt, IMO), the Featherweight (a great 3 or 4 wt reel), the LRH (a nice 5 or 6 weight), and the Princess (a 6 or 7 wt.). All are reversible and are available on the auction sites. If you want a vintage reel, you need to be careful and ask some questions of the seller.

The Marquis, St John and St George are larger reels but based on the same basic setup as the lightweights. Can't speak to the Perfects much except to say that the older ones are not reversible, so if handedness is important, be sure you know what you are buying. Right hand retrieve seems to be more common than left.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Reels

When Ard, or Hardyreels as he is known, gets back out of the bush, he can tell you. By the way, everyone cross your fingers and hope for cold weather for him so he can get back out of the bush.

I am thinking it won't be to long a wait. He's got to get back outta there before the rivers let loose.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Reels

I had a mint 3 5/8" Perfect with the smooth aluminum foot from the '70s or '80's and like a dummy I sold it. Like already said they can't be changed from right to left hand wind or vice versa. This model had the off white agate line ring guide and great throaty sound. It was a 7/8 weight reel. The 3 3/8" Perfects are 5/6 wt; 3 1/8" are 3/4 wt I believe(?).

On the cheaper end there is the vintage Viscount reels which are as follows; 150= 7/8/9wt lines, 140= 5/6/7, 130= 3/4/5 (these line sizes are my guesstimate)

Don't overlook the Marquis/ System reels for mid range priced vintage reels; they are great sounding reels with exposed rim for palming. Sometimes the Scientific Angler System reels sell cheaper than the Marquis reels even though they are identical and the spools interchange.

I've bought a number of vintage Hardys and never had a problem getting my money back and sometimes more. They don't lose value so you could try a few to find the ones you like best!
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Reels

I mostly fish with 5 or 6-wt. rods/lines, so I am most interested in reels that would fit these. Thank you all for the information so far.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Hardy Reels

I think you would like the Lightweight LRH, it is a very nice reel and there are usually quite a few of them available. If I were in the market for one today, I'd buy a new one. While not vintage and not hand-made in England, they are now machined from bar stock aluminum instead of cast and are made to closer tolerances. Plus you get the warranty. They are often no more expensive than what some of the vintage reels for on eBay.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Hardy Reels

I'm far from an expert but I am a big fan of classic Hardy reels. You've got some great advice from others already.

The Hydra is very similar to the Lightweight series so looking at a Lightweight is a natural option. My research tells me they might have stopped production in the early-mid 80's on the Hydra. I have seen them pop up from time to time and quite often they are mislabeled in their listing--on the auction site that is. I have seen some of them listed on other fly fishing forums too.

If you decide on the Lightweight series, I would give consideration to the LRH as gladdis mentioned as well as the Princess. Wanna brings up a good point that if you prefer a palming ring, you might want to look at the Marquis series. God luck on your hunt.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: Hardy Reels

Also might want to look for the Sage 500 series made by Hardy. The number corresponds to the line weight eg. 508 for 8wt line

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Old 03-11-2013, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Reels

If you decide you might be interested in the Marquis series, they were sold under by Scientific Anglers back in the day. Very nice reel for the money.
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