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Cane is a catch of the day; Under the Hammer by Mike Litherland of Outhwaite and Litherland.

Byline: Mike Litherland

''I BELIEVE God does not deduct the time spent fishing from your allotted time in life, or so says the Oracle''...

When a collection of Hardy fishing rods came in for sale it reminded me of when I first stared fishing with an old Greenheart Hardy fishing rod, then with a lovely Hardy split cane rod, a present from my father. So this weekend there will be a sign on the door ''Gone Fishing''. I hope you enjoy your weekend as much, what ever you do.

Hardy's started in 1872, when William Hardy set up shop as a gunsmith in Alnwick, Northumberland, and that might very well have been the end of the story had not the great engineering magnate Lord Armstrong persuaded him to take his brother John James into partnership.

The Hardy brothers advertised themselves as 'gunsmiths, whitesmiths and cutlers', although the guns they sold were actually made in Birmingham.

In 1874, an advert appeared announcing that the firm was selling 'superior River and Sea Fishing tackle'. Broadening the scope of the business worked wonders and by 1882 the brothers were prosperous enough for William to marry Barbara Mary Leighton, daughter of the head gamekeeper of a local estate.

Barbara's father Robert was a very experienced angler and one of his legacies was a list of flies that appeared in the Hardy catalogues for many years.

To begin with the brothers bought in most of the tackle they sold, their reels. However, as the firm expanded, they realised they could hardly to depend on products made by competitors so, in 1891, after three years' patient development, they launched a reel which became their most famous product, the Perfect.

ROD: Hardy's split cane Other reels include the Fortuna (1921-1966), the Cascapedia, (first sold 1932-1939); the Alma, a multiplier made from 1925 to 1937; the Zane Grey multiplier, which sold from 1928 to 1957.

The last member of the family to enter the firm was James Leighton Hardy, who brought Hardys into the modern era with Fibatube, the plant which made the firm''s glass fibre and carbon rods.

In 1967, Hardy's was bought out by the Harris and Sheldon Group, the firm was renamed House of Hardy Ltd in 1985, with a further name change in 2004 to Hardy and Grays Ltd.

The Hardy's split cane rod pictured has an estimate of PS70-PS100 at auction.

We are now accepting quality items for our next antique sale. Our free valuation day at our Southport office has proved to be very popular, but if you have items too large to bring in, email: auction@lots.uk.com a photo, or we can come to you. Call 01704 538489.

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ROD: Hardy's split cane
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 19, 2014
Words:455
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