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Supplemental Guidance

In the first half of the 20th Century, competition amongst fishing tackle manufacturers and retailers was fierce with jockeying for the prime position of being number one. These retail techniques seem lost in today’s world where the tactile shopping experience has been relegated to the online world in the main however, just rewind to pre the 1940’s….

There is absolutely no doubt on the status and prestige associated with the Alnwick business, Hardy Brothers, and during the 1930’s, their desire to keep their customer base fully engaged with the latest tackle and techniques is best captured in their supplement to the annual fishing catalogues.

Just turning the front cover of the 1932 supplement you are greeted by photographs of the directors of Hardy Bros with John James Hardy occupying the centre spot. To me, this promotes the mainly family-oriented nature of the business and the multi-generational approach that the company adopted. This year’s supplement contains 56 pages of information which ranges from angling in Spain, Ceylon, British Columbia and Kenya to featuring the Decantelle, Cascapedia, Altex (Duck’s Foot) and the White-Wickham. Interesting that the last three reels detailed are all exceptionally rare and command large premiums if you want them to feature in your collections.

Similarly, the 1933 supplemental catalogue details even more fishing fit being packed with 107 pages of mid term information. There are more pages dedicated to new fishing destinations and an expanded look at the reels featured in the 1932 supplement. The 1935 and 1938 mid term editions and trimmed down versions with 40 pages and 58 pages respectively. The 1935 edition details two reels being the Barton and the Fortuna Junior, which are both rare in today’s reel collecting world and the 1938 edition dedicates 17 pages to the Jock Scott Spinning Outfit. Clearly an outfit that Hardy’s wanted to promote with nearly 30% catalogue allocated to it.

During this period Hardy also released supplements on Big Game Fish and Sea Fishing Tackle, Hardy’s Super Bottom Fishing Tackle and Your Rods in the Making.

All of the above are just examples of how Hardy maintained its relationship with its customer base in a time period where it can be easily argued was the height of their reel making and this is easily evidenced by the sums that these examples now attract.

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