Thursday, July 12, 2012

Inspired By Hardy

The life of a school teacher and rod builder means a summer off to spend with family, take a trip or two, and work on a couple fly rod build projects as interest or time allows.  Matt Leiderman of Leiderman Rods recently posted a couple Hardy inspired builds and rebuilds on the Fiberglass Flyrodders forum which I thought would be great to share here as well. 

Matt wrote...  "One of the Fiberglass Flyrodders forum members sent me his eight foot three piece six weight Hardy Jet for a bit of freshening up.  The original wraps were done with very coarse thread (and not all that neatly done) but more importantly, the ferrule fit was getting sloppy.  The spigots were worn down to a point where there was no longer a gap.

I removed the original wraps and fully intended to strip the rod down but the wrap varnish proved quite tricky to remove.  The safest bet was to fix the ferrules by trimming them 1/4" or so and adding a ferrule ring to prevent any further loosening.  Under one of the ferrule wraps I found that the blank was beginning to split slightly as well.  I simply replaced the wraps in place and revarnished, trying my best to blend the new into the old.

The original rod had gold tipped burgundy but we decided to go with a more mustardy olive main wrap and finer burgundy tipping.  Thanks to fellow builder Rich Margiotta for helping me find the perfect color."

"So... about the same time I had a Hardy Fibalite blank arrive from another forum member that needed to be finished out.  I debated about the finishing of this rod for weeks then took a good look at the Hardy I refinished and thought that would be a perfect inspiration for the Fibalite blank.

The Fibalite is a bit lighter (7' 4wt) so I scaled everything down and use a coarse diagonal knurl on the polished aluminum hardware.  The wraps were a vintage golden silk tipped burgundy.  They were color preserved and a vintage agate was pulled from the parts bin.  It came together nicely and certainly has an English feel to it."

I spoke to Matt Leiderman this week and his has several Kabuto Rods and Steffen Brothers blanks which are not called for yet.  If you'd like to inquire on a possible build please contact Matt by email at

Check out the Leiderman Rods website for more information and follow the latest shop news on the Facebook page.


Jay said...

Interesting post. I don't know much about the quality of Hardy fiberglass, but a couple of things here reminded me of something I remember from watching "The Lost World of Mr Hardy" (a great documentary about the Hardy company). There's a part where they talk about the early days of fiberglass and it beginning to replace bamboo... which Hardy was not happy about. From what I gathered, Hardy intentionally made some poor quality fiberglass to promote the idea that "if Hardy can't make decent glass, then it must not be a good material." I'm sure I'm not getting that quote exactly right, but I wonder if quality issues arise from vintage Hardy glass thanks to that effort.

Andy Heathcote said...

Hello, Hardy's early 'bad' fibreglass rods were made before the JET days. Once they became House of Hardy they embraced the new material, brought John Tarantino on board for design, manufactured in house with a new plant and took it all very seriously.
Andy Heathcote
(producer The Lost World of Mr Hardy)

Cameron Mortenson said...

Jay...interesting. I need to rewatch the film. I don't remember that reference.

Andy...thanks for stepping in with the comment. I appreciate it. This conversation is an excellent reason to watch your stellar film again.

Kieron Van Rooyen said...

I just acquired a house of hardy JET with the code N/B or N/8 not too sure which one it is. does anyone know what this means?

Cameron Mortenson said...

Kieron...someone on the Fiberglass Flyrodders forum should be able to help you with that.