Hardy Eureka No2 Reel
With John Drewett’s book “Hardy Brothers” published, the chance to say anything new about Hardy reels has virtually disappeared. Fortunately, I found a reference to Ed Zern’s Tobique River reel for the last issue. I would never have expected to find another “new” reel cropping up so soon. The Hardy Eureka No 2 Reel.
I don’t know the sequence of events in the production of this Eureka reel, but I can assume that it started life in the 1920s.
A well-established fact is that in the early 1920s catalogues Hardy produced, there is a reference to the Eureka reel with a picture of the Triumph casting reel. It was assumed to be a printing error for many years, a natural enough assumption. However, with the emergence of a few of these reels (also stamped Eureka), a satisfactory explanation has yet to be given as to why a production error should compound a printing error. Indeed the reel production department would not look in the catalogue, see the printing error and then decide to produce a similar reel. No, this was a planned production reel – the Eureka No. 2.
Hardy Eureka No 2 back plate
Hardy Eureka No 2 front view.
Let’s date the reel and find an answer as to who ordered it.
A note in the Jim Hardy paperwork, being auctioned at Phillips in January, proves it was a production reel (albeit of a limited run). The author of the note is requesting that one dozen “be put through” for Eureka’s in the next run of Super Silex reels.
The drum of the reel is the standard model found on the Triumph/Super Silex (twin ebonite handles, drum release latch and jewelled bearing) with a flange to enable the drum to be “palmed”.
The frame is 3 ½ inches and is fitted with a smooth brass foot, spindle, optional lever check, regulating brake arm with two opposing springs (fitted with brake withdrawal stud) and a rim regulating screw with half moon regulator.
Let us look at the components that make up the reel. The smooth brass foot indicates pre-1928. The optional check is the Longstone type introduced in 1921. According to John Drewett, Hardy introduced this type of rim regulator screw circa 1930. Hardy also introduced the half-moon regulator in 1928.
Now, this is just a standard Triumph reel that has, at some time in the 1930s, a fisherman has returned to the factory for the addition of a half-moon rim regulator. I could agree with that, except I know of at least four examples of this reel. The back of this reel has not very crisp stampings, but they are legible. They are” THE EUREKA REEL PAT NOS. 24245-9261 (to the left of the half-moon indicator). The bottom right of this is the indicating arrow for the old regulating mechanism of the Silex Major. The right of the brake withdrawal stud says MADE BY HARDY BROS. LTD. ALNWICK ENGLAND. Left of the stud is the direction arrow for use.
The name EUREKA can just be made out on the back plate.
Hardy Eureka No 2 reel 3.5 inch
I am sticking my neck out to date the reel, and I will opt for 1930.
Why was it produced?
Well, – because someone thought that it would be a good idea. Remember that, unlike the tackle makers of today, the old-time reel makers were quite prepared to make limited runs—even one’s or two’s as in the case of the two White-Wickham reels.
What was the reason behind its introduction? The problem with the Triumph reel was that the tension adjuster could only have three selected positions, unlike the newly introduced Super Silex with its variable half-moon regulator.
It was obvious that sales were slow, with only 38 of the 3 ½ inch Triumphs in the production book in four years from 1925 – 1928. Hardy would try anything that could potentially increase sales. Did someone ask for a “special” Triumph incorporating the new regulator? Or did some overseas tackle shop request a particular reel to meet local demand?
I would welcome your comments on the reason for the existence of this model. Please let me know your views.