Seaham car boot sale

Reel Bargain

                           Reel Bargain

A visit to Seaham car boot sale, early this year, and a Hardy fishing reel find made  me think lets do a blog page on fishing collectibles.

Fishing tackle with most appeal for collectors dates from about 1870 to 1930 and amazingly little change has taken place in this tackle apart from plastic, nylon and carbon fiber replacing the cork, silk and wood.

Natural wastage accounts for rarity with many of the rods and reels and this also applies to those only in production for a limited time.

 As a 'for instance' two Hardy White-Wickham big game reels made in 1929 for White-Wickham himself failed to attract further orders and they were abandoned.

 Then when one turned up some years later in New Zealand where White-Wickham used to fish it was believed to be the only one in the world - and priceless! It so happened that two slightly different reels made subsequently, and again not produced in quantity, also surfaced and when these featured in a Phillips sale they carried an estimate of £15,000-25,000 for the pair.

                          Reel Bargain

The chance of finding something like this is pretty remote but there are other things worth looking around for and it's surprising where some of this equipment shows up. In the same Phillips sale a Hardy's angler's knife sold for £310.

 A Hardy's combination gag, priest and fish carrier called The Boomerang' fetched £350. A 1906 Hardy four and a half inch salmon fly reel went for £290  and an unused hardy .the viscount 130 mark  silent  check three inch alloy trout fly reel sold for £90.

Only in the last few years have there been any   meaningful reference books concerning fishing tackle and with various items being highlighted there has been a surge of interest that has affected prices. It seems that many anglers are going for equipment both to use and keep for its rarity value and a spokesman at Phillips said there appears to be a revival in using the older style of tackle rather than fiberglass.

                               Reel Bargain

An interesting point here for fishermen who are also collectors, this type of equipment was built to last and the Hardy brothers, who were all expert anglers, knew exactly what was required of a rod and reel.

There is a story worth mentioning  , about these brothers and their  fastidious demands for high quality equipment that occurred at a time when workers in the factory were L paid by piece-rate. It was a custom then for one of the Hardy brothers to walk through the  workshops during the worker's lunch break carrying a club hammer.

Anything discovered not up to scratch with their high standard was instantly destroyed - and this also included the entire batch from which it came.

And another story to demonstrate their expert knowledge about rods, J.J.Hardy once landed a strong swimmer from a swimming bath with one of their hexagonal split bamboo rods just to prove  its  strength apart from fishing equipment   collectibles, there are medals, logbooks,photographs and artwork that fetch interesting prices.

                                  Reel Bargain

Two of Harold J.Hardy's Tournament Casting Medals awarded for distance bait casting events in 1936 featured in the Phillips sale and sold for £350 from an estimated £100-150. Two Logbooks including letters, papers and drawings sold well, one for £280 and the other for £350.

And a photograph of Harold Hardy and the Hardy's consultant, Captain Tommy Edwards taken at Crystal Palace in the mid 1930s sold against an estimated £40-60 for £120. For collectors interested in famous catches mounted in cases there were several of these that went for varying prices ... one containing a 3lb. 2oz. perch which sold for £65, a case with a 5lb two and a half oz. chub which went for £2,500 against a £600-800 estimate and another containing five brown trout, three in excess of 4lb  and one exceeding 51b, which also sold for £2,500.

This is not a fishy tail , just a case of fishing them out.

Collectibles Coach

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