Hardy Salt Water No 1 rod made for Catalina Club rules

As we continue to buy in big game rods, reels and collection it becomes obvious this was not a poor man’s sport. Hardy’s of Alnwick soon realised the potential of high retail values on rods, reels and tackle in this arena.

Many will have heard of the Zane Grey and Hardy Saltwater rods made from Palakona cane and hickory wood.

In a collection we acquired this week, along with the huge Salt Water No 6 rod, was a Saltwater No1 with a test curve of only 7lbs. A mere wisp of a rod, it looks more suited to pike than tunny or tuna.

However, this rod was specifically designed to suit the rules of the Catalina Tuna Club Light Line Class. Founded in 1898, the Tuna Club is the oldest fishing club in the USA, and a California Historical Landmark in Avalon Bay.

It originated from a 183lb bluefin tuna being caught by founder Charles F Holder, and its values are to elevate the sport to the highest level whilst managing tuna stocks in the Southern California game fishing waters.

Members and visiting dignitaries included Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Bing Crosby, White-Wickham and Zane Grey.

Zane Grey, who wrote “in order to fish I write” built a home on a hilltop overlooking Avalon Bay and many of his iconic novels were crafted from here. After his death in 1939, it was converted to a hotel, closed in 2011, reopened in 2019 and now 8 suites bear the names of his best selling novels.

Reading through the Hardy Big Game fish catalogue, many prominent UK fishermen gave testimony to the quality of the tackle including Fred J Taylor, Richard Walker, H White-Wickham and of course Zane Grey, all of who had a long relationship with Hardy in the product development departments. Click here to see the rod.