The Spitfire Story

We received an interesting response to John Stephenson’s blog of 1st April regarding the Spitfire reel. See below for some additional detail from our guest blogger ‘Tippit’.


A note to congratulate you on your fabulous blog regarding the evolution, development and eventual production of the iconic Spitfire reel finish from the famous Hardy Bros’ stable back in the day.

I was particularly interested to note the author`s own personal interest and link with the “Spitfire” name, with his own family’s wartime experiences.

I also have a family link with the reel’s production and the little known fact of its limited production in North America.

Many years ago, my grandfather, himself an enthusiastic salmon and trout fisherman, took the brave decision to travel to Virginia, to the valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains and to the small town of Lonesome Pine in an attempt to develop his own business of double glazing unit manufacture

Whilst in Lonesome Pine, my grandfather did, of course, look to seek out available fishing on the local streams and rivers

During these investigations, he quite by chance came across Mr Laurel himself (Stanley, he recalled) who was himself travelling to the area to both “market” the new range of reels and to also attempt to find local artisan craftsmen to commence a limited production in the area.

A photograph, albeit a little grainy in quality, did exist showing a couple of these local tradesmen with examples of their work.

My grandfather and Stanley struck up quite a friendship which lasted for many years, even after they both returned to England.

Our family do have one of the earlier production reels, a lovely Uniqua trout reel in 3 3/8 ” size, known to us as the Stan Laurel reel.

Hope that you find these notes to be of interest and again many thanks for your article which prompted my response