Following the most recent article requesting advice/comment upon that myriad of variations and so-called transitional models of the Hardy Bros reel “back catalogue,” a reel recently purchased from a most unusual source has, for me anyway, possibly ‘shed’ a little light upon the issue; for this reel at least!
A lovely 3 ¼” Hardy Silex Major, single-handed casting reel with two screw smooth brass foot, twin ivorine handles, and correct horizontal thumb bar casting “trigger”.
The rim tension/brake adjuster has what appears to be the correct 1/3 or ½ moon ivorine dial/gauge and the slotted vented drum core (with factory fitted sheet cork lining) are all good and correct.
But- looking closely at the back plate, particularly at the tension/brake scale- there is clearly the remains of an engraved “arrow” and a “plugged” disc of smooth alloy, apparently replacing or filling a hole?
Reference now to Mr Drewett’s classic tome, an almost constant companion, and an answer?
The Silex Major was introduced in 1923 to replace the Silex no 2.
The reel in my possession has a smooth brass foot, dating it to 1923-28?
The disc – identical size and position to one of the previous tension dials shown in Mr. Drewett’s book – section Silex reels:- from a No. 2?
Answer – when introducing the Major, Hardy had a surplus of ‘No. 2’ bodies originally drilled and engraved for the earlier gauge/dial?
Therefore why discard perfectly good bodies – commercially not sensible?
So – plug the hole, mount a new regulator/gauge, and “hey presto” the “Major” which subsequently went on to become hugely successful and a vast improvement on the No 2.
Conclusion: a variant, a transitional or just good business sense – in any event, a lovely little single-handed casting reel with a “tale to tell.”
A nice addition to any collection.