Transitional Reels – Specifically Hardy Bros

Dictionary definition of transition(al): 

“The process of a period of changing from one state to another”

Whilst the word “transition” is in essence quite simple to understand, its use in the historic tackle collecting field, particularly when associated with that most famous maker Hardy Bros, does or can create significant interest, marvel, joy and in my limited experience, considerable uncertainty. 

Why, you may ask, does a company with the history and pedigree of Hardy Bros, allow such reels that vary either significantly or in fact in an often quite minor way into the mainstream retail market place? 

Those early Hardy catalogues were superbly produced and profusely illustrated, describing, of course, modern developments in their tackle and specifically reel portfolio, introducing reel models, developments and improvements, yet many found can readily be said to vary from the catalogue!

Fantastic of course for collectors but why such variation from the standard? 

A well-known collector advises that it could almost be said that all early Hardy reels are variants or transitional?

A nightmare! Surely Hardy were in business to make money, particularly considering the vast numbers in their employ – standardisation must be more profitable than individual and bespoke models?

Whilst frustrating, a particularly intriguing aspect of the hobby. 

Any further thoughts would be welcomed.