We all use the term on a regular basis, but what actually is a Palakona cane rod?
In 1882 Hardy invented a revolutionary system of building hexagonal-shaped or formed rods from lengths of split bamboo strip. Trade mark No 246936, they are sought after worldwide by collectors and anglers in equal numbers.
All the cane sections had to be identical and perfect, so that no matter which face of the rod was used, or onto which facet the rings were fitted, it gave a true casting action.
This system provided maximum strength, true action, and resistance to all stress and torsion. They launched the rods at the 1883-1884 Great Fisheries Exhibition in London where they were awarded a Gold Medal. So the Palakona Reg. trademark rod was born.
Hardy are world leaders in marketing fishing tackle and seized upon every opportunity to demonstrate their quality and developments.
Rods with inspirational names like the Princess Mary, the Perfection, The CC de France, Halford Knockabout, the Hebridian Fly, the Marvel, the Coronation, Paradox Mahseer, Special Spinning Tasmanian Great Lake, and The Shannon Castle Connell Balance Special, designing rods for lakes and rivers right down to a special beat. Their list of rods was immense but like any amazing restaurant, the menu had to be trimmed from time to time or it would have resulted in commercial chaos.
With a handful of Royal Warrants, a family of anglers and engineers and an eager audience worldwide, their Hardy Anglers Guides provided page upon page of glorious detail of their inventions and use.
Fishing hints and tips from brook trout to the mighty Mahseer, Hardy had a Palakona rod to suit every need. They even experimented with an Octagonal series of 8 strip rods but these were not a commercial success.
Hardy would build a rod to the best of their ability to do a job and then apply a price, unlike other machine/ factory made rods which were built to a price first.
Using specialist knowledge in the choice of the raw bamboo, they insisted on the very best quality bamboo for their rods, found only in a few districts. Only the best was used to build a Palakona rod.
It helped, of course, having JJ Hardy as a professional Champion fly caster, and LR Hardy, inventor and marine engineer who initially came up with the 6 strip concept. Hardy was proud to advertise “ “This is not entirely a business interest, but an enthusiast‘s hobby, as it has always been to Hardy”. It gives you a warm snuggle blanket of confidence that you’re dealing with fellow anglers, clouding over the hard nose businessmen necessary to the company’s success.
Of course all of the above matters not if you don’t have the skills. Hardy ensured they had the very best craftsmen building and finishing the rods to the very highest standards fit for a king.
As the years progressed so did the development of the Palakona, to include Split Bamboo rods with and without Steel Centre, Single build with 6 pieces of hex cane, double built with 12 pieces of cane. Double built with Steel centre and Hollow built all followed and increased the range to a staggering level of choice.
Stored in a constant temperature room, hung upright and dried after use, their rods will last a lifetime with anglers still fishing with examples over 100 years old, a true testament to their quality and craftsmanship.