Hardy is producing an engraved, commemorative gold edition of the St George reel in a limited run of 100 reels to celebrate the wedding of Prince William of Wales to Miss Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011.
Hardy has had connections to the British Royal Family since 1898 when The Duke of York granted his Patronage to the company. This was followed in 1901 by the Prince of Wales, who went further by granting a Royal Warrant, an authorization to a tradesman to supply goods to a royal household. Further patronages or Royal Warrants were granted by The Princess Royal (1906), King George V (1911), Queen Mary (1911), Princess Mary (1923), and The Prince of Wales (1931). Since 1980, Hardy has held a Royal Warrant as manufacturers of fishing tackle for the current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles.
Named after St George, Patron Saint of England, the first model in this long running series was a 3 3/4″ trout reel, weighing only six ounces. It was not just an incredibly lightweight reel for its day – it was also fitted as standard with such innovative features as a circular agate line guard and a compensating check. The original St George reels were produced in Alnwick from 1911 until 1983.
For the Hardy collector, the original St George is considered something to behold and highly sought after.
The Commemorative St George reel will be available on April 15, 2011 for an MSRP of $1200.