I travel light, one rod, one reel and one floating line. I like a long rod and a simple click-and-pawl reel. I only use Hardy fly reels because I like the traditional designs and materials. I don’t like the current fashion for large arbour, plastic reels. I bought my first Hardy Marquis in 1973 and it is still a delight to use. It was very expensive but I have had nearly 50 years of enjoyment, that is excellent value for money.

In 1980 I bought a Hardy Marquis #6. Both of these reels were made in the UK from high grade aluminium. I recently bought a Hardy Duchess. It is also made in England and has the same simple click and pawl design of the Marquis.

Since July 2017 I have been using Rio lines. The coating feels supple and the core of the line is white braid. Excellent. Mr Robjent told me to stretch the entire line before loading it on the reel. I fixed it to the garden fence and gave it a good pull, several times.

I superglue a Greys copolymer nine foot tapered leader into the exposed core of the tip. I use the same leader for both nymphs and dry fly. The leader has a nice supple feel and no memory. 


In 2015 I bought a Hardy Jet Sintrix #4 10′ four piece rod. There were good reasons for my purchase. My right arm was worn out from casting and a light rod meant I could fish for longer. I like a 10′ rod, it helps when roll casting and enables me to reach over bankside cover. The rod has a fast, crisp action and having used it for several seasons, I am very happy with it.


Bob Southwell

I am not a tackle collector but I seem to have acquired quite a few split cane rods. The Bob Southwell fly rods are very special and I use them regularly. I may have become a collector without knowing !