I fish with only one rod, one reel and one floating line. I rarely buy new tackle. 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 reel in 1973 and it is still a delight to use. It is #5 and the 3″ spool easily holds a #4 WF line. It was very expensive but I have had over 45 years of enjoyment and it is worth more today than I paid for it. That is excellent value for money.

I have turned off the ratchet so that it doesn’t make a noise when extending line which I find annoying. In 1980 I bought a Hardy Marquis #6. Both of these reels were made in the UK from high grade aluminium. I bought a Hardy Duchess from Peter Cockwill when he closed his shop in Albury. It is 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 R 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. I’ve stretched the line again since loading it on the reel and I clean the main body frequently. The line has improved my presentation, it is a joy to use at 10 yards.


In 2015 I bought a Hardy Jet Sintrix #4 10′ four piece rod. There were good reasons for my purchase. My right arm is worn out from casting and a light rod means I can fish for longer. I visited Albury Game Angling and waggled a few rods. I was dubious about buying a four section rod, surely the joints would alter the action ? I like a long rod, it helps when roll casting and enables me to reach over bankside cover. The Hardy was the lightest 10′ rod in the shop and when it was fitted together I could hardly see the joints. The rod has a fast, crisp action and having used it for several seasons, I am very happy with it.


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 !