Talk about good timing. Junior had been talking earlier this fall about light salmon reels and Hardy’s “Taupo” — a relatively scarce reel that had been in production in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s — was one of the models that had come up in our conversation. Well as it turns out Hardy has decided to reissue the reel for 2011 and I was even able to get a peek at one a few weeks ago at the Art of the Angler show.
The backstory to the Taupo is that it was originally designed for fishing in New Zealand’s famous Lake Taupo, notorious for it’s supersized trout. The standard trout reels of the day just weren’t up to the task so Hardy created the Taupo as a kind of specialized heavy trout reel — suitable for New Zealand’s behemoths but also good, it turned out, for light salmon and steelhead as well. The original Taupos were only produced for a few years (1958-1962) and they’re fairly scarce on the secondary market. Since much of the fishing I do in Canada is on smaller water and with fairly light rods, I had always thought that the Taupo seemed like it might be an ideal companion to the 7’6″ Hunt Pattern that I typically use when salmon fishing.
Anyway, according to the folks at Hardy the reissue is being made according to the same specifications as the original, albeit with a few modern improvements (they’re machining it from solid bar stock aluminum and hard anodizing it for a little extra durability). It’s supposed to be available in 2011, and I’ve pasted the official specs below. Personally I think it will be a nice addition to Hardy’s lineup of modern classics.
The Hardy Perfect “Taupo” Diameter: 3 7/8″ Width of Spool: 1″ Overall Width: 1 1/2″ Depth of Spool, cross bar to spindle: 1 1/2″ Weight: 7 1/2 OZ Retail Price: $695