Uniqua and St. Aidan

Preston

Active Member
#1
I've never thought of myself as a collector but, looking over my (admittedly excessive) stash, I'm beginning to wonder. Over the years I've acquired quite a few, especially Hardys. My most recent acquisition is a 3 3/8" Uniqua which arrived from England just last week. It's apparently from around the 1928 period (though its smooth foot would argue an early date) and is in surprisingly good condition with tight bushings and retaining much of its original finish.

On another note, I have a Hardy St. Aidan into the frame of which someone had sloppily gouged his initials. I contacted Bill Archuleta a couple of years ago to see if he'd tackle cleaning it up but he had just decided to stop doing re-paint work. He suggested I sand out the initials and find some car touch-up paint to match the familiar grey of the Hardy Lightweight series. I was able to eliminate the scratches but could not find an accurate color match. Long story short, I'm wondering if anyone knows of someone who is capable of doing such paint-matching and re-painting.

Anyhow, here are a few pictures of the "new" Uniqua.

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RogueBum

Spey casting for Steelies year round
#2
Nice! Hardy made the most beautiful reels (still) on the market today. Leather, Oak, Scotch, an Old Tobacco Pipe & Classic Hardy Reels.
 

para_adams

Active Member
#4
I'd love an old Uniqua some day. I thought I had the steal of the century a couple months ago when I stumbled across a listing in ShopGoodwill.com for a "bunch of old reels" and when I looked at the grainy, out of focus listing photos I saw two Hardy Uniquas (one quite small), another somewhat newer but also collectible Hardy model, an old Dingly and an Ocean City to average things out. Thought I'd get the bunch for maybe $100. Ha, I guess that website is no secret because there ended up being multiple bids in the mid $500 range. Probably still a deal, but too rich for me! I'll be happy with my old Heddon 320 and SciAnglers System 7. Ron
 

RogueBum

Spey casting for Steelies year round
#6
Yeah... and bamboo ;)

I'm not sure I could fish with all that beauty. I think I would just sit there and lust over it, gazing at it's glory long into the night. My wife would be soooooo jealous!
 

Preston

Active Member
#7
Of late there seem to be quite a few Uniquas popping up on EBay, many of them being offered from England. They don't seem to come cheap though, many of them are out of my range right out of the starting gate. Prices for later model Hardys Like LRHs and Princesses vary all over the place (from reasonable to outrageous).

I'm hanging that Uniqua under a Wright McGill Granger (vintage circa 1946) for my sea-run cutthroat fishing this fall.

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Greg Armstrong

OldRodsHaveMoreFun
#9
BTW,
I have always really liked the "telephone" latch on your Uniqua.

It's the classy little details and design in those old reels that appeal to me. You don't see that time consuming attention on production reels made today.
 

Preston

Active Member
#11
Before I acquired my three Uniquas I was a little confused by the spool latch terminology. 1929 was apparently a year of big changes for the Uniqua and, among other things, the spool latch was changed from the early (stirrup, or horseshoe) latch

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to the later, and presumably more secure, telephone latch.

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RogueBum

Spey casting for Steelies year round
#13
Great latch shots! You just don't see that kind of simple engineering anymore... the kind that last generations. We're far too "advanced" nowadays to create something like that. Too bad :(
 

Preston

Active Member
#15
I don't choose to use any of my older Hardys (or Medalists for that matter) in the salt. I've never been able to convince myself that the finishes of these reels would stand up to the corrosive environment. Dan Lemaich showed me an older Uniqua which he had used in the salt that had developed a sad case of acne in spite of rigorous fresh water rinsing. I have enough modern reels with anodized finishes and stainless steel and plastic components to be able to reserve my antiques for freshwater fishing.
 

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