Hardy Marksman Centre Pins

Thomas Turner

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The Hardy Conquest centre pin was a revered pin in the 1950s and with the appearance of the new Hardy Marksman rod range in the early 2000s, it was decided to reinvent the reel for the new century. Charlie Norris ( Hardy reel designer) and Stevie Harper (composites engineer) were put on the case and prototypes were delivered to Hardy consultants John Bailey, Jon Ward Allen and Dave Coster. The original reels to appear were labelled with the name Marksman but this was soon changed to Conquest as the reels went to market. We think a few Hardy Marksman centre pins might be still out there by the way.

Two models were created, the 4in and the 4.5in, and both were available in either silver or black hard anodised finish. The new reel was made from high quality 6061 Aerospace grade bar stock aluminium and featured a dual ratchet mechanism. The Conquest was designed around a gyroscopic inertia principle which Hardy claimed was responsible for the perfect free running of the reel. The reel bodies and spools were heavily perforated for lightness-the 4in version weighing a mere 191g. The reels came fitted with three handles and a line guard. However, a screwdriver was included and these could be removed as desired by those wanting to personalise the reel. Counterbalance weights were provided to replace removed reel handles so the reel’s balance could be maintained. The spools were easily removed and the reels could be converted to left or right-hand wind. The reels were supplied in a neoprene pouch.

The reels initially met with some criticism. The workings of the reel were exposed and the plastic looked cheap and out of place. However, this reservation has been disproved over the years by the reel’s robust performance. Today, the reels are highly sought after, even though light lines of under 4-pound breaking strain do tend to get behind the drum in breezy conditions. An emerging classic.

Click here to see the Conquest reels we have in stock now.

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