A limited-edition reel by the renowned Alnwick brand Hardy has sold for £55,000 – believed to be a world record for fishing tackle.
Not only was the salmon reel in question one of a limited run of 150 to mark the Percy family’s 950th anniversary, but it was the very first time that Hardy has released any reel 001 for sale.
Its sale helped to net more than £300,000 at an auction at a gala dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the Atlantic Salmon Trust.
The proceeds will be used to help fund a major new study into the movements of the fish in a bid to reverse a century of decline in wild salmon numbers.
Guests of honour at the event were the Prince of Wales and King Harald V of Norway, both of whom were presented with one of the Hardy reels. Prince Charles was given reel 000, a prototype, while King Harald is now the owner of 002.
The Hotspur Cascapedia salmon reel came about after the Duke of Northumberland, a keen angler, asked Hardy to design and commission a reel to mark the 950th anniversary of his family and also support the work of both the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Trout and Salmon Conservation UK.
Named for Harry Hotspur, the reel frame is based on the original Cascapedia design of 1930/1. It features a fully-functioning drag system and a classic, resonating, click-check sound.
Decorated with the lion crest and colours of the Percy family and a light gold brushed anodized casing, only 150 are being made – all in the Alnwick factory.
The reel sits protected in a full-leather, hard-reel case, made exclusively by Pringle of Scotland, placed within a commemorative outer presentation box.
Each case features a booklet about the history of the reel design and its journey through the factory to completion.
As an additional homage to the Percy family, each reel package includes six hand-tied salmon flies, designed and developed by the Duke of Northumberland’s ghillie, George Inglis.
The remaining reels will be on sale from Thursday, June 15, and limited to one per customer.