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Hardy Taupo Perfect Fly Reel
This reel is the definition of "proven." The first Hardy reel patent was registered in 1888, and since then many patents have followed. One of Hardy's most popular reels appeared in 1891. It was understandably called the "Perfect." It included most of the improvements that fishermen had been asking for up to that time. And many of those wants and needs haven't changed in 126 years.
The spool was narrow and deep. An adjustable check supplied the friction to keep the spool velocity from over running the line while playing a fish. Up to that time, most fine reels were made from brass. The first Perfect reels were also made from brass. After a short period they were machined from aluminum castings. This made the Perfect very lightweight for its time. A great contributor to the reel's success was its ease of disassembly. Who buys modern Hardy Perfect reels? All ages of angler, and a surprising number of them are under 30 years old. In North America, Perfects are very popular with steelhead anglers.
Hardy Perfect reels were designed for big fish. These reels were first made before WWI, when the the sun never set on the British Empire. Hardy Perfects were used to fish for Atlantic salmon in England, Scotland and Norway, where some of these fish then exceeded fifty pounds. Hardy Perfect reels still land large Atlantic salmon, and Alaskan kings.
The original 3-7/8" diameter “Taupo” Perfect fly reel was introduced in 1958, and continued production through 1962. It was designed to fill the need for a larger capacity trout reel to handle the legendary monster rainbows and browns of New Zealand, and was named after Lake Taupo there. Despite a relatively short production life of only four years, the Taupo was eagerly sought after as a steelhead, light salmon, and large trout reel. Continued demand for this classic reel inspired Hardy to reintroduce the Taupo for 2011, then introduce what became an expanding line of Wide Spool Perfects in 2012.
While all the dimensions and aesthetics are true to the original, Hardy made a couple of improvements. The new Perfects are machined from solid bar stock aluminum and hard anodized for strength and durability. This construction also does away with the need for a line guard, which was standard on the 1958–1962 reels. The check mechanism has been changed from the MK II to the more modern lightweight style, which enables the angler to change from left to right hand retrieve at will. While maintaining the looks, feel, and spirit of its ancestor, the new Perfects are stronger and a more functional successor to the Hardy classics. The 3-7/8" Taupo is a Perfect reel for switch, light Spey, Atlantic salmon and steelhead. The Wide Spool Perfect 4" reel is sized to appeal to anglers who fish with #7 through #9 weight two-handers.