by Steen Ellemose
Rev. Oct. 2018
This range of rods is considered one of the most successful from The House of Hardy. It was introduced in 1962, as a replacement of the legendary C.C. de France range, and they were available up to 1972. The Phantom series of rods was designed by James Hardy, and was one of the few series to be made without close wraps. The silk was black, with a red tipping. On most models, the reelseat was “Housed butt cap & sliding ring”, which is very light and holds the reel securely. In the catalogues 1964 – 1967 the 10′ rod appears with “W housing, ring and butt cap”, a system, which also is very light, and mostly known from the aforementioned C.C. de France rods. Some models was reintroduced as “build to order” in the catalogues of 1989, 1992 and 1997.
Normally the rods was supplied in two-piece configuration, but some models was available in three pieces. A very short model, 4’4’’, was made a single year, most likely aimed at the American market. The most common model to find (in Denmark), is 6’10’’, with 8’ and 8’6’’ coming up. Being one of the lightest rods-ranges from Hardy in the 60’s, it is most likely to assume that the dry-fly men of those days (and they were few in Denmark), who had only a limited number of models available, would pick a light and relatively short rod of the most esteemed brand, so a Hardy Phantom was the rod of choice. The Phantom rods are very good rods and in particular the shorter models are much sought after.
For the Phantom rods from 1962 – 1966 , the brand Hollokona is used in the catalogues and on the rods, Hollokona was reserved for rods with a hollow-build blank, which is made to decrease the weight of the rod. From 1967 the brand Hollokona is not used any more and the brand Palakona is used on all the Hardy top quality cane build rods. Mr. Henning V. Jakobsen kindly has informed me, that he has owned two 8’ Phantom, one a Palakona and one a Hollokona. The weight was the same, but the centre of gravity, was placed differently.
Phantom rods was available in these models:
1) The practical weigh varies, also the values given by Hardy in their catalogues. Some models becomes approx. 14 grams lighter at decreasing age.
2) The length of the handle varies, also the values given by Hardy in their catalogues. On some models, the handle decrease ½ or ¼ inch (ca. 1,25 and 0,65 cm) at decreasing age.
I am the happy owner of a Hardy Phantom 6’10’’, which I use with much pleasure. It is light and delivers the fly both far an accurate. The only disadvantage is the length. When fishing from the banks, which is common in this country, the rod is at its shortest when grass and reeds are tall in the summertime. But where cows grass the meadows or wading is a possibility, it is a fine rod.
© Steen Ellemose, Denmark.