Strain Stops Play

A different post. You might be wondering why my fishing has gone a bit quiet of late ( OK you probably couldn’t give a stuff… but it has). Even more amusingly if I said I injured myself in bed and it’s curtailing things. Before a vision of my 50 odd-year-old wreck of a physique engaging in acrobatic bedroom “antics”  puts you off your tea, breakfast and countless other meals for days, I need to elaborate. At risk of when having dug a hole, it’s best to stop digging… if I added this happened when away from home in a hotel, it might explain the problem better…. or maybe not!

I was away on a course for work and was staying in a reasonable hotel near Bristol. It was a rather warm and stuffy night and the bed unlike my own at home had sheets and covers ( I just sleep under a duvet at home- like you care). I was trying to get comfortable in the strange bed, (I have enough bother at home sleeping, what with all my aches and pains) and I tried to turn over with minimal physical effort but the damned sheets were kind of clinging to me, being as it was so warm, and I rather over exerted myself. Rather than simply sort the covers and turn myself over I tried to force my 11 and a half stone of blubber and bones past the friction of the sheets using nothing more than my manly torso. I felt something tear in my ribs and I thought “oops! that’s not good”. A number of years ago- I think back about 2010 or 2011 I had a bit of a fall on a waterslide while on holiday in Egypt and ripped the muscle between my ribs- luckily I didn’t break the ribs ( well the doctor didn’t think I had- but I could barely move for about 2 weeks after it unless drug assisted). It took an age to heal and I still get the odd twinge from it to this day. I think I aggravated the old scar tissue and basically ripped the muscle again ( not as badly though).

On the good side, moving about was mostly OK but it was very sore to the touch. I chanced an hours fishing last week when up at Pendreich and it didn’t really seem to bother me but I paid for it in spades over the next three days and I have had to reluctantly make the decision to give the fishing a rest for a few weeks until it feels properly settled down.

So bedroom antics aside I wanted to cover another wee tale ( this time fishing related).

The Lost Rachet

I have mentioned on this blog on my review pages about my issues with my wee Hardy Marksman reel. It’s an attractive and light wee reel for my river fishing but frankly is something of a black sheep in the Hardy family I fear.

Despite lavishing lots of care and attention on mine- always drying and lubricating it after every use, mine like every other I have ever heard of, succumbed to the bearing failure issue and had to go back to the factory for repair early last year. I had used it about twice after it came back and was out one day when I thought- that’s odd, why isn’t the ratchet clicking on the reel. You know what it’s like when something is so familiar you then start to doubt it existed….it did have a ratchet didn’t it? Yeah of course it did!

I opened it up and I could see there seemed to be something missing. After asking about on the interwebs I established there was a ratchet spring gone. It obviously fell off. Now at this point I got a bit tardy. I did go to try to open a case for the issue on Hardy’s website but for the life of me could not get logged in ( despite being 100% sure the details I was using were correct). I have a couple of other reels registered there and this hasn’t been an issue before.

I got hold of a cheap reel and put the Marksman away in a box with the intent to follow up on it….sometime. In April there it was really annoying me that I never had a really light reel for my 3 weight rod using a standard line and I thought I really need to chase up that reel problem. I tried again on the website- nope still not working.

I looked around and got a phone number and called customer service. I was vaguely aware that Hardy was taken over a while back by another firm called Pure Fishing and in the process when they updated their websites they removed the old database of registered users and started afresh. They still have the old data, it just doesn’t work if you try to log in. A little bit rubbish on the systems continuity front I think you would have to agree. Anyway, the lady at Hardy had my reel details and I explained I had lost the ratchet spring and could I send it in for repair. She said, “no don’t bother, we will send you the part…. for free”. I did offer to pay but they insisted and the next day a wee jiffy bag arrived with the spring- a wee strip of springy copper.

I fitted it and hey presto… the reel still did not click. I was sure I had fitted it right- there only seemed one way for it to go but started doing a bit research on line and in one photo I noticed there was another bit- a little V shaped sliver of metal with a notch in that I did not appear to have. Oh dear.

Back on the phone to Hardy. I explained in a rather embarrassed fashion to the nice lady again that I had got the spring but it hadn’t fixed the issue and that I now realised I was missing this other part too. I reckoned it was some sort of pawl, and right enough she identified it as a “ratchet pawl”. I again offered to pay especially as I had wasted time etc on this. “No it’s OK ” she said “we will send you the part.”

A few days later another jiffy bag arrived with a slivver of metal with a wee notch and it looked the right shape. I went to fit it and nope it wouldn’t go on- the notch didn’t fit the reel. Oh dear.

Back on the phone. I got the nice lady again and she was very patient with me. I read her the part number and it seemed to be right but when I described the issue she identified the pawl as being off a Hardy Angel reel not a Marksman and the bits had seemingly got mixed up when the new owners took over the firm and moved the parts to some warehouse down south. She said ordinarily she would have nipped down stairs ( she was in Alnwick) but the parts were in Reading I think she said and she would need to get the parts diagram and speak to someone in stores but rest assured she would locate and send the right part. She must have been getting sick hearing my voice when I called through.

Hardy Marksman rachet spring and pawl

The spool of the Marksman fully restored to working order with spring and the elusive Pawl.

That was the last time I spoke to the nice lady…. but the part did not arrive. I gave it a few weeks in case they were out of stock or something but heard nothing. I called the nice lady- I had her direct number by this time but it went to voicemail. Every time I called after this I only got her voicemail though I left lots of messages. I think she maybe thought I was stalking her and had my number identified in some sort of Call Guardian software!

I was in two minds, do I pursue the issue again or give up and put the reel away into permanent storage? “One last go” I thought, and called the nice lady. Again it went to answerphone. Either she is off long term,doesn’tt  know she has messages or her phone is diverted or she has been paid off!

I went back on the website and found another customer service number and got a nice man this time. I explained the issue and he went looked it all up and did have a note of the case going back to May. I explained I had been trying the nice lady’s phone but never got her. Anyway he promised to send the part by post last night and hey presto it appeared today, and its the right pawl. Three cheers for Hardy Customer service. So now I have once again a fully functional Hardy Marksman reel!