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Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 30 Jun 2020, 14:06 • #1 
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I have some questions about the old Hardy fibalite glass rods, do the fibalite rods without the JET inscription have the same taper as the rod with the JET logo? I know that the rods with JET label are later than the ones without and both are made from Fisher glass blanks and jet stands for the rod designer Jon Tarantino.
Also was there ever a 8' 5wt and 6'6" 4wt fibalite rod?
Thanks


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 30 Jun 2020, 15:15 • #2 
Sport
Joined: 10/26/16
Posts: 58
Location: UK
My understanding is that the JETs were the first Hardy rods using the Fisher blanks, and that the blank manufacture then moved to the Fisher-designed facility at Alnwick.

(The rule of thumb used to be that JETs have white spigots and Fibalites brown/black ones. But several of the specialised (UK-rolled) Fibalites continued to have white spigots long after production moved: the Esks, Invincibles and Drifters).

So the Fibalite Fly rods came AFTER the JETs, and the Fibalite Perfections followed them, and were the last Hardy glass rods of that generation.

My first rod was a Fibalite Fly, I fished my mentor’s JET, and still have a JET and Perfection. I feel pretty confident in saying that the tapers are all different (for the same rod length/line weight), with Hardy’s design priorities being to reduce weight.

But I am not sure that the difference is significant in terms of action: they are all a pretty full (=soft) action, especially compared to today’s S-Glass.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 30 Jun 2020, 16:05 • #3 
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For the first 3 year In the late 60's Fisher sends the rod blanks from the US to Hardy in the UK, shipping got to expensive this is why Fisher set up a plant in Almwick, I have a Fibalite from 1974 with the graphite around the ferrule base, but without the JET label. I don't know when they changed to the JET labeled rods.
My understanding is first the Fiballte with out the JET label till mid 70s than with JET label and from 1980 Fibalite Perfection. JET and Fibalite Perfection are for sure different tapers the Perfection is faster.


Last edited by olandrea on 30 Jun 2020, 16:13, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 30 Jun 2020, 16:09 • #4 
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It's been my understanding that the HF series came right before the JET series. The HF rods used Fisher blanks and that the JET series used UK made blanks which were very similar to the Fishers because Fisher helped them set up their blank production facility. This is second hand info so FWIW.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 30 Jun 2020, 23:05 • #5 
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Location: Holly Springs, NC
olandrea wrote:
I have a Fibalite from 1974 with the graphite around the ferrule base...

Do you have an image of this that you can post? In 1974 neither Fisher or Hardy were selling graphite/glass mixes. What little graphite rod companies could obtain went into graphite rods.

Hardy began buying blanks from Fisher in the mid 60s. The first line of Hardy glass involving John Taratino was the Hardy Glaskona (brown wraps with gold tips). These rods had white ferrules (usually Hardy labeled glass had white ferrules, but not always). In the late 60s Fisher built a rod manufacturing line in Alnwick, England for Hardy (the Fibatube Company, a Hardy subsidiary). The JET rods came out in 1972 edit: 1970, see the post below (gold wraps with brown tips). Hardy made blanks for their own fly rods and for private label sellers, such as Sceptre. In addition, Fibatube rod blanks were sold by Angler's Mail in the US. The exact tapers may vary, but like Fisher the Fibatube made blanks had an enviable reputation for quality.


Tom


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 01 Jul 2020, 07:16 • #6 
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Joined: 06/30/20
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Here you can see the black graphite clothe around the ferrule base, it is not a black thread. If the JET rods came out 1972 and my is 1974 than it is a JET rod without the JET label? When did they start to use the JET label?
A nother quote say:
Hardy Jet series of rods were designed by the famed John E. Tarantino. J.E.T - his initials putting his monogram to the rods. Tarantino was an expert rod designer fly caster and member of the Golden Gate Casting Club of San Francisco. He worked for Hardy designing rods and blanks. From Hardy HQ in Alnwick Tarantino's Jet series were produced and sold from 1967 to 1975.





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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 01 Jul 2020, 07:58 • #7 
Guide
Joined: 05/25/07
Posts: 102
Location: Finland
Below is three Hardy catalogues, a 1970 with Jet rods, a 1977 with Fibalites and 1979 with Fibalite Perfection rods. Not sure when they started with each model though. I have 8'6" 6wt 3-pc Jet rod from 1969 so they came before 1972. Maybe olandrea's rod H/Y (August 1974) is one of the first Fibalite models with carbon fibre reinforced spigot ferrule? An experiment? A typo? But definitely a 100% Fibalite rod.

As to difference between tapers; I have had several same Jet & Fibalite models side by side and sometimes felt the difference, dometimes did not. Things happen in 40 or so years and almost every rod feels different...like I have two identical 8'6" 6wt 3-pc Jets and the other feels slower and softer than the other...? Go figure... But the Fibalite Perfection definitely is improved and somewhat faster than the two before it.

Anyway the time frame is:
First JET
Then Fibalite
And finally Fibalite Perfection (introduced in 1979)



Last edited by Fullflex on 01 Jul 2020, 08:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 01 Jul 2020, 08:30 • #8 
Sport
Joined: 10/26/16
Posts: 58
Location: UK
Your rod is definitely a Fibalite, and so Alnwick-rolled.
- black spigot
- ferrule reinforcing
- whipping colours
- No JET on the label

I had the 8ft #6: it was a lovely rod, but I always wanted yours: a bit of extra length, and it “felt” much more powerful! I hope you really enjoy fishing with it.

Interestingly, the female ferule reinforcing was not great in the earliest models of Fibalites: I was over-enthusiastic in assembling my rod and the female ferule split straight up. So whatever the black is (I increasingly doubt that was graphite: I think that was that just the spigot) it was neither terribly strong, not did it have many latitudinal fibres. By contrast, the JETs had whipping to reinforce the tip of the female ferule as well as the spigot.

Lesson learned. And the Pall Mall staff were very understanding to a keen young teenager......


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 01 Jul 2020, 09:28 • #9 
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Great coverage ! Speaking of, was the black reinforcement intended to be further covered--reinforced--by a wrap of conventional nylon size A thread? That would be my instinct, but I don't know. Can you look or detail the catalog description further? It appears the black was a separate material applied after the blank itself was manufactured. Then the standard whippings would have been added both as trim and reinforcement--by the builder starting with a blank, or in the routine factory building practice. It appears that a thread wrap may have been removed from the rod shown, as it looks like remnants of tipping or finish below the black band. Can't see it well enough to tell what a closer examination might reveal. Someone who has seen several of those may remember if they were black at the ferrule on the factory rods or that was ordinarily reinforced further with nylon thread trim. The Sceptre blanks from the same family were reinforced at the ferrule in manufacture by an additional "flag" in the rollup at the ferrule stations. And Sceptre advised a double wrap of nylon thread. Perhaps that was based on experience with failures like the one Sash experienced.

Thanks for showing and the detail responses. Hope to learn more.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 01 Jul 2020, 10:10 • #10 
Guide
Joined: 05/25/07
Posts: 102
Location: Finland
No idea how the carbon fibre or graphite reinforcement was done, but here's some info found from 1978 Hardy catalog:



Only Jets here so cannot check if there was additional wrap over graphite...


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 01 Jul 2020, 14:16 • #11 
Sport
Joined: 04/27/20
Posts: 26
Location: Germany
I have a few Hardys with the brown glass blanks.

I always thought the black stuff to be just color - appearance, thickness ....
So I was very surprised to read, that this should be a graphite reinforcement.

I just had a look with a 40 x magnification on 2 of my rods.
One a 10´ carp 2, the other a 9´coast master.
Both shows scratches in this black area. In some places the translucent varnish came off and leaves the pure none glossy black stuff.
It looks still just like black color.
The outer diameter of the blank is the same as 1/2 inch further up, where the blank is brown.
On one of the spigot ferrules ist a small black ring as if there would have some black color being painted on, just 1/4 inch of the black "painting".
I couldn´t see any kind of black fiber coming out of the scatches. The edges of the black stuff towards the blankends are uneven and just look like worn off color.
Even so there is the description in the katalog - I can´t belive in the "graphite reinforcment" for the rods that I have.
Maybe they started doing it like they descriped and changed it later.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 01 Jul 2020, 14:50 • #12 
Sport
Joined: 10/26/16
Posts: 58
Location: UK
doublehaul wrote:
I have a few Hardys with the brown glass blanks.

I always thought the black stuff to be just color - appearance, thickness ....
So I was very surprised to read, that this should be a graphite reinforcement.

I just had a look with a 40 x magnification on 2 of my rods.
One a 10´ carp 2, the other a 9´coast master.
Both shows scratches in this black area. In some places the translucent varnish came off and leaves the pure none glossy black stuff.
It looks still just like black color.
The outer diameter of the blank is the same as 1/2 inch further up, where the blank is brown.
On one of the spigot ferrules ist a small black ring as if there would have some black color being painted on, just 1/4 inch of the black "painting".
I couldn´t see any kind of black fiber coming out of the scatches. The edges of the black stuff towards the blankends are uneven and just look like worn off color.
Even so there is the description in the katalog - I can´t belive in the "graphite reinforcment" for the rods that I have.
Maybe they started doing it like they descriped and changed it later.


I have just looked at one of mine (a Richard Walker Carp rod) and, like yours, the black paint has come off, to leave a brown blank. I have never seen any whipping there.

So that, plus Fullflex’ wonderful advert (and my own experience as a teen), settles it for me: its the SPIGOT of the Fibalites that is graphite-reinforced, and NOT the ferrule!

Great, if gently-misleading, advertising, though.....

And they are still lovely rods: I fished my 3-piece JET thrice last week, and it was great.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 01 Jul 2020, 16:18 • #13 
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The Fibalite Perfections have also this black around the ferrules. The JET has windings for reinforcement around the female ferrules. I can not believe that the succession models would have no reinforcement at all around the ferrules. Only black paint for esthetic reasons make no sense to me. Are the spigot ferrules on the JET and Fibalite solid? Can't find the British patent 1429309
What we can now assume is that JET and Fibalite rods don't share the same taper they are different.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 01 Jul 2020, 18:10 • #14 
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olandrea wrote:
Here you can see the black graphite clothe around the ferrule base, it is not a black thread. If the JET rods came out 1972 and mine is 1974 than it is a JET rod without the JET label? When did they start to use the JET label?
Another quote say:
Hardy Jet series of rods were designed by the famed John E. Tarantino. J.E.T - his initials putting his monogram to the rods. Tarantino was an expert rod designer fly caster and member of the Golden Gate Casting Club of San Francisco. He worked for Hardy designing rods and blanks. From Hardy HQ in Alnwick Tarantino's Jet series were produced and sold from 1967 to 1975.

Thank you for that photo. I have not seen those ferrules before. This is new to me.

Just because your rod was built when Hardy was selling the JET series doesn't mean you have a JET rod. Jon Taratino was killed in a robbery in 1973. I don't know what that meant with regards to production or labeling of the JET rods. A shelf full of Hardy catalogs would be helpful - they are the most authoritative information source.

The British patent GB1429309 indicates the carbon fiber is placed in between the fiberglass layers during the rod blank during production. The black material is likely paint, either to show these were the special graphite reinforced rod blanks, or to indicate the location of the ferrule station. Rod blanks designed for spigot ferrules have additional layers of fiberglass at the ferrule station. This is covered in the Taratino spigot ferrule patent. This extra material strengthens the rod blank to keep it from spliting. Old Conolon blanks designed for their metal spigots had very heavy reinforcement at the ferrule stations.


Tom


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 00:45 • #15 
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Very interesting information. With the death of Jon Taratino in 1973 the contract with him and Hardy would end, my rod from 1974 no longer has the JET label, so 1974 could be the turning point between JET and Fibalite rods. It is questionable if there was enough time to develop new tapers for the new Fibalite rods in this short time, could be that they had already something going on with a new model. The JET rod were all ready for some years on the market it was time for something new. Or was the new only the additional layers of Carbon fibers at the ferrule station and they continued to use the JET tapers. The later Fibalite Perfections from 1980 have for sure new Design taper but still using the additional layers of Carbon fibers at the ferrule station.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 04:06 • #16 
Sport
Joined: 04/27/20
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Location: Germany
I just had a close look at 3 old brown fabalite blanks, all spinning blanks.

I grinded the lower end of the tip section/ female part of ferrule and the the lower end of the handle. Both surfaces show the same structure: a brownish matrix with some darker oval "frames" in it. The color of the grinnded dust is dark honey.
I think, that the brownish matrix is the fibre and the darker "frames" the epoxy.
Both blank ends are the same - strukture and color.
I´m sure, that there is no graphite within the blank.

The spigots of this blanks are the white, massive ones.
They are made of two layers: inside an ordinary "full" glass, that makes about 8/10 of the diameter and around that an extra layer: The 1970 Hardy catalog says: "The double-strength fiberglass Spigot ferrules.....are made with two layers of glass cloth with their fibers oriented at right angles..."

My later "Richard Walker Reservoir Superlite" fly rod has a brown hollow glas spigot.
I grinnded the upper end of the spigot: It shows the same structure as the blanks I mentioned above. Instead of the black color on the ferrule section it has normal thread tyings.
Again no sign of any graphite.

I will try to make some close pictures.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 04:28 • #17 
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Here is the link to the patent from 1972, but they start to use this method later than this
https://worldwide.espacenet.com/patent/ ... GB1429309A
In 1972 the JET rods with the windings around the female ferrule are still going on. This changed with the Fibalite rods who have no windings around the female ferrule, so there must be an other support like the carbon fibers. They had advertisted it in their catalog, so they used this method. Your rods are maybe to early the white spigot points to the JET era, or it is not possible to see the carbon fibers from the outside.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 07:29 • #18 
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This is from a later rod then my, around 1978 as you can see the black sleeve gets longer.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 08:25 • #19 
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Thanks. Great pic. I don't think I ever saw but one or two Hardy 'glass rods in their time, if at all, and never one of those. Don't recall seeing advertising in Fly Fisherman mag, either, and not up to breathing dust in the attic rummaging my stack from that time. Wondering if they were better known in Europe, or how widely available/distributed they were in the US if anyone recalls.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 08:48 • #20 
Sport
Joined: 10/26/16
Posts: 58
Location: UK
olandrea wrote:
The Fibalite Perfections have also this black around the ferrules. The JET has windings for reinforcement around the female ferrules. I can not believe that the succession models would have no reinforcement at all around the ferrules. Only black paint for esthetic reasons make no sense to me. Are the spigot ferrules on the JET and Fibalite solid? Can't find the British patent 1429309
What we can now assume is that JET and Fibalite rods don't share the same taper they are different.


With respect, I dont think we can assume that the JETs and Fibalites don’t share the same taper, only that the blanks were made in different factories (Fisher and Alnwick respectively), and the appearence of the Fibalites was surprisingly different as a result of the switch in spigot material and colour.

I have really enjoyed this thread, and it has pushed me to remember a lot of what I learned about Hardy’s and their rods at the time, much of it in the Pall Mall store.

In particular, the female ferule of the Fibalites was to an extent sacrificial: if the gap between it and the gloss black part of the male ferrule became too narrow, you were told to borrow your mother’s nail file (!), and file about 1/8” off the female ferule, to increase the clearance again. You could do this with the JETs, but would have to re-whip afterwards, which explains the conditions of many of the rods that are on the secondhand market now.

Clearly, this doesn’t tell us if there was any graphite in the Fibalite ferules, but I recall the filing being very easy to do.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 09:57 • #21 
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olandrea wrote:
Very interesting information. With the death of Jon Taratino in 1973 the contract with him and Hardy would end, my rod from 1974 no longer has the JET label, so 1974 could be the turning point between JET and Fibalite rods. It is questionable if there was enough time to develop new tapers for the new Fibalite rods in this short time, could be that they had already something going on with a new model. The JET rod were all ready for some years on the market it was time for something new. Or was the new only the additional layers of Carbon fibers at the ferrule station and they continued to use the JET tapers. The later Fibalite Perfections from 1980 have for sure new Design taper but still using the additional layers of Carbon fibers at the ferrule station.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 10:52 • #22 
Sport
Joined: 04/27/20
Posts: 26
Location: Germany
Thank you olandrea for the link to the Hardy patent.
This is highly interresting and absolut new to me.


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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 10:58 • #23 
Sport
Joined: 10/26/16
Posts: 58
Location: UK
It turns out I have an example of all 3 generations of the Hardy glass rods we have been discussing!

Ferules, Left to Right:

- JET 3-piece 8ft #6, with the original white spigot and whipping reinforced female ferule (I omitted the top section from the photo!)

- A Fibalite “Richard Walker Carp” 10ft spinning/bait rod. It’s a big blank, and they got away with a hollow spigot (the single-handed fly rods were all solid, IIRC; I can’t remember if the Salmon models were). Note that the paint/lacquer has come away on the female ferule, with little/no evidence of any graphite or other reinforcing.

- Fibalite Perfection 8ft #6. As in other posters’ photos, The black paint/lacquer is a bit longer than the Fibalite on both sides of the ferules, but no additional thickness evident on the female ferule.

These are all good rods, and I have caught fish on all of them in the last year or so. I had many more Fibalites of different models, but don’t regret parting with them. And, interestingly, the Fibalite fly rods fish and cast rather better than some of the early Hardy Graphite rods!



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Re: Hardy JET/Fibalite
Post 02 Jul 2020, 11:43 • #24 
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You have to look at the patent, there you can see that the reinforcing is very thin between the glass layers.


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