Published Nov 28. 2019 - 1 month ago
Updated or edited Jan 20. 2020

Hardy style reel cases

Leather maker Remus Stanescu describes the dirty work behind making a couple of Hardy style reel cases.

Two cases
Remus Stanescu

Italy based leather worker Remus Stanescu has shown us his beautiful craftsmanship before, and recently he contacted me about a project, where one of his customers had ordered a couple of leather cases for some classic Hardy fly reels.
He had decided to shoot an image series of the making of the second one after having realized that quite a lot of work had gone into the first one.

Shortly after I had received the images and text from Remus, Jes Kamp, a good Danish friend of mine, posted some pictures of his newly acquired reel cases online. And yes! They were these exact cases, and by sheer coincidence, it turns out that it was my friend who had ordered these bespoke reel cases for his reels. Jes shot some pictures, and had his brother, who’s a photographer, shoot even more, and you will see those pictures as well as shots done by Remus in this article.

Jes asked me to let people know that he's very happy with these cases, and that they - in spite of the price tag - come cheaper than the original cases, which easily cost 300.- UK£ a piece.

The velvet inside

The cases

Ready to move in

Jes Kamp
Rods, reels, flies... and cases
Ole Kamp
Cases and reels
Ole Kamp

This is what Remus wrote me:

After I have finished my first Hardy style reel case, I have decided to take pictures of the making of the second. I have to admit that they are incredibly hard to make, and need careful planning and a lot of meticulous work. This is the most difficult leather item I have made so far.

First step: I cut and carve the side parts. Both parts are carved, one with a salmon head and the other one with the owner's name initials, in this case JKP.

The first case and sides for the second
Remus Stanescu

I double the sides with 2.5 mm leather to have a strong structure and a good surface to glue the principal part. After that I apply a first layer of dye. The real dye will be made with an airbrush in a "sunburst" effect.

Doubled sides
Remus Stanescu

Then I glue the velvet on the inside faces and trim it down.

The lining
Remus Stanescu
The parts
Remus Stanescu

The next step is making the wood inside and attaching the buckle to the case. And a little airbrush...
The hardware I use is solid brass, made by Abbey in England.

The buckle mounted
Remus Stanescu

Next comes the sexiest part of the project. Box stitching. Box stitching is the most difficult stitching. In this kind of stitching, you're supposed to make diagonal holes, at 45 degrees, for the stitch. This means that I have to make them at the same angle (45 degrees) with the diamond shaped awl.
After gluing the gusset to the main body I have to make sure that holes meet, and that I can easily pass the needles through.
Of course, the distance between the holes varies, for mathematical reasons. A lot of calculation and practice is required. But the satisfaction when it works, is really high!

Box stitching
Thread ready for tightening
Box stitching
Remus Stanescu

Box stitching again! This time the lid. And the case is almost ready. Just one step is missing: the wooden parts inside.

One side of the lid done
The lid and the sewn edges
Remus Stanescu

This is the dirty work behind a Hardy reel case. This type of leather case is the best kind to store and protect the reel.

A sunburst leather case for a Hardy reel
Remus Stanescu
Initials and fish
Remus Stanescu
The reels in their new homes
Ole Kamp


Remus Stanescu can be reached here:
Web site:
Facebook: Remustanescu
The price for a handmade, custom made, leather reel case starts at 250 Euros.

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