Partridge of Redditch has been an innovator and technology leader in the manufacture of hooks since its beginnings in the late 1800’s, in those days the company manufactured for the top names in the business like Farlows, Hardy Bros., Ogden and more recently Veniard.
During the 1980’s and 90’s Alan Bramley spent much of his time working with the bright young talent of the day to create some of the most advanced hook patterns that the industry has ever seen and many of them, both patterns and fly fishermen are still around giving pleasure and sharing their passion to today’s dynamic talent. Materials have moved on in leaps and bounds and hook patterns too have evolved but the art of fly tying remains one of the most rewarding past-times around.
This site is dedicated to the evolution of hooks and the fishermen of the world who are the guardians of our precious water resources
As the name implies, Partridge of Redditch was based in Mount Pleasant, Redditch, in central England. Both the town and the district have been renowned for its specialized metal work throughout many generations, needle making and hook making in particular. It is not easy to establish when this started, but according to one likely theory it started with the existence of a large monastery at Redditch. The monks were reputed to have been skilled artisans, and when Henry VIII dissolved the brotherhood the monks were taken in by leading Catholic families in the area, who obviously put their skills to use. From there processing of steel and specialised metal work were developed and refined.
In the early days needle making and hook making went hand in hand; the techniques developed for making needles could be applied in making hooks as well. Steel wire was drawn in Birmingham and then sent out to needle and hook producers in adjacent towns such as Studley, Alcester, Henley-in Arden and Redditch. In the middle of the nineteenth century Redditch seemed to establish itself as the main hook-producing centre. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the transition from pure handwork to industrial production made Redditch famous for excellent fish hooks throughout the world. In this period they actually dominated the world market.
The early history of Partridge is somewhat obscure. We know that it was started on the basis of existing hook manufacturing shortly after the turn of this century, but no one knows the exact year any longer. What we do know, however, is that it has been the only British sport hook manufacturer who has been able to survive and create a name for itself in the twentieth century. Partridge of Redditch bears its name from the founder Albert Partridge. He left the firm to his son Ted, who sold it to Alan Bramley in 1970 when none of his children were interested in taking over the company.
Alan Bramley further developed the company, and in the 1970s he extended the production to include exclusive split cane rods as well as continuing to develop and improve hook production. Thanks to him Partridge of Redditch has become an internationally acclaimed fish hook brand.
In 1996 the Norwegian hook manufacturer O. Mustad & Son bought Partridge of Redditch from Alan Bramley. As far as Mustad was concerned, one might say that the circle had been closed. When O. Mustad & Son started their production of fish hooks in the 1870s, they soon realised that the hooks coming out of their machines were not fit to fish with. They were too soft and rusted after a day in water. The founder, Hans Mustad, then summoned specialists from Redditch, England, to help him solve the problems. They were specialists in tempering, design and fly-tying. Partly thanks to Redditch expertise, Mustad is today the leading manufacturer of fish hooks in the world.
Mustad clearly realised and appreciated the traditions and quality of the Partridge-of-Redditch brand.
Most recently Mustad sold Partridge of Redditch to FishingMatters LTD who now control distribution in the UK & Ireland and continue to have dealers and distribution around the world.
Partridge of Redditch looks forward to continue its co-operation with fly-fishers and sport fishermen all over the world and keep its obligations to the continuously increasing number of fans who, throughout several generations, have been enchanted by the magic of our Finest Handmade Fish Hooks.
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