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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Teddyp
North Carolina

Posts: 18
Teddyp on Aug 14, 2009August 14th, 2009, 9:30 am EDT
I am looking for a new reel for a new rod. The rod's a 7'6" Orvis 3 wt. Rods I know, reels...not so much. I've got an Orvis Battenkill mid-arbor on my TFO 4 wt, and I like it minus a few little annoyances.

I've been looking at Abel, Ross, and Hardy. I've heard the Hardy's aren't as good know that they're being built somewhere in Asia. Any suggestions to pair up with this rod?

Ted
CaseyP
CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Aug 15, 2009August 15th, 2009, 6:27 am EDT
Teddy,
Ross is my favorite on my 7'6" 3wt. you only need one hand to take off the spool and rinse out the sand/mud/muck if you drop it. the small Evolution balances nicely on a small rod. they are bomb-proof. they require minimal maintenance. the drag is up to the strain of the 24 incher you find in that stream that is narrower than your sofa. (admittedly unlikely, but it has happened to me). and if you want a color other than black, they have copper or slate blue--you can mix and match when you buy a spare spool for a different line. not cheap, but not outrageous either.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Chris_3g
Posts: 59
Chris_3g on Aug 15, 2009August 15th, 2009, 7:39 am EDT
Ted,

I have an Orvis Battenkill Bar Stock III that I really like for my 4- and 5-wt. rods. I had one problem with it early on, and Orvis fixed it right away. It's performance has been spotless ever since. I also squeezed a 7-wt. line on the same reel (cheap student...) for fall run fish, and the drag worked just fine for landing them (half a dozen over 20").

I plan on using the same reel for a 3-wt. I'm building (slowly...), but they have a Bar Stock II that may be a better option for a dedicated 3-wt. reel.

Chris.
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 15, 2009August 15th, 2009, 9:17 am EDT
Ted,

Chris and Casey have offered two excellent recommendations (and I believe that the Battenkill Bar Stock reels are currently reduced in price). Though others may disagree, my feeling is that any reel that exceeds about 3 3/4 oz. tends to detract from the lightness and feel of shorter (under 8') light-line rods. Given the the current trends in reels, that narrows the choices considerably.

I hear grumbling about "being built somewhere in Asia" quite a bit, but that seems to be a fact of life these days. I have several well-loved (older) Hardys, and I'll grant that the cachet of classic British reels is somewhat diminished when so many are no longer built in England. However, design and manufacturing standards are still the responsibility of the company, and most of those concerns probably have more to do with emotional and political motivations than actual quality. If you want to buy American, the Ross Evolution is a superb, but higher-priced reel. (The smallest Bauer Super-Lite and Lamson Litespeeds are also nice USA-built choices.) If price is a big issue, "Asian-built" reels like the Battenkills are great values.
Teddyp
North Carolina

Posts: 18
Teddyp on Aug 15, 2009August 15th, 2009, 3:12 pm EDT
Thanks for the replies from every one. There's always great advice on this site. I definitely am not knocking any of the Hardy's being built somewhere other than England; was just curious if that had recently had an affect on the quality or dependability as i hear people with older models tell me they are bullet proof.

I do like the Ross evolution and some of the other Orvis reels and I am starting to lean that way... i think.

Thanks again for the advice!
Ted
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Aug 15, 2009August 15th, 2009, 5:51 pm EDT
No worries, Teddy. I can't vouch for the quality of the newer Hardys, but I haven't seen any evidence of a problem. Personally, I miss some of the older traditional click-and-pawl designs, especially for short, light-line rods. The old Hardy Marquis was damn near perfect as far as I am concerned, and I know that many people feel the same way about the older Lightweights. But that's a matter of taste as much as anything, and there are some very fine reels being made by a number of manufacturers. I just think that too few of them weigh less than 4 oz. and too few of the lighter ones cost less than $250. I don't need a light-line trout reel that is capable of landing a tarpon. :)
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Aug 16, 2009August 16th, 2009, 3:26 am EDT
Have a look at these reels. I've been considering purchasing one, myself. They seem very well made, and I think the prices are very good.

Albright Reels

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Aaron7_8
Aaron7_8's profile picture
Helena Montana

Posts: 115
Aaron7_8 on Aug 16, 2009August 16th, 2009, 3:59 am EDT
I always thought the American made was kind of silly. Do you shop for American made electronics as well? How about American cars? Don't want to ruffle feathers but corporate greed has all but eliminated the low cost american made anything and replaced it with things made in Asia, Mexico etc... I gave up shopping for the made in the states sticker it was too frustrating but it is nice to still see a few products are still being made here.
Eagles928
Lansdale, PA

Posts: 2
Eagles928 on Nov 18, 2009November 18th, 2009, 2:49 pm EST
American rods and American made reels!! The only way to go, far superior quality and craftmanship hands down...
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Nov 19, 2009November 19th, 2009, 1:48 am EST
Mark,

Went to the Albright site. Nice looking reels.

I have been using Hardy reels since I started fishing. I had a Hardy Flyweight reel with a 3wt line on it that I accidently left on top of my vehicle one night after fishing. I went back and never found it. When I replaced it with the same reel it somehow feels different. I don't know if it's me or if there is a difference in their newer reels.

I also have a small Abel Big Game Series .5 that I bought back before a trip out west in 1995. It's a wonderful small reel, but it is silent when a fish makes a run. My old Hardy's have a unique sound when you have a nice fish on.

My fishing buddy use to yell at me sometimes, "Spence damn it! Quit showing off...Land that damn fish before you kill him!" What a sound!

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Ericd
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Ericd on Nov 23, 2009November 23rd, 2009, 4:05 pm EST
I'm also looking for a new reel for my bamboo. It's a custom 5wt, 7'6." The reel I use for it is old and pretty generic, I think. It just doesn't fit the rod and it doesn't feel worthy. What is the name for reels with the zipping drag sound? That's what it is and sometimes it annoys me, but not when I have a fish on of course.

Also, if anyone knows bamboo rod makers from the Twin Cities, I'd like to know about the guy who made mine. He passed soon after he made mine (around 1996). Let me know and I'll give you his name. Thanks.
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Nov 24, 2009November 24th, 2009, 1:05 am EST
Eric,

I think cane and Hardy go together like milk and cookies. The Hardy L.R.H. would look sweet on that rod. There is the Featherweight one as well that is a little smaller, but it may not handle a 5wt line.

I have the L.R.H. but a limited release one from years back called the Princess. It had a slightly beefed up brass trim screw adjustment for drag and the reel casing was brown with gold trim instead of the classic gray. I think the drag screw is there for show...I could never tell any difference when I adjusted it.

I had a Flyweight reel for my 3wt that I just loved and lost it. It was too small for my 4wt line so I actually cut off some of the fly line. It was a double taper and just how often, chasing trout on the Au Sable, do you get in to your backing. It added a little excitment, eh! What if? It might of been interesting if I bumped in to Mr. Big one evening and he decided to head down to the next county.

I would really like to own the Featherweight for my 4wt and to complete the set, but don't want to spent the dough.

The Hardy Bougle is a classic look as well...

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Shelly123
Banned
Posts: 1
Shelly123 on Nov 24, 2009November 24th, 2009, 8:25 pm EST
Even I'm looking for one, can anybody help me out???

Shelly Smith..
-----------------------
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 25, 2009November 25th, 2009, 7:02 am EST
Hey folks, Feather-Craft sells Hardy reels:

www.feather-craft.com

Check it out - they have three models, the Leightweight, the Bougle Mk VI, and the Perfect. Note that these fly reels are NOT in my price range...However, I did just recently pick up a 2007 model Lamson Velocity for half price at Cabelas!! Doesn't look any less capable or well-made than the new one that replaced it (in spite of what the catalogues say!), and I only paid $120 for it instead of $250. Nice reel!! And I FINALLY have a large-arbor reel on all three of my main fly rods. Now if I can just hook a big enough fish on it to test out their fancy conical drag system...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Ericd
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Ericd on Mar 28, 2010March 28th, 2010, 8:44 am EDT
I looked into Hardy Reels and couldn't find one I can immediately afford. I found a Martin MG-7ss that is really nice. I hope I didn't get taken for it. I don't know how old it is, but it's in great shape with the original box, also in great shape. With the thousands of models out there, I can't find any information online. It's got a really great sound with smooth action. Anyone know anything?

Thanks,
eric
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 28, 2010March 28th, 2010, 9:04 am EDT
I just bought a Hardy Uniqua II for 100 bucks. It is discontinued, and though I really don't need another reel, I bought it anyway. :) I will test it out thoroughly in just over a week.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 28, 2010March 28th, 2010, 11:34 am EDT
The object of my dreams when I was 24 years old was a Hardy LRH. To me it was the most desirable thing on the planet. I had to save my extra money for a little over a month before I could buy it. It cost $25.00 with the red leatherette zipper case, the extra spool cost $7.00. I still have two LRH's. two x-spools for them, two Princesses with x-spools, a Featherweight with x-spool, plus a few other Hardy's about the size of the LRH but with no adjustable drag, an unventilated spool, and rope knurl around the circu mference of both sides of the frame.

Now I've been told an LRH is $225 and made off-shore and the Princess is not being manufactured any longer.

If any forum guys are looking for nice reels you should be looking at Ebay often. I bid on an Abel Creek 2 in gloss black back in October and won the auction on a once used $320 reel for $175. I just won another auction on a $299 Lamson Litespeed 2 with the Guide Model finish for $155. It might have been used but I'm fussy and can't see even the slighest scratch, or nick, or any wear on the gloss gray with blue highlight finish.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Mar 28, 2010March 28th, 2010, 12:41 pm EDT
The object of my dreams when I was 24 years old was a Hardy LRH. To me it was the most desirable thing on the planet. I had to save my extra money for a little over a month before I could buy it. It cost $25.00 with the red leatherette zipper case, the extra spool cost $7.00. I still have two LRH's. two x-spools for them, two Princesses with x-spools, a Featherweight with x-spool, plus a few other Hardy's about the size of the LRH but with no adjustable drag, an unventilated spool, and rope knurl around the circu mference of both sides of the frame.

Now I've been told an LRH is $225 and made off-shore and the Princess is not being manufactured any longer.

If any forum guys are looking for nice reels you should be looking at Ebay often. I bid on an Abel Creek 2 in gloss black back in October and won the auction on a once used $320 reel for $175. I just won another auction on a $299 Lamson Litespeed 2 with the Guide Model finish for $155. It might have been used but I'm fussy and can't see even the slighest scratch, or nick, or any wear on the gloss gray with blue highlight finish.

That is an awesome set of reels you have!

I do the same thing. Plus, besides Ebay I also check some of the other fly fishing message boards that include a Classified section. There are a lot of good deals if you take some time each week and look around.
Ericd
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Ericd on Mar 29, 2010March 29th, 2010, 1:38 pm EDT
I just peered into Ebay for the first time. I don't know why, but I intentionally ignore the popular things, like Ebay. A fly fishing obsession and an addictive personality and now Ebay...maybe that's why I steer clear of the popular things.

For those of you that are broke like me, let me know if you are interested in used split cane related equipment and I'll pass along a number of the guy who I purchased my new reel from who has a very generous buying option. You in the midwest may know him from the expositions. Nice guy and odd...like me...and us...?
Jesse
Jesse's profile picture
Posts: 378
Jesse on Mar 31, 2010March 31st, 2010, 1:59 am EDT
Ted my man the solution is simple. Lamson Konic for your purpose. They're product is ABSOLUTELY phenominal, affordable especially at your weight i believe it comes in at less than 140$, bullet-proof because of the hard alox coding and even if it's scratched its a lifetime warrenty so you can get a new one. Made in the USA baby ha, and light as a feather. Lamsons are beautiful, and that one should fit you just fine.
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
http://www.filingoflyfishing.com

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