Originally Posted by Rip Tide
Now this is all just speculation on my part, but a few weels ago someone posted a thread asking about this reel and others, including the Cortland Retro. At the time I had recently picked up an older LLBean Reel made by STH and was looking into the relationship between STH and both Beans and Cortland.
If you look at pictures of both the Pocketwater and the Retro you can see that they have different perforations, a different colored foot, and the Cortland reel comes in 2 sizes while the Bean reel comes in one.
But there also too many similarities to ignore. The reel foot is the same shape, the rivets are in the same position and the drag knob appears to be the same also.
Again speculation on my part, but it appers to me that these reels were both made by STH and have more similarites than differences and the discription of the Retro could most likely applied to the Pocketwater as well
I have no heard of any STH reels being outsourced, they are all still made in their factory Patagonia. The Pocketwater is made in Korea. The similarities may be a result being made in the same factory in Korea.
I heard a rumor that Cortland was using some of their leftover parts from their previous affiliation with Hardy to make the Retro. More likely the just "borrowed" some design features the click and pawl set up on the Retro - it screams Hardy Lightweight series. The open frame seems borrowed from C.R.I. whom they were also affiliated with. The STH Airweights had a either the unique spring drag system or the set up the single spring similar to the Hardy made Battenkills.
The Pocket water seems to be more of a Hardy knock off with it's has a caged frame and variation Lightweight click and pawl system. But it does have a palming rim for us Americans.
Seems that companies "retro" click reels designs are just combinations of elements from reels of the past.