Originally Posted by sweetandsalt
MrTrout, We are getting into meatier (pun intended on food marketing comments) matters here with modern Hardy's changes in character, than fly boxes. I read not long ago that Richard Wheatly was in economic trouble too, no doubt due to the plethora of cheap imitations in concert with changing tastes in how to store flies...our core subject here. In my youth I had but one reel, an Ohio-built Pflueger Medalist, and on visits to Abercrombies and William Mills in NYC, I would gaze longingly at Perfects, St. Georges and Lightweights and, ultimately, did buy my first quality reel, an LRH.
I am fishing two Korean-built Zeniths and one Proaxis from modern Hardy and they are very fine casting and fishing rods and the performance of the Hardy U DD is far superior to my beloved and retired LRH (which is scratched up some). At the recent Somerset Fly Fishing Show, I had the opportunity to cast the Alnwick-built "Artisan" designed by the same wonderful Howard Croston that devised the tapers for Zenith. Its craftsmanship and components outshone the Korean-made rod by a mile though, in a side-by-side casting comparison to an equivalent Zenith...it was Zenith I preferred. Also that awful modern-day issue of cost reared its unattractive head; Artisan on these shores retails for over $1,200.00, even its Ari't Hart aesthetic-inspired reel seat can't justify that price. I do, however, empathize with your profound disappointment in the changes at Hardy and, along with you, anxiously await the announcement of new ownership of the fly and castle brand. I would feel much the same were venerable Abel, Scott or Sage, all of which, through ownership and even designer changes, have wisely preserved their employee base of skilled and dedicated craftsmen and persist in building everything with their name on it themselves.
Regarding the utility, quality and value of (back to the thread) fly boxes, the more I read your and everyone elses comments the more I am realizing that the one piece of tackle I make from scratch myself (OK, I build my leaders too) or am gifted by my fine friends and fishing partners are flies. They deserve to be displayed and protected in boxes worthy of their value to me. In the box illustrated in my opening comments, reside a few flies I tied decades ago, salvaged from the lidded compartments of well worn old Wheatlys. And, when I buy a new gasket sealed fly box, which is not too often, I stride into a riverside fly shop with my vest on to determine which model and size will fit ideally into the intended pocket. And I have just talked myself into it; next box I buy I will pay extra for the original C&F or SA version no matter how good and inexpensive the rip-off imitations of them may be. To paraphrase Bob Dylan; you say it costs $2, will you please take $3?
I have cast with the Zenith, and I agree, it's a fine rod, I just don't need anymore rods, can't believe I said that!! Reels are my soft spot, just can't say no to a fine reel.
I meet Howard a few times a year on my local river the Eden, always nice to have a chat with him.
I think you should pay whatever you're comfortable with for an item of tackle, be it rod, reel or fly box, if it brings you happiness it's a good buy, isn't it?
I love anything fishing related, my latest small acquisition is a pair of Orvis brown trout pliers, why now? Well I just lost my others, and they look great on the vest, and I'm a big Orvis fan as well.
Did I need them, nah not really, but I'm not getting any younger and I enjoy nice things.
Go get your C&F, and have a great season.
---------- Post added at 08:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:23 AM ----------
Another slight digression from the OP sorry, but talking about Chineese imports, this guy on the UK forums has been supplying a lot of the members with these.
I bought one of the Winston green Tripillar ones from him three seasons ago, and it has been used hard with no faults whatsoever.
**Sunkistbob's Reel Porn Extravaganza - a pile of yummy goodies for the tackle tarts** - Fly Fishing Forums
Silky smooth drags, great options on anodising and at £43 posted for a 6061 reel, it's a no brainer.
Does it fish and work as well as a Hardy, yep it does, will it double in value? Very much doubt it, but a great go to reel.