I think this is the first time I've ever disagreed with you on anything, but I got to bring it up.
It's really not that big a deal anyhow, except to me. I'm very adept at forgetting reels on car roofs etc.
I think Hatch shouldn't have machined the reel foot out of the same bar stock as the frame. It not only wastes a considerable amount of material, but it is a more expensive machining process as well.
But even more than that, the most common thing to bend when dropping a heavy reel on tile or concrete (or a coral roadway) is the reel foot. So long as the spool is in the reel on most quality reels, the spool supports the frame and the frame supports the spool. So neither is able to deflect far enough to take a permanent bend.
Not so with the reel foot. In fact I have one on my Gulfstream that I was able to bend back with 2 pair of vice grips then file down enough to fit back into the reel seat. Speaking of which, I have to call Tibor for a new one to screw back on.
But had that been part of the frame, and it had been not been so easy to "fix", I'd be looking at a whole lot more money than whatever the new reel foot will cost, and if not, I'd be stuck forever with a poorly fitting reel foot.
Otherwise, I've heard nothing but praise for the Hatch reels.
I read the review and see that the reviewers thought 7 lbs of drag was a little light for an eight weight. Personally, I'd be happy enough with 4 lbs. on an eight weight if it were smooth and reliable. Dead lift 4 pounds with your 8wt sometime and see what you think.