Re: Abel or Hatch
I fish reels from both companies very happily. What I do not do is employ either at the lighter end of my rod spectrum. It is important to balance the reel to the rod and the intrinsic weight to capacity ratio of both Abel Super and Hatch + reels relegates them to mid and heavier line weight outfits where their weight and potent drags are applicable.
They enjoy an unusual set of commonalities: They are both California-built, intelligently designed and carefully crafted, despite exemplifying draw-bar vs. stacked and sealed drag design - each the poster boy in their own category - they are the only two quality reels that are genuinely and effectively scalable from trout to tarpon sizes and, lastly, they share excellent aspect ratios now that Abel has eliminated all their wide width reels in favor of narrow only and Hatch never committed the wide width reel design crime.
I would happily fish either from 6-weight to 12 depending on the fine-tuned balance achieved with specific rods with a nod toward the draw-bar in the heaviest #10 and above range. I do like smooth disc drags in my light trout reels too but favor relatively lighter weight reels with less robust drags that are more appropriate to trout fishing. I all but never change spools so that is not an issue for me with Abels and the captive, threaded spool retainer on the Hatch is the only type of quick change spool design to consider; far more reliable and precise than any spring loaded lever or, worse, button.