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Old 12-27-2011, 06:09 AM
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Default CFO or Hardy Lightweight opinions?

I have been looking for a click & pawl reel for a 4 weight. These models are the most likely choices. Relatively easy to find online, 3 1/2 to 4 oz. range, plenty of capacity and proven over a long time. Pros and cons for each?

An afterthought: I also notice these two models don't have the counter weight opposite the handle. Is the counter weight just not that important or did they deal with the issue some other way?

Thanks,
Rich
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: CFO or Hardy Lightweight opinions?

I have several Orvis CFO's and like them very much. They are the made in England models. I have seen the off-shore version, and it seemed ok. I'm sure you'll get a million votes for Hardy, too.

With what I've landed on my 4-weights, anyway, a counter balance isn't a necessity. The reel acts just as a line holder, for the most part. Not like you have 100 yard bonefish or salmon runs to deal with, with a 4 wt.

Gary
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: CFO or Hardy Lightweight opinions?

Hi there,

Over the years I've used both the CFO reels and every model in the Hardy Lightweight series. While using them I've caught small trout, large trout and many salmon, all of the reels worked just fine. The CFO reels are smoother in operation and finish than the Hardy reels but both retain the classic 20th century visual appeal.

Advantage wise the CFO reels offer the exposed spool rim for manual drag control while the Hardy lightweights have the caged spool. In the smaller sizes like the Featherweight & LRH Lightweight the tension range between full on & full off can be hard to detect while the CFO reels demonstrate a noticeable increase in resistance as the drag tension is changed. Being light spring & pawl reels there is not a great range of tension between full on & off existing on any of these small trout reels. Actually the choice comes down to aesthetics. The reels have very different visual presence when mounted to the rod of choice but either of these reels are a pleasure to see on a rod.

As far as worrying over counter balance on these reels perhaps I am missing something but in all my years of use I have never experienced a noticeable problem with a lightweight reel feeling strange when a fish runs. Just this past fall while trout fishing with a 5 weight rod and Featherweight reel I had a bi-catch of around 40 Pacific silver salmon. Some of these fish ran the little reel into the backing but I was able to regain my line and eventually land the salmon. During these days I did not notice any wobble in the reel and the spool was moving so fast you could not discern the knob as it spun. I did however have to put a dab of marine grease on the reel spindle after a few days because the reel began to howl as it got dry at the cog. With all of that said I would not be over concerned with the presense or absense of a counter balance weight on these reels.

You will be very happy with either reel, be sure to select one in either mint or gently used condition. I say this because the better the condition of such a reel the more value it will retain through the years, When I say gently used this would include reels that have their finish rubbed or worn from the rims but not showing deep nicks and scratches all over the frame. Reels that are in good used condition will always be worth what you have paid for them while an abused specimen may not.

Ard
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: CFO or Hardy Lightweight opinions?

Ard,
Thanks for the well thought out answer giving pros and cons for each. Based on your screen name I would not have expected such an unbiased review
Thanks,
Rich

---------- Post added at 11:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:53 AM ----------

Gary,
I would be looking at the English made CFO to get the click and pawl. Seems like there are a bunch of different versions out there, some Hardy made some BFR company, different colors etc. I agree on the line holder use of a 4wt reel (our Iowa trout usually aren't that big) just curious about the lack of counter balance as most reels include them whether they are needed or not.
Thanks,
Rich
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: CFO or Hardy Lightweight opinions?

Hi,
Check out my review of light weight reels in the tackle section of this forum. I have compared the new Cortland Retro click and Pawl against a British made CFO (disc drag).
Both are great choices and ultimately the choice comes down to the reel color (cortland is dark blue gray while the CFO is the dark green) & new Vs. used.
I could not choose between the two so bought both
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: CFO or Hardy Lightweight opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticm View Post
Hi,

I could not choose between the two so bought both
I like the way you think

nice review on the reels
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: CFO or Hardy Lightweight opinions?

Fish,

You know those old CFO reels were built for Orvis by Hardy

Mysticm,

Another fine reel that can be had at reasonable cost are the Cortland LTD Graphite reels, I have a #60 that I really like. They were made by BFR I think and had a disc drag with exposed rim. These days they are sorta rare but still come up for sale on the eBay auctions. You should add your light weight reels to the 'Reel Love' thread, we have a regular reel show going there

Ard
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: CFO or Hardy Lightweight opinions?

I never thought I would love a reel, but I am madly in love with my Made in England CFO 1 (or maybe it's called a 123). It's on a my beloved 2 wt Superfine.

I hooked a steelhead on it and the fish ran. The reel was fine after 1 run lasting about 10 second. I immediately broke off the fish because it's irresponsible to try to land a steelhead on a 2wt. But I was impressed.
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