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Old 05-23-2012, 07:06 AM
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Default Hardy har har!

I'm no longer in love with my Hardy Lightweight. I had a heck of a time landing healthy browns with it using fine tippets and small flies.
I don't trust using the line on the grip as a drag and with no palming rim it just doesn't seem like a big fish reel.
I hope some of you Hardy users out there can school me on using it on bigger fish so I don't put the thing on Ebay and get something more modern. I just love the way that thing screamed when the fish ran. I still believe that sound doubles as a fish call because the fishing got better the more fish I landed.
What is your technique for landing larger fish with a click 'n pawl Hardy? Make me a true-believer again!

Last edited by Jackster; 05-23-2012 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: Hardy har har!

Jackster, What folks did pre-rim control was put a finger from your line hand right on the spooled line (from the rear) as it was zinging off the reel. Very doable, however, in my opinion you are correct; in a modern world of technologically advantageous reels, including some terrific ones from Hardy, the old-school pawl and spring reels are not big fish reels. Of course, a skilled angler accustomed to these reels like our own Hardy Reels, can and does land Silvers on Lightweight Series reels and my personal largest Atlantic salmon was landed on one too. I now only use them in small stream environments. I genuinely believe it is kinder to large fish with room to run to use a reel with a fine tunable, linear drag mechanism. Though tough to quantify, I believe the skilled angler lands a 20" wild trout more quickly with a drag than a check, thus releasing it with less lactic acid build-up in its blood.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: Hardy har har!

I try and get the most out of the "modern" drag in my reels. I keep my line spooled and not dangling 12' down stream, I put almost all my fish on the reel...I let the drag do the work. Almost 90% of my fishing is targeting large trout on fine tippets. I have used hardys and CFO's in the past but the click drag in these reels will not protect a tippet like the modern ultra smooth drag reels.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Hardy har har!

You could always customize it like I've done with a couple of my medalists.... or not

Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: Hardy har har!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
You could always customize it like I've done with a couple of my medalists.... or not
Lemme think about that... umm... ummm... okay, no thanks!

My Uncle put leather straps on his Medalists for use as a hand drag. Times sure have changed.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Hardy har har!

It's possible you just have worn springs, most of my non rim control Hardys have enough drag pressure for light tippets just by loading the rod, so the first thing I suggest you is check the spring pressure. If you can't do it yourself we can replace the springs in Lancaster, PA. If you can pull the line out fast enough to cause overrun your springs are worn. They only seem to last twenty years or so.

As far as applying pressure to the line, I don't push the line against the blank until late in the fight. With the non rim control reels (not perfects or Bougles) I just lightly feather the inside of the spool if I want extra pressure. It doesn't take much. That worked fine for me with a 1970's St John and this AK Silver. I've also landed several MI, OH, and PA Steelies with the St John and never had a fish to hot that the click and pawls wouldn't handle it.
Click the image to open in full size.

Now with the Perfects or Bougles you can apply pressure to the outside of the spool if you need it. Again I find that rare even when fishing a Taupo for hot fall MI Steelhead. I must admit I've hit a few Sept MI Kings that needed a bit of additional pressure on an old MK IV Bougle but I've never had any problems. I landed this Brown with an old (made by Hardy) Winston Perfect with a Bamboo 4 wt and a 7X tippet. The Perfect appeared to protect my 7X tippet just fine on a decent MI Brown.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Hardy har har!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
You could always customize it like I've done with a couple of my medalists.... or not

Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.
Now that taking it to the extreme!! Never seen that done before Rip Tide
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Hardy har har!

Jack,

I can't tell you exactly how I've done it for the past 33 years with the same Featherweight but that little reel has brought all sorts of fish to the shore. There is no doubt at all here that a reel such as my CFO or Marquis allows for a bit of micro managing of the drag when handling a fish via the exposed rim. With that said, I still use the Featherweight when fishing trout at every opportunity, I just like it.

What Steve said about the spring tension could be a factor. Many Hardy users, especially those who fancy the old Lightweight series reels have not taken time to examine how those little springs actually work in relation to that hard to manipulate tiny knob on the cage rim. This, in some cases results in the reels being left with the springs fully compressed for years and they in fact do become less that effective at what they were originally meant to accomplish. Restoring a noticeable range of tension to the drag can be as simple as removing the spring rods and manually spreading them a tad. I've heard all sorts of recipes for 'bringing back' a spring ranging from baking them to applying heat by other means both before and after spreading them but have never done any such thing. What I have done was to spread them a bit and to learn how that little knob really works and then to be sure that when not in use all the reels are dialed out to the zero tension point. As for landing the fish............... I think it's more about how fast you can reel to control excess line when they either come toward you or to get that fish on the little reel as quickly as possible once they have became hooked. I catch quite a few large fish with my little Featherweight every year and pretty much always do the same things. When they run I elevate the angle of the rod tip to apply more resistance and when they are turned and I need to gather line I've got that light speed reeling thing down pat.

To Paraphrase the late Hunter S. Thompson; Although I can't recommend it for everyone, it's always worked for me
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Hardy har har!

I remember the first time I saw a Medalist that way . It was in Taps Tips in Outdoor Life Magazine in the 60s. I got my metal shop teacher to do it for me and I thought I was the coolest kid on the Sound. Boy tha cut brings back memories. Now I have to see if I still have the reel.

---------- Post added at 03:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:33 PM ----------

Thanks Rip!
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Hardy har har!

I've been a drag guy pretty much since I started fly fishing and have recently started to dabble into the check reels. So far my experiences have been wild trout under 16 inches, thus I haven't run into an issue yet. I am always impressed when I see photos like Burk's or hear of stories from Ard and others who have fished the check reels exclusively through the years. Threads like these are certainly of interest to me as I'm learning to appreciate the simplicity of the classic reels and how to fish them. I have a St. John that is dying to get used on my switch rod for Great Lakes Steelies this year. Though it may find it's way out to fish for smallies as a warm up before that. Thanks for the interesting contributions and read. Loved the thread title by the way.
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