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Old 08-30-2013, 10:54 PM
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Default Abel or Hatch

Since my Sage thread went over oh so well on the rod sub-forum, why not start one in the reel sub-forum.

In all seriousness though, what are your thoughts on the products these two companies produce?

I currently run all Hatch reels and love the design, love the durability and love the folks over at Hatch! These reels have been flawless pieces of art that have with stood sub-freezing temps, sand, salt, etc! I have zero complaints, other than perhaps they are a tad, just a tad heavy.

Abel on the other hand, well they need no introduction! I love Abel as well. The plain, high gloss, Black reels are sexy just because of the great machine work and lines. Then we have all of those finish options (I mostly like the fish finishes and the DeYoung finishes) to choose from. Sure, we pay more for the finishes, but they are sexy and unique. My goal, one day, is to have all of the DeYoung reels in Super 5N, just to display. May not happen, but that is my goal!

Which reel company do you all prefer and why?

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Old 08-31-2013, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Abel or Hatch

S#!t-stirrer! Just kidding.

Of these two, I'd have to say Abel. I like being able to look at/service a drag if needed and really like the different reel series. The solid backs they offer on the Super Series are a nice option to add a little extra weight in addition to being beautiful. The different design options they offer are simply amazing, I haven't gone there yet. I will say that the HD Brown Trout reel is one of the most beautiful I've seen, the contrast of the minimal high polish on the matte finish is incredible. Of the 3 that I own, 2 are Black-one Matte, one Gloss and the third is Platinum.

I don't own a Hatch and have not seen one in person but know that they're very highly regarded. Honestly, I don't know that there's a bad choice between the two as they're both very high end products.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Abel or Hatch

I am an Abel fanboy. I love both of mine. I actually have three but the new 9/10N in deep blue is getting returned and swapped for a gloss black one. Just not as big a fan of the color as I thought I'd be.

Anyway, back to your question. I like the Hatch's a lot and would consider getting one but they just don't balance my rods where I like them to. I also think they have more of an industrial feel to them where as the Abel's have a classic old world feel that speaks to me more.

When it comes to performance, it boils down to your personality. Abel's are easily maintained. I like to be able to clean the insides and peak under the hood every so often. With sealed drag units like the Hatch's, you just can't do that and that kinda bugs me. Both drags are strong and smooth, so no complaints with either in that department.

In the end they are both great reels. They just take two different roads to get to the same place. Hatch's are the current belle of the ball but the Abel's will always be the one you are secretly hoping to take home after the music stops playing.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Abel or Hatch

Like grouch I am an Abel fanboy, or as my local fly shop guru calls himself, an Abel wh***. I have six that cover most of my trout and steelhead needs, so my opinion is definitely biased. My Lamsons and Ross's just gather dust anymore. Only other reels of mine besides the Abels that see the light of day are two steelhead reels made here in the PNW. Love the drag and workmanship. They just work all of the time. Also agree with Grouch in that it is easy to break them down at the end of each season and do maintenance. A little oil on the cork drag and good to go. I have read good things about Hatch's but cannot compare the two because Abels work for me so I do not spend a lot of time looking at other brands.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: Abel or Hatch

Quote:
Originally Posted by grouch View Post
I am an Abel fanboy. I love both of mine. I actually have three but the new 9/10N in deep blue is getting returned and swapped for a gloss black one. Just not as big a fan of the color as I thought I'd be.

Anyway, back to your question. I like the Hatch's a lot and would consider getting one but they just don't balance my rods where I like them to. I also think they have more of an industrial feel to them where as the Abel's have a classic old world feel that speaks to me more.

When it comes to performance, it boils down to your personality. Abel's are easily maintained. I like to be able to clean the insides and peak under the hood every so often. With sealed drag units like the Hatch's, you just can't do that and that kinda bugs me. Both drags are strong and smooth, so no complaints with either in that department.

In the end they are both great reels. They just take two different roads to get to the same place. Hatch's are the current belle of the ball but the Abel's will always be the one you are secretly hoping to take home after the music stops playing.
I would have to say, you about nailed it! I know the biggest gripe for a while with both companies were the weights, but now, they are very close, with the Hatch being a bit heavier. Yes, I do notice it on my 7'9" 3 weights and my 8'4" 4 weights. On the bigger rods, 8 weights and above, it is not noticeable really.

The fact that you mention the look of grace and beauty with Abel, that is how I think of them. For example, and this is just me, I'm not going to put an Abel on an NRX. It just does not look right. Now give me an Xi3 or a Biiix or Biii-SX and I do not think anything looks quite right on those rods but an Abel!

I too like the idea of being able to tear an Abel down just for routine maintenance and a cleaning. I was thinking if I went over to Abel, I would sell off my Hatch reels and convert completely over. However, since I'm sitting on 9 or 10 Hatch reels, I think I may just keep them and start diving into Abels. Then, I can baby the Abels and pass the Hatch reels (which are absolutely tanks when it comes to nicks and scratches. Never seen a reel hold up and resist marking so well) over to friends when they fish with me!
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Abel or Hatch

I have an Abel 5n super and a Hatch 4. I personally prefer the Hatch. I find the drag extremely smooth and the reel itself smooth. But I believe the finish on the Abel is better. Either way, no bad choices here.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Abel or Hatch

I have 8 Abel's and there is not a drag on the market smoother then an Abel, the closest would be Tibor! The machining is impeccable, the finishes are great, and they will take a beating and continue to work. I fished a hatch for the first time while in Belize recently and it was a nice reel, but nowhere near the quality of my Abel's IMO!
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Abel or Hatch

I'm an Abel user. Plenty has been said about the smoothness of the Abel drag, fit and finish, and weight. I will add something else.

For trout rigs, I do not need a disk drag since it is overkill. A well made click and pawl system will have just enough resistance to make the reel have a smooth start up and keep the spool from overrunning. If I need more drag resistance, I could always palm the spool. I use Abel Creek and TR series reels for my three, four, and five weights.

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Old 08-31-2013, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Abel or Hatch

The spool release on the Abel Super is a joke. I've no doubt Abel are superb quality reels - and I love the look of them - but that detail alone made me sell mine (Super 3N and 4N) and go for Bauer.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Abel or Hatch

My reel cases are in fact reel orphanages. It's funny but the weights of the two brands you mentioned kept me from looking too closely at them. I'm not just a tackle tart but also a weight weenie. As they say in racing, parasitic loses can add up to a lost race. Lightweight fly fishing rigs and bikes have spoiled me. Some will no doubt say it's only a few ounces but that is a sizeable percentage when the whole rig weighs ounces and if I don't have to wave extra weight around why should I? Extra weight brings nothing to the dance but extra weight.

I guess I'm rattling on to simply say I can't help you in your choices.
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