Not to take anything away from the Hardy Made CFO reel series, there's something to be said for them. Years from now I'd bet these Abel made CFO's will be just as sought after. They did a great job as far as I can tell reissuing this classic. Can't wait to see them, and hoping like some of the others, they do so well IV's and V's are issued.
For anyone who may be interested: I was at the Orvis Outlet in North Conway, N.H. a couple of days ago. They had six of the latest English-made CFOs (the ones that retail for $695 in the catalog) on sale for $484. When I showed some interest, the salesman said he might be able to do better on the price. After checking his computer, he offered it to me for $429.
I didn't buy one (I already have a couple of the older ones), but they looked pretty much like the older Hardy-made CFOs from the 1972-92 era.
I have not actually seen the Hardy re-issue CFO in the metal but I understand it is machined from bar stock and anodized rather than cast and painted as in days of yore. So too will be the case with the Abel sourced version and it will be curious to behold the British and American versions side-by-side next to an original cast model. CFO is all about feel, sound and just right check and are almost certainly the epidimy of spring and pawl trout reels with the unfair exception of Stan Bogdan's versions.
That's a good point. However, it should be noted that the price of the Abel CFO is half of what Orvis is charging for the current British-made version.
Also, the Abel Classic costs quite a bit more than the new CFO or the Trout or Creek reels offered by Abel, assuming that they all should be priced similarly, since they are all click & pawl reels.
I don't think the price point on the CFO is unreasonable.
I get what you are saying, but I still don't see the justification for spending the extra for an Orvis reel made by Abel than just going out and actually buying an Abel.
I should have specified I was talking about the Trout and Creek reels not the Classic, sorry.
Again, I'm with you, I don't think the price point is unreasonable, but I am having a hard time justifying why someone would buy this reel instead of just buying the Abel Trout or Creek for less. For basically the same price as the new Orvis you can get either one of the Abel reels in any color you'd like.
Well, I've got an Abel Creek 1 standard arbor on my 5-weight rod and an Orvis CFO III on my 4-weight rod. Like 'em both, not sure which I'd keep if I could only have one. Yes, they are a bit different, but they are both sweet....
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I have not actually seen the Hardy re-issue CFO in the metal but I understand it is machined from bar stock and anodized rather than cast and painted as in days of yore.
The re-issued reel I examined looked and felt much like my 1980s era CFO III, except for the obvious anodizing and slightly darker gray color. When I asked if my old spools would fit on it, the sales attendant didn't know.
After seeing the video that von Behr linked, I'm a little disappointed. I had heard this reel was in development, but I expected a price point under $300. For over $300 I would have expected the nickel-silver line guard, and engraved rather than painted-on lettering. The cheaper substitutions make this look like a knock-off of the original rather than a faithful reproduction, even though the barstock and anodization are upgrades. I also think the anodization is a little too dark and shiny compared to the original.
I also am surprised that they bill the CFO III for 5-7 weights. When I bought my old CFO III new at an Orvis store 22 years ago, they sold it to me to match a 4-weight rod. The IV was their model for 5 and 6 weight lines. You can squeeze a #5 line onto a III, but not with much backing. I think they are missing an opportunity by not reviving the IV size as well.
One of the things that differentiated the early "collectable" CFO's was that the name and number where engraved. Somewhere in the early 80's Hardy switched to stamping Orvis CFO instead and I considered that a downgrade. To "paint?" CFO on the reel would be even worse. I strongly suspect that, as is so often the case in many things, that reintroducing a classic anything almost always falls short of the beloved original. So much better to move forward and develop new and improved products than falling back on your laurels. Oh and yes, CFO III is for 3-weights and 4's up to 6 1/2' in length. The CFO IV better balances 4 and 5-weight rods. There is a certain marketing sense that we, the fly fishing consumer, value light and little that leads many reel marketers to misrepresent the optimal line rating for reels. Having a 100 yards of backing on your standard arbor CFO is not just incase that Battenkill troutling tries to spool you; it is to expand the size of the arbor so your line is not so tightly wound into too little coils.
I just watched the video and must have missed where it's painted vs. engraved. That said, my point of view is this reel won't be for everyone. Like S&S pointed out, when re-issues are introduced they often are done so with subtle changes that some of us feel more strongly about than others. The original didn't have a wooden handle and wasn't anodized either but I think the modern twist on the classic is pretty cool. Just my opinion.
What this boils down to for me is: If you want an original, buy one. If you prefer a modern update closely following the original buy one of those. If you like Abel reels and want their touch on a classic beauty, you'll soon have a chance. If you prefer to spend monies on an Abel Click & Pawl, there's that option out there too. It's good to be a tackle junkie!