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kayo 10-16-2011 09:40 PM

Vintage Orvis CFO?

Please provide any info on this reel. Model, year made etc...

thank you


MoscaPescador 10-16-2011 10:45 PM

Re: Vintage Orvis CFO?
If you can't get anyone to answer your question, try contacting Orvis. I have heard from others that the staff at Orvis can answer questions about older product.

You have yourself a fine reel. As of what year CFO 3, my guess that it is a 70s model. Keep in mind that I said, "guess." I have seen a few of them around from guys who still use theirs today. If I recall, the #3 model was for a 5, 6, or 7 weight (that would be a 7 wt without much backing).

If you decide to keep it, and want to have the reel serviced, I recommend Bill Archuleta of Archuleta's Reel Works in Grants Pass, Oregon. He can make parts for the reel if something breaks.


sweetandsalt 10-17-2011 12:21 PM

Re: Vintage Orvis CFO?
I too am guessing but I would say 1980's. An earlier version would have a "T" shaped pillar where the line guard screws on and an even older one would have a screw-mounted spindle visable from the plate side. A fine reel in good condition, however, IMO good for #3 or 4 line...indadaquit backing capacity for #5+ though others may disagree.

Ard 10-17-2011 12:58 PM

Re: Vintage Orvis CFO?
Best I can tell you is that since it lacks the exposed rivets on the back plate it is a later model made by a British reel shop but not by Hardy. The design is basically the same as the hardy built reel but lacking the rivets and as mentioned the foot attachment differs. (Guess circa 1995 and newer)

These are exceptional trout reels and can be used to handle large fish due to the palming rim. They are smooth and the only thing I can think of ailing an older reel would be week springs. It is important to release tension on the drag when not using the reel. Leaving the springs compressed all the time will weaken them over time.

As for service, I can't imagine a shop with more CFO knowhow than the people at Orvis, generally if you need springs or pawls for one of these there may be no charge. I seem to remember them providing pawls for my old Battenkill 3/4 at no charge, that's where I get that idea from.

Nice reel,


MoscaPescador 10-17-2011 01:24 PM

Re: Vintage Orvis CFO?

Originally Posted by sweetandsalt (Post 333278)
I too am guessing but I would say 1980's. An earlier version would have a "T" shaped pillar where the line guard screws on and an even older one would have a screw-mounted spindle visable from the plate side. A fine reel in good condition, however, IMO good for #3 or 4 line...indadaquit backing capacity for #5+ though others may disagree.

You are probably right about the year of the reel.

You are probably right about the backing capacities. By today's standards, 25 to 50 yards won't do for a modern 6 to 7 weight forward floating line, as well as, double taper floating lines. Back in the day, I don't think capacity was much of an issue as compared to today.

One of my regular customers had me change out all his lines and backing on his CFO 3 spools. He used them on his 5 weight rod. His floater was a 5 weight. His sink tips and full sink lines were 6 weights. Even though I did not check how much backing was put on, I don't think that I put more than 60 to 80 yards on each spool.

Talking of sweet setups, his CFO 3 looked beautiful on his Winston BIIx.


sweetandsalt 10-17-2011 01:25 PM

Re: Vintage Orvis CFO?
I stand corrected by my friend, Ard, a truly attuned Hardy user. I just pulled a Hardy-built CFO III (the pictured one above I think is a CFO II) from a drawer and, sure enough, the pawl and spring mounting hardwear rivits are a give-away. Yes, Hardy Reels, my decreassing radius check adjuster was set to minimum.

I also agree with Orvis reel service for these reels. I recently sent them one of their Argentine-built Presentation models that I thought sufford a potentialy fatal problem; its spindle sheath, which encloses its spring loaded ball spool lock pulled free. I could not fix it but they rejuvinated it perfectly for no charge.

MP, I agree that a good Hardy-built CFO is a charmeer on a small stream outfit. When these reels were made, rods, booth graphite, glass and cane were heavier than today and I felt then as I do now that, not just for capacity but also balance and proportion, that both Hardy and Orvis rated too small reels for a given line size rod. I recall a Delaware River fishing friend buying a used CFO III for his Scott 5-weight in the early 80's (pre-gelspun backing), and rigging it with #12 Micron to achieve sufficient backing capacity.

Somehow, the use of the words "gel-spun" and "CFO" in the same sentance don't seem right. I appologize.

MoscaPescador 10-17-2011 01:28 PM

Re: Vintage Orvis CFO?
Thanks Ard. You are a wealth of info.

I just looked at that picture again, too. It really is a #2 reel. I need to get a new monitor.


ausablebrown 10-17-2011 02:05 PM

Re: Vintage Orvis CFO?
From what I've seen of the CFO's the previous guesses seem right; not Hardy built. If you're curious as to a value, I can't tell the reel condition from these two pics, but "MINT" condition this goes for close to 250 on e-bay. Good, but not mint condition is probably worth 175-225. There are quite a few people looking for these "made in England" CFO's. Even more people looking for the earlier hardy built CFO's.

mojo 10-17-2011 07:35 PM

Re: Vintage Orvis CFO?
That was probably made by British Fly Reels (BFR) for Orvis. 2003 Orvis went Asian.

Joni 10-17-2011 08:40 PM

Re: Vintage Orvis CFO?
I might add, not only is that a BFR, but the last of the Spring / Pawl. Love that sound.


CFOs were offered in sizes II, III, IV, and V. Size II and III came standard without the nickel silver line guard, but the III was also offered with the guard for an additional charge. All other reels came standard with the line guard. All of the reels with the exception of the II had adjustable spring and pawl drags. The CFO multiplier was introduced in sizes III, IV, and V. The multipliers have a retrieve rate of 1 2/3 to 1. At this time, all CFOs are cast and then machined. On all these models, the spring and pawl mechanisms are held in place by rivets, which show on the back of the reels.



Machined reels are introduced this year, and were available in sizes II, 123, III, and IV. These reels feature a “no rivet” design. The rivets that were used to hold the drag pawls in place are removed; the pawls are now internally affixed to a reinforced internal plate. The old cast reels are still offered this year in sizes 123, III, and IV. These still had rivets through the back. The new reels were manufactured in such a way as to allow interchangeability of spools between machined and cast CFOs. However, some experimentation may be necessary before a proper fit can be attained. An “Introductory Edition CFO III” was also offered this year. The reel was identitcal to the new, machined reel except for the finish. The Introductory CFO had an olive finish (slightly different from later disc-drag models) and featured gold anodized aluminum hardware. The line guard on this model was made from nickel silver.

Guessing that is this reel, so basically 1992 to 2003. Just my guess

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