Best trout reel of all time - regardless of price

disco steve

Active member
Messages
27
Reaction score
1
Come on fella's - what in your honest opinions, is the very best trout fly reel of all time - past or present and regardless of price?
S.
 

c web

Well-known member
Messages
315
Reaction score
5
Location
Fayetteville NC
Where I fish in the southern Appalachians, Martin model 62, cost around $15, does it's job beautifully and lasts forever, oh and you can't beat the sound that old tuna can makes! :D
 

dennyk

Well-known member
Messages
2,558
Reaction score
169
Location
Hudsonville, Michigan
Rip Tide, nice stable of Medalists. I have the new Medalist in the 7/8. Some spool slop and the backlash drag ain't much to speak of, but as my bass reel it does the job. I swap it for and old one in the same size in a heartbeat.

Denny
 

flytie09

Well-known member
Messages
3,182
Reaction score
332
Location
VA
Hands down...it's the Hardy Perfect. Still in production almost 125 years. There's a reason why....

IMG_2214.jpg

The Hardy St George is a darn close second.

IMG_0023-1.jpg
 

Frank Whiton

Administrator
Messages
5,414
Reaction score
30
Location
Central Florida
Well I don't know if it is the best but it certainly is my favorite. That would be the Galvin Open Back. Wonderful drag, well built and perfect size.

Frank
 

JasonTX

Well-known member
Messages
87
Reaction score
3
Location
League City, TX
No doubt the CFO in my opinion. I respect how cheap and long lasting medalists are, but they’re just too bulky for me.
 

wthorpe

Well-known member
Messages
579
Reaction score
17
Location
Atlanta/West Yellowstone
This thread and some other recent ones have prompted me to wonder: What's the big deal about Hardy's, CFO's, and other such reels? I hate to sound ignorant but well i guess i am, and that's why i am asking. i have bumbled along for 20 years with mid-priced Ross reels (mostly Cimmarons, Evolution, and their progeny), caught fish with them just fine, and I know next to nothing about these "classic" reels. For example, are all or most click and pawl, or do they have drags (or both)? (For what it's worth i have one inexpensive Ross clicker that i put away for good the first time i backlashed the whole thing pulling line off of the reel. Perhaps more patience on my part was warranted.) If someone wanted to give me for a present, say a Hardy, for a 5 wt., to what reel, and what seller might i direct them--and what are the implications of the used vs. brand new products. I tried to find some of this basic stuff on the internet, but either it ain't there, or my (im)Perfect searches did not find it. i will appreciate any responses.
 

jofer

Well-known member
Messages
192
Reaction score
10
Mr. discoSteve,
still wainting to see some photos of your magnificent collection of 200 reels!!

Regards

Jofer
 

silver creek

Well-known member
Messages
7,095
Reaction score
427
Location
Rothschld, Wisconsin
This thread and some other recent ones have prompted me to wonder: What's the big deal about Hardy's, CFO's, and other such reels? I hate to sound ignorant but well i guess i am, and that's why i am asking. i have bumbled along for 20 years with mid-priced Ross reels (mostly Cimmarons, Evolution, and their progeny), caught fish with them just fine, and I know next to nothing about these "classic" reels. For example, are all or most click and pawl, or do they have drags (or both)? (For what it's worth i have one inexpensive Ross clicker that i put away for good the first time i backlashed the whole thing pulling line off of the reel. Perhaps more patience on my part was warranted.) If someone wanted to give me for a present, say a Hardy, for a 5 wt., to what reel, and what seller might i direct them--and what are the implications of the used vs. brand new products. I tried to find some of this basic stuff on the internet, but either it ain't there, or my (im)Perfect searches did not find it. i will appreciate any responses.
Are you a car guy? Imagine it is 1962 and the 1962 Corvette below is the new car everyone hungers for.



If you are and are of a certain age, you will remember when the 1962 Jaguar XKE appeared. I certainly do. It redefined what a sports car could be. There was no car that every looked close to that car when it was introduced.

I graduated high school in 1962 and for me the XKE will always be the definition of a sexy sports car. Well Classic reels are like that. They leave the competition behind and they stand the test of time. This car is 55 years old and yet looks like looks like a modern sports car should.

 

JasonTX

Well-known member
Messages
87
Reaction score
3
Location
League City, TX
wthorpe, here’s my answer to your question regarding the CFO. Hardy’s are desireable for another set of reasons. Stan Bogdan designed it to be simple, lightweight and easy to use. It doesn’t balance cane rods as well as most of its Hardy predecessors. It came around in the 70’s when graphite was beginning to become a norm and it is well suited for it. To me it is just good looking and defines what a fly reel looks like (Im not very old). The sound of the check when a fish runs is like music to me. The check adjustment does not even require a 360 degree turn of a well placed knob when you need a bit of drag, unlike Hardy’s little brass screw. I see absolutely no need for anything other than a click check for trout. Hell I fish saltwater with a CFO V SW. After Hardy’s stopped making them they got arguably better as BFR started machining from bar stock. The manufacturing tolerances are incredibly tight. The return to click check and US manufacturing with the Abel made version made it the perfect trout reel IMO......not that I’m opinionated or anything! :)

This “random” pile of reels may show a click check bias!!

 

dillon

Well-known member
Messages
1,820
Reaction score
66
Location
Portland and Maupin, Oregon
Saracione Mark IV Trout

I wouldn't proclaim any reel or rod the best, but the sarcione is worth a mention. Mine found a home this summer on my 486 One. A pretty nice little set up that produced my Montana "trip fish." However, it was on my way home, in Oregon... It was a tough year in Id/Mt. The coldest, wettest ever, for us.
 

steveid

Well-known member
Messages
488
Reaction score
4
While I can appreciate all of the Classic reels of the past, the CFO’s and Hardy’s and Pflueger Medalists, I have a hard time believing that’s what any of you would choose if the store owner told you to pick whatever you wanted out of the case.

If I were pressed to select today, it would be an Abel SDS or a Ross Evo R. I have the Evo R, and it’s a fine piece. Pairs perfectly on my Sage X 590.

The current Sage Click could find a place on something like a Sage X 486.

Never would I select a Pflueger Medalist, despite their value and ability.
 

Rip Tide

Well-known member
Messages
9,923
Reaction score
233
Location
quiet corner, ct
Never would I select a Pflueger Medalist, despite their value and ability.
The "value and ability" of the Pflueger Medalist is exactly what makes the Medalist the best reel of all time.

There's no snobbery involved. Just a reliable reel that anyone could afford.
I used them in the salt for 18 years before I got my first anodized disk drag and I still have, and sometimes use, my first Medalist from 1964.
And still to this day, I use them for 90% of my fresh water fishing.
And why wouldn't you ? Not cool enough ?
'Cuz here's a little secret, :secret:, That's not what fish care about.
 

steveid

Well-known member
Messages
488
Reaction score
4
The "value and ability" of the Pflueger Medalist is exactly what makes the Medalist the best reel of all time.

There's no snobbery involved. Just a reliable reel that anyone could afford.
I used them in the salt for 18 years before I got my first anodized disk drag and I still have, and sometimes use, my first Medalist from 1964.
And still to this day, I use them for 90% of my fresh water fishing.
And why wouldn't you ? Not cool enough ?
'Cuz here's a little secret, :secret:, That's not what fish care about.

I wouldn’t “hypothetically” select one because this thread stated “regardless of price.” Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t buy one for personal use.

I’m also familiar with the fact that the fish don’t care about your gear. However, I do care about what I use; and ultimately what I care about means more to me than what the fish care about or what you think.

The point was (and I think you missed it), given the choice of any reel for free, I have my doubts that anybody here selects a Medalist. You would be a fool to do so.
 

JasonTX

Well-known member
Messages
87
Reaction score
3
Location
League City, TX
I have a hard time believing that’s what any of you would choose if the store owner told you to pick whatever you wanted out of the case.

If I were pressed to select today, it would be an Abel SDS or a Ross Evo R. I have the Evo R, and it’s a fine piece. Pairs perfectly on my Sage X 590.

The current Sage Click could find a place on something like a Sage X 486.

Never would I select a Pflueger Medalist, despite their value and ability.
Those are all large arbor reels....nice ones, but I’ll stick with a standard arbor click check for trout any day!

I have another pile of reels like you’re talking about for saltwater, but we’re talking about trout reels here. I don’t need 10 pounds of drag.
 
Top