Jaz and John fly reels? - Spey Pages
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  • 2 Post By sinktip
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Jaz and John fly reels?

Has anyone here tried or handled one of these Chinese Bogdan knock-off reels? I contacted the seller, who lives in NY, and he told me Tim of Farlex reels purchased one from him. They look nice but wonder about the quality. Any opinions? Thanks for any insight.

Nate

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 08:33 PM
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Nate - reach out to Brian (Montanafos) and he can help you.

The old saying about if it seems too good to be true ...

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Nate - reach out to Brian (Montanafos) and he can help you.

The old saying about if it seems too good to be true ...
Thanks. Will do.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 09:36 PM
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I bit and purchased a couple of them actually...a 2 and a 300M in LHW. While the seller in NY is the mainland contact, the ebay store is owned by a fellow in China. I had quite a lot of conversation with him prior to purchasing and he made it clear that if I was not 100% happy with the reel he'd provide a full refund including return shipping. He was fair on cost as I negotiated with him a bit and the reels I received were shipped directly from him in China to me here in Montana within a few days. Service and communication were excellent. Reel finish and quality were very good and had it not been for a couple issues I would still have both reels as they really accomplished everything I was after. I wanted the look and feel of a Bogdan style reel, but didn't want to cringe every time I picked it up to fish it. I wasn't trying to pull off being a Bogdan owner...just loved the cosmetics and if I could pick up essentially the same thing for under $500...I was game to try. The issues that finally led me to return both reels were that the springs definitely had a different rate / strength than a true Bogdan. The more I played with the reel, the more the same drag tension would require another notch of drag on the knob. That would have been a relatively easy fix though as a quick Google search led me to a supplier and their table of springs that would have allowed for a replacement with heavier springs. The second issue was one I didn't discover until I pulled the one reel apart and discovered imperfections in the drag spool. The machining process led to light grooves that were only felt in a LHW configuration and my concern was that over time they would wear the teflon drag shoes and I'd have a disposable reel. I discussed that with the builder and he stated that his NY friend was aware of the issue and that they felt it would not present a problem. He mentioned that they had no machining issues with the RHW configuration reels and offered me an exceptional buy on the reel I had in hand and apologized for the issue. Every part of me wanted to hold on to the reels, but my concern was where I'd be with them a year from now. Would they feel worn, loose and have drag issues? So...I sent them back and received full refunds prior to their departure from Montana. Had the one reel not had the machining issue in the drag spool, I may still own them. That kind of spooked me a bit. The builder is an engineering student in China and is in my opinion a very stand up guy. He has a vision for a new line of reels he's developing of his own design. The Bogdan copies were his entry to reel making and he did a more than decent job with them as if you've ever spent much time with a true Bogdan in hand...that's an involved reel. My thinking in the end was if I'm going to spend $500 or so on a reel, may as well spend $900 on a Farlex or $1400 on an Olson. I have no concerns about either of those reels, the longevity of the builders or their ability to service the reels and keep me fishing them to the very end. Turns out you DO get what you pay for. As for Tim at Farlex buying one...who knows. If I were a builder and wanted to "play" with a Bogdan to maybe tweak the design or incorporate some of it in to my work without dropping $3k to tear it apart...the Jaz and John reel would be a good, low cost option.

My opinion...spend the extra $500 on a Farlex.

Last edited by montanafos; 02-06-2019 at 11:53 PM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Brian,
Thanks for the detailed and comprehensive explanation of your experience with these reels. I really appreciate it and I think others will benefit from it as well.

Nate
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 10:44 AM
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We would all like to have vintage or contemporary known makers' reels but availability and financial ability constrains that.
In the past and less so in the present I have been able to indulge in bench reels but personal situations change and one must adapt to the circumstances.
When the CAP reels first came out people were astounded that a Chinese made reel could be of such quality for relatively low prices. Even diehard classic buffs were partaking in the acquisition of items previously deemed to be of low quality and not worth buying or even seen to be owning.
Unless you are a collector, buying to sell at a profit at some point in the future, or supporting a local market, does it make a difference if this bench maker is from Oregon or Shanghai if the goods are up to scratch ? It's well known that the new Korean Hardys were superior to anything produced in Alnwick however the fishing fraternity were up in arms when production was offshored to Korea. Knowing which side their bread was buttered production of "heritage" reels returned to the UK, but if the item is up to the required quality bar, why should we worry about from whence or from whom it was made?
Unless you have unlimited funds should it matter if someone makes an equally quality item from a not so prestigious location than from the original?
Were not all current known makers like Saracione, Olson, Shamburg et al not making copies of reels of a prior era such as VH, Zwarg and co before their reputations were made?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 03:39 PM
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I like Sevill315's attitude. Were I into that type of reels & had the experience Montanafos had, I think I would have talked to Bill Archuletta before sending them back. but then again, Archuletta is less than an hours drive away from me & not being into that type reel, my $.02 worth aint worth squat. :-)
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 07:06 PM
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Montanafos thanks for the info and what you experienced, I think you made a good choice in the return. Also I think your analysis is pretty on spending a little more to get verified quality, etc. The gentleman (Jazliu) first posted on the Classic Fly Rod forum a few years back asking questions about Bodgans, size, etc. also asking about value. He inquired about where to buy which auction or vintage dealers, etc. I think he bought one or maybe two which he then reverse engineered. He then posted again after a year and said he like to rebuild Bogdan reels and enjoyed doing this. I think he then offered some for sale, I sent him a PM as he said he was in NY and I asked him if he was making the reels himself or having them made in China. He never responded and never gave any more details. He was still asking questions not too long ago about what the screw in the spool is for, which is to hold backing onto the reel. I then started to see the reels on EBay it was hard to tell the quality some looked a little rough but seemed to get better over time. I know others (Hermann, Wurm,) more or less copied the Bogdan but I still find it annoying with the Chinese. They tend to only copy someone's else work or steal their intilectual property or idea. So therefore I had no interest and maybe this is unfair of me to have this attitude. I also find the quality of the Chinese stuff when there is no other oversight from a manufacturer, etc to often be lacking. You never know what kind of material they make something out of to save cost or because that is all they can get. I saw this on a reel my cousin bought on Ali Baba that failed due to poor materials, etc.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 08:31 PM
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I like Sevill315's attitude. Were I into that type of reels & had the experience Montanafos had, I think I would have talked to Bill Archuletta before sending them back. but then again, Archuletta is less than an hours drive away from me & not being into that type reel, my $.02 worth aint worth squat. :-)
Yeah, if Arch were close to me I'd have most definitely made a run to see him. I truly liked the reels and wasn't overly excited when I packed them up to return them. Was just a matter of looking at the facts at hand and adding up the "what if's" and "how much will it cost" and I chose to take the safer route. The 300 was gorgeous on a Meiser I own and was a spot on balance.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 08:54 PM
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Much in angling is 'a state of mind'. Hardy's farmed out their production or reels to save costs, to both mainland Europe and the Far East, letting go many fine reel makers who had worked at the company for years, only to re-instate them later on

The Lost World of Mr Hardy film , on You Tube touches on this and is most interesting.

However, like so many companies, Hardy's did not anticipate the backlash - why pay the same for a Perfect reel made by a robot far, far away from Alnwick. It is not the same.

I have a few old Hardy's, plus photos and bio's of the men who made them and exchanged letters (handwritten in envelopes) with one of them. Thinking here of the late Jim Hardy whom I sent a picture of a Perfect that he made , he informed me that he made it plus two others, when he started with the firm in 1950. Luck had it that I managed to also find the second of the three Perfects which he had made so many years ago, with his initials inside.

A couple of the reels of mine (early Hardy Silex's) took the 'finisher' a day and a half to make in the early 1900's. His (Walter Dingley) initial (D) being stamped into the reel for posterity.

There seems to be a trend for 're-shoring' lately, in other words, bringing production back to where it started, as customers don't mind spending the extra for the history and the quality of what they are buying.

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