Whats with old reels? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Whats with old reels?

So, I've got the spey game figured out (to an extent). Even starting to splice and weld some of my own lines. However, what is the fad with $900 "pre war" reels such as the old Hardy's? Now I get the whole nostalgia, thing, I guess. So where did this fad start and why is it so popular today? Or is it kind of like owning that 69 Z-28, while all us younger kids have the BMW's and imports? I mean I have a Lamson Guru 4 that is an absolutely awesome reel for a great price. Its new, looks great, and works like a charm. There is one thing I get with the old reels, that awesome sound! I think people could hear that on the Clearwater if you were hooked up on the Ronde. What do YOU like about the old reels?
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post #2 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 10:33 AM
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Reasons to own a vintage Hardy Perfect:

Mojo

Part of history

British made

Simple mechanism & functional for 100+ years

Classic good looks

Investment value



& not necessarily in that order


Mike
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post #3 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 10:37 AM
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they don't look like Lamsons...
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post #4 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 10:39 AM
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1. The old reels were built by hand. They have craftmanship and pride. Many of these reels had little variations that make them almost bespoke.

2. These reels have been in service for 30, 40, 50, even a hundred years. After we finish with them, they can be handed down, and will be good for another fifty years, while all the new reels with composite drag systems have decomposed.

3. The old reels have class. Like an MG or a fine Mauser. Newer reels all seem to look like an engineers college project or ghetto-spinners. The better ones look like hubcaps on a Ford Fairlane.

Just my opinion since you asked. However, all reels are functional. So if you like Bauers, Nautilus, Tibor, Ross, etc. Fish what you like. They all work!

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post #5 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 11:35 AM
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Have you ever checked out a pre-war Hardy Perfect? I mean in your hands. These were made to such close tolerance, as tight as any modern day reel, without the use of modern day tech and tools! I could post pics of a few of mine, but it's not so much about the looks of the reels with me. It's about the simple design and craftsmanship, not to mention that The Perfect was built to last.

Compare for example your Lamson Guru, and my 3 3/4 WD MK II: I've owned several Lamson reels (two ULAs, an LS, & a Guru(and they are fine pieces,)) but with all those rubber seals to keep the drag components dry and clean they are not going to last for ever without having to repair or replace some of these parts at one point or another. Just wondering: Does your reel still have that clicker intact? Lamson/Waterworks goes as far as stating than you should not dismount the spool river-side so as to keep all water and contamination out of the drag cylinder. The better two of my Lamson reels had to go back to Boise for repairs/replacements within just two years of regular use.

Now, my Hardy Perfect, St. John and St. George are pre-war models. There is noting in these reels that requires regular replacement other than a regular dab of grease. Except for a handle-assembly(just recently)every part is original to the reels. How many previous owners, I wonder, have these gone through?

I'm not saying a modern reel will need repair or wont last, but chances are that something will go bad simply because they are not built to last. They are built to be replaced by they new, up-dated model the company has planned to release in a few years, making everything prior obsolete.

So you've recently come along into the "spey-game" as you call it, but folks have been collecting vintage tackle for decades. This is not a new fad, and just like any other collection of vintage "anything."
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post #6 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 11:44 AM
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It's sort of like the USA made Penn reels I use for surf: beat them to death, repair and refinish, repeat. However at some point this plays into a classical supply-demand scenario. No new reels being made and increasing demand from anglers allows/forces the prices well above that of modern reels.

I disagree that all modern reels look bad. I do agree I want my reel made in the USA or EU and not some generic factory in Asia.

But my next spey reel will probably be something gear and pawl. Maybe the new Abel offering or a SpeyCo. It's more of a "why not" have something different.
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post #7 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 11:59 AM
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History

One thing I think of when fishing my old reels is who might have fished it before me. Some of the really old stuff I have may easily been fished by some of the legends of the sport at one time or another. For it to get used now by the current 'legends' it just keeps the history going. These reels are made well and are meant to be fished, not collected. The trick is not to pay 900 for one

Then when I pick up one of Tim's SPEYCO reels I appreciate it even more

I do have a McNeese and an Islander on the modern side of things. The McNeese is a bit of history too.

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post #8 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 12:29 PM
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There is something about an old used reel. It has mojo. The golden prince that I bought came with a note from the previous owner about the Atlantic that he caught with it and the wear on the other reels are stories from the distant past. I'll add my own stories to these reels and they will hopefully keep being used when I'm done with them (aka dead). They're simple and they work and I think they're gorgeous! How many modern (not boutique) reels have the individual builders name stamped on the frame and spool? It means something to me to own a reel made by hand.

The old reels are out there and I see no reason for them to sit on a shelf, except to dry the line out.



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post #9 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 01:01 PM
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I've got a 1920 3 1/2" Perfect and a 1912 4" Perfect and the aura that comes with them is unlike any feeling you can describe. I almost feel like I'm linked with fisherman from years past. They are an obsession, once you get one....it's game over
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post #10 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 02:39 PM
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they have soul.

nuthin left to do but smile, smile, smile!!!

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post #11 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 02:58 PM
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Only reels that have ever malfunctioned for me on the river have been modern drag reels. Never had a spring and pawl do anything other than what it was supposed to do. There's a lot to be said for their simplicity and longevity.
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post #12 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 03:21 PM
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Now if they only reeled left handed back then I would love to own and fish a pre-war perfect but I just can't get the hang of reeling righty. The re-issued perfects don't have the soul of the hand made pre-war reels but they have everything else going for them including the all important lefty version and I like the barstock construction. I like to think my re-issued perfects will last just as long and hopefully someday my grand kids will fish with them.

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post #13 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afunk View Post
Now if they only reeled left handed back then I would love to own and fish a pre-war perfect but I just can't get the hang of reeling righty. The re-issued perfects don't have the soul of the hand made pre-war reels but they have everything else going for them including the all important lefty version and I like the barstock construction. I like to think my re-issued perfects will last just as long and hopefully someday my grand kids will fish with them.
Well, the old reels were machined out of bar-stock aluminum and not completely hand-made: difference being hand lathes rather than computer-programed nowadays.
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post #14 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 03:57 PM
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I thought most of the parts were cast?

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post #15 of 92 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 04:35 PM
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The old Hardy reels were cast aluminum then finished machined where required,,, rather brittle aluminum alloy that easily cracked.

I believe the first Hardy reels that were machined from bar stock were the late 1980's vintage Sage 509, 508, etc. brown anodized series.

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