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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at getting a hatch 9+ for an 8wt of mine. I have never owned one before and I had one question. They offer a large and mid arbor reel. Besides spool width are the capacities and weight the same? Is there an advantage of one over the other?


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I think that with the Mid Arbour, you can get more backing on, or just have more capacity for bigger spey lines. Great reel, I love mine.
 

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I bought a Hatch Reel at LL Bean's a few years ago. I had trouble getting the spool off. It would not turn. Had to take pliers. I returned the reel. I know the first generation reels had drag problems. Maybe Gen 2 is improved. So many great reels out there. Why buy one that has a history of problems.
 

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I have two Gen 1 Finatic 9 that I think are great reels. I had them upgraded to Gen 2 spec, but only because they were going on an Alaska trip and I wanted them serviced anyway. By the way, the drag problem that Mecast referenced was related to heat build up...think tarpon in the salt, not steelhead and was a legit issue resolved in the Gen 2 version.

The only difference between the large and mid arbor versions is line capacity and, subsequently, the loaded weight. I have both size spools and for freshwater fishing I think either works fine particularly if you use hatch/gel spun backing.
 

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If it's a sealed drag you are looking for I would buy any of the following over the Hatch:

Lamson Cobolt
Tibor Signature
Galvan
Nautilus
Bauer
Ross
Abel

All in the same price range too!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Have you had any other experience with them since the bad one you got form ll bean?
 

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Just that one experience was enough. Pay that kind of $$$ for a fly reel, and I expect it to function properly. I have owned Tibor, Ross, Galvan, Lamson Cobolt, Speyco. All work. No issues.

Look at the Lamson Cobolt. It's an amazing reel!
 

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I once have owned gen 1 5+ with both mid and large arbor spool. The difference was not so obvious (mid is approx. 1/4" deeper) and did not feel a difference in retrieve speed. I will choose the mid for more versatility in line capacity.
 

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I have had several hatch, a couple of Abel’s, some Ross and so one. I love my hatch reels, never had an issue and they are local for me down south. The abel’s Are great and 2 of mine are from Steve and he is a great guy.

I recently got a speyco, still waiting for it to arrive.

I would tell people to go feel the reels play with them, see what feels good in the hand. All the top reels will perform well.
 

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I have had drags fail on Hatch, Galvan, Speyco, and Tibor... so none of the "good" manufacturers are immune. Hatch customer service is very easy to work with, though. I still use a Hatch 9, LA, and run gel-spun backing. No issues with capacity.
 
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