Thanks for the help gentlemen--it's a nice looking reel, just assumed it was a Hardy! Do any of you guys have experience fishing Ari't Hart reels? Just wondering how the work out on the stream. Are they hard to come by in the US?
It could indeed have a Hardy label on it because Ari did do a few reels for Hardy, and for a bunch of other companies over the years, too. I've had a couple of those come through here over the years. In fact, it isn't really publicized, but Ari designed the Hardy Angel. ATH Design, Ari't Hart International, and Dutch reels are all Ari reels, though he wasn't with these companies during some of the manufacturing that took place. They are reasonably common in the US despite what you read on eBay where it seems that most guys who are trying to sell one want you to believe that they are VERY RARE! They function quite nicely. His cork drags on the small reels are legend. About the only problems that I know about are that early models sometimes froze up in really cold weather. It seems Ari was so intent on the tight tolerances he was able to get that he forgot about what extreme weather can do to different metals. Other than that, just keep them clean and lubed and they'll last a lifetime-plus.
I have no experience of the bigger models but do have two of the smaller reels. The F2 Rio Orbigo is a nice 6 weight trout reel. However, the real jewel is the tiny F1 Traun for 3/4 weight trout fishing. I will never part with it!
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