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What if the reel says 5/6/7?
How did sizes work in terms of inches? like 3" 5/8 is a 7 wt reel?
haha- Ive no idea. I'm old- I've used that reel for several different set ups over the past 35 years. I think they'd have specs on the Hardy site. But I run 100 yards of 20 lb Dacron, 80 ft of 30 lb mono running line, and a variety of heads from 270 to 325.
 

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i have a scientific anglers system 2 6/7. 3 1/2" rim. deep spool. 200yds 20lb dacron. 100ft 35lb mono. 250gr skagit head fills it to the brim.
Nice and heavy. About 9 oz fully loaded.
 

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Its not the listed line size of the reel that matters. In fact I would ignore that as a determining factor because reels in same listed size vary greatly and many won't work well with a given rod. There are almost no reels designed and made specifically for trout spey use.

IMO you should look for a mix of other features that can be found in the 'right' reel.

Actual reel weight -- loaded with line -- that balances your particular rod to your taste is one good thing to look for. It would also be good to get a reel with the larger diameter size and the capacity to hold a chunky skagit head w/o kinking it up. A closed cage design that assures backing does not get fouled over the spool rim would be nice. You don't need a drag if there is a palming rim on the spool but the reel should have enough minimal reliable braking to smoothly prevent overruns. Avoid pot metal reals that distort easily if banged or dropped.
 

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Marquis 8/9 or even a 10! The 10 hangs nicely on my 1214. Try some P-line Hydrafloat for a running line. Those light trout speys need a nice supple running line, and that stuff shoots a mile.
 

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I recommend the Sage Trout Spey reel. It has a closed cage and a very well designed adjustable drag. It doesn't have the gear and pawl old school type of appeal, but it is appealing in its own right in either black or a retro Sage bronze-like color. I use this reel on my 11 ft 4 wt two handed rod. I also have a couple of the new Pflueger Medalist fly reel in size 7/8 which is a solid Chinese made gear and pawl reel with a closed cage and surprisingly good manufacturing tolerances. I know that doesn't rate up there with the classic Hardy reels, but it is inexpensive and solidly made and pairs well with the 4 wt. Follow your taste and budget. An argument can be made for getting the best reel you can afford, which in the long run is cheaper than getting several less expensive reels.
 

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Another example of a good but off- the-wall trout spey rod/reel matchup.

I have an ECHO Ion fiberglass 10'8' 4 wt Trout Spey rod that despite its light wt line recommendation is a pretty heavy, slow action, rod. It works very nicely with a Hardy St John click and pawl reel that normally is used with larger 2 handers in the 6 wt line range. The only drawback is it does not have a palming rim.
 

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Hardy St. John
St Aidan
Golden Prince 7/8
Viscount 7/8
Checkout the old Hardy light weight salmon reels.
Orvis Battenkill IV G&P reels
CFO IV reels


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I recommend the Sage Trout Spey reel. It has a closed cage and a very well designed adjustable drag. It doesn't have the gear and pawl old school type of appeal, but it is appealing in its own right in either black or a retro Sage bronze-like color. I use this reel on my 11 ft 4 wt two handed rod. I also have a couple of the new Pflueger Medalist fly reel in size 7/8 which is a solid Chinese made gear and pawl reel with a closed cage and surprisingly good manufacturing tolerances. I know that doesn't rate up there with the classic Hardy reels, but it is inexpensive and solidly made and pairs well with the 4 wt. Follow your taste and budget. An argument can be made for getting the best reel you can afford, which in the long run is cheaper than getting several less expensive reels.
Hows the sound on the medalist?
 

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Yes it is.
It has no break but the tension protects it for over run.
It's very low cost but its perfect!
I love the design!
 

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The Medalist has a pleasing sound which admittedly doesn't have the same reverberating beauty of most Hardy's at full growl or an Abel Spey. It pleases me and my wallet. I have no regrets buying the Pfluegers. The reel costs less than many spools for Spey reels, so having two different reels with different lines is convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes it is.
It has no break but the tension protects it for over run.
It's very low cost but its perfect!
I love the design!
Definitely looking more into this reel. Before seeing it, I was really hoping for a click and paw, but this design is so different. On big trout would you just palm drag them?
 
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