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I have a new to me Sage 5116 switch rod and am trying to determine what reel to pair with it. Although given the lightness of this rod it might a great candidate for a new super-light "space age" reel, I really want an old Hardy for it. Question is, which one?

I was thinking an Perfect in 3 3/8 wide size might work, but am concerned it will be too heavy. I have a 3 3/8 perfect with narrow spool but it does not have enough capacity for this use.

This will be for use on medium sized rivers, initially fitted with an Airflo Floating Switch line, and maybe with an extra spool a 360-375 short Skagit setup. I don't need much backing given size of rivers I am targeting, and willing to go with some newer, "modern" backing alternatives if I need more capacity.

What other Hardy's would work, but not be too heavy? Not sure where to start here as the number of Hardy reel variations is a bit overwhelming. A search has turned but the Marquis 8/9 and Salmon 1 as possibilities but they still look heavy. What else should I consider?

Thanks for any advice.

Rodney
 

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Full disclosure I thought long and hard about which reel to balance the sage one 4116. These switch rods (little spey rods), though light, are very substantive. An argument could be made that there are hardly any trout on the planet what would require the 5wt, and few summer/fall Steelhead that would probably absolutely require more in a pinch. I settled on an Orvis CFO V (made by Hardy) 4.6 oz for the 4 wt. I bet that would balance the 5wt as well, but a bit light. Princess is the same weight. But probably the St. Aidan would be awesome on the 5 wt - a little heavier (~ 6 oz), and incidentally one of my 4 or 5 favorite reels. I have the 3 3/8 perfect on a 4wy spey. Less volume, but same weight as the St. Aidan. Also a good choice, though not as good as the Aidan, IMHO.
 

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Hardy?

To get a base line weight, you might throw some pennies in ziploc bag taped to the rod reel seat. When the rod balances off, weigh the bag. You'll probably be surprised on how much weight it takes. Keep in mind the rod will be more tip heavy with you fly line running through it.

As for a reel suggestion, You might want to give a St.John a look. It's 3 7/8" at about 8oz. I use an older 3 screw expanded arbor version (I believe it's slightly lighter then 8oz) on my 11'7" 3wt Anderson Spey and love it's balance. You may also consider a Zenith(3 3/8" 6.7 oz) which is a wide drum or a 3 5/8" Perfect. Good luck in your search.
 

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I use a 3 5/8 Perfect on my Meiser 4117. Great combination. Same reel I use on a 7 wt sh.

100 yds 20lb backing, running line, and 300 - 325 grain heads.
 

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FISHIN' FREELANCER
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The Zenith with it's wider spool allows for increased capacity. Ste Aiden is good option as well.
 

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Btw I'd say salmon 1 a bit to heavy but 8/9 probably just right and in the same weight category as 3 3/8 perfect and st Aidan. I use a 8/9 on a 13' 4/5 wt meiser and it balances well. A good looking classic but more economical option. 8 oz will be too much for most people, but 5-7 oz should be about right on that rod.
 

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Hello.. You might also consider the fact that these mentioned reels have different check configurations. The Zenith, St. John and Marquises have the stronger check. St. Aidan, Princess and St. George (not mentioned) have the weaker version. If you´re about to use fine tippets, it may be a consideration as well. I´m not sure about the modern Perfects. Yours borano20
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is really helpful. Appreciate the suggestions.

I am really liking the idea of the Zenith, with which I was unfamiliar. The same size and similar look to a 3 3/8 wide Perfect, but lighter? I quick scan is not showing any for sale though.....

I am a little confused that the Hardy site shows a new Perfect wide 3 3/8 as weighing 6.2 ounces (I assume this is ounces...). Is it really this light? Or are the old reels heavier.

The St Aidan looks very nice as well. I can see why it has such a following.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
check

Hello.. You might also consider the fact that these mentioned reels have different check configurations. The Zenith, St. John and Marquises have the stronger check. St. Aidan, Princess and St. George (not mentioned) have the weaker version. If you´re about to use fine tippets, it may be a consideration as well. I´m not sure about the modern Perfects. Yours borano20
Didn't know about the check difference. I would probably prefer the weaker check as I tend to keep my drags set just enough to prevent overspool.
 

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Yes the 3 3/8 wide spool perfect is that light. It also has the least capacity of any of the above mentioned reels. I would guess that the Aidan has close to double the capacity. FWIW, the perfect has a very smooth check - it is definitely a good trout reel. The older, possibly battle scared, Marquises sometimes need tweaks to the springs to adjust the tension in the check, and of course are not nearly so smooth as a perfect ...what is? You can always adjust the tension, but the smoothness goes with the price - marquis < lightweight < perfect. They each have their virtues - palming rim/cheapness, greatest volume to weight/loudest, smoothness/sophistication.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Yes the 3 3/8 wide spool perfect is that light. It also has the least capacity of any of the above mentioned reels. I would guess that the Aidan has close to double the capacity. FWIW, the perfect has a very smooth check - it is definitely a good trout reel. The older, possibly battle scared, Marquises sometimes need tweaks to the springs to adjust the tension in the check, and of course are not nearly so smooth as a perfect ...what is? You can always adjust the tension, but the smoothness goes with the price - marquis < lightweight < perfect. They each have their virtues - palming rim/cheapness, greatest volume to weight/loudest, smoothness/sophistication.
Thats a nice looking lineup. So, if the perfect is that light, how does it compare to a zenith, which would appear to have same diameter spool and similar capacity. Is the Zenith actually heavier than the perfect? The numbers above from Swiftcurrent indicate so. I am trying to get my head around this since I have always heard how "heavy" perfects are. Maybe it is a reasonable option after all....
 

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I've got the 4116 and have two reels that I like. The first is a 3 3/4 St. George. It's a little small, but such a beauty, and a Perfect 3 5/8 which I find is ideal. It's got the capacity for some line, and balances it out perfectly (for me). I'm using 125 yrds 20lb dacron, mono running line, and the Skandi Short Versitip line or a Skagit short 325.
 

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The modern Wide Spool Perfect has no line guard so drops a little weight there. Keep in mind diameters of the spool / drum versus the diameter of the reel it's self.. especially with Bougles. If your not averse to 'modern' stuff (stated "old Perfect" in original post) a Bougle could be nice option. Basically they are a light weight Perfect.

If considering a Marquis a good size is the Marquis 10 or Scientific Anglers System 9 -same reels- (universal) just different badging.. really like mine.
 

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Although it doesn't say Hardy on it, the Hardy made Sage 509 might be another option worth considering. I use one on my TCX 5119. Never weighed it, but it balances the rod very nicely.
 

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I use a Sage 509 (made by Hardy and the first bar stock anodized Hardy) or a Marquis 8/9 for my 5wt rods.

Regards,
FK
 

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Marquis #10 would be my vote! The St. Aiden will work as well , but like stated above it does have a lighter drag tension. I use both of these on my ACR 1214 and 1255.
 

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You should be better able to source the Hardy made 3M Mastery reels stateside(not many made it UK side of the pond)I use the 10/11 on my Sage One 8 weight and its perfect!,a smaller one say an 8/9 I imagine will fit spot on,bear in mind the line ratings are for trout sized lines and not full Salmon lines-the 10/11 reel being more 8/9 sized in reality.I also have an Airflow 6 weight Switch which see the light of day paired to a Sage 3280 which is a perfect match too!.
Good luck,Yorkie.
 
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