In the world of high performance fly reels, there’s a new kid in town – Hatch Outdoors. Okay, maybe ‘new’ isn’t the right word, having started up in 2003, Hatch has quickly gained the reputation of some of the finest machined fly reels in the world..
A great perk to operating lodges in world class fishing destinations is that we get to see what gear makes the grade and what gear doesn’t quite hack it from hundreds of anglers each season. Its like our own little product testing paradise! Over the past few seasons more and more of our guests and guides alike have been turning towards Hatch’s most current Finatic series reels, and for good reason – they’re awesome!
We’re pretty hard on our reels. The idea that a fly reel is nothing more than a ‘line storage system’ doesn’t apply to our waters. Strong reels with smooth drags are important for most of the fish species we target. Whether fighting king salmon in Alaska, steelhead in British Columbia, or bonefish in the Bahamas, we’ve seen the Finatic series reels hold their own time and time again. That’s no easy task! Here’s a rundown on why we like Hatch’s Finatic Reels.
- They’re Super Strong – The first time we picked up a Finatic reel (a Finatic 7 Plus to be exact) it was clear that no corners were cut when designing a durable reel. When targeting strong fish known for long runs, it is critical that a fly reel remains rigid at high speeds. Long runs from species such as king salmon, bonefish, or permit can cause the frame of a fly reel to torque, often leading to failure. However, the frame of the Finatic reels have been precision machined with exactly this in mind. Each reel is designed with a thicker ‘dimension’ of the frame than most fly reels today, eliminating any chance of the frame twisting or torquing during the fight. Furthermore, the foot of the reel is machined out of the same block of aluminum as the rest of the frame, eliminating the need for screws (an often overlooked weak point of a fly reel). Even the drag housing is machined directly into the frame! Fewer parts equals a stronger reel, period.
- Killer Drag – We could pretend to understand the ins and outs of drag construction and throw out technical jargon we don’t really understand, but we’ll leave that to the engineers. All we know is that the drag system in the Finatic reel series is extremely smooth, strong, and dependable. Best of all, they are extremely low maintenance. In our opinion, the less maintenance needed for a reel the better. The drag incorporated in the Finatic reels is completely sealed and built to lubricate itself – no maintenance necessary. Unlike most modern reels, the drag housing consists of a self contained canister that is actually sealed within the frame, eliminating any sand, dirt, or other debris from getting in.
- Mid OR Large Arbor Spools – Can’t decide whether you want a large arbor to pick up line as fast as possible, or a mid arbor to load up as much backing as possible? How about both? Hatch offers extra spools (to fit the same size reel) with different size arbors to tailor to different fishing situations or personal preference.
- Large Range of Sizes – The Finatic series comes in eight sizes to accommodate line weights from 0-16 weight lines. We’ve seen the 5 Plus used for big Alaskan rainbows, had great success with the 7 Plus for bonefish, and love the 9 Plus and 11 Plus paired up with spey rods for salmon and steelhead. All are extremely salt resistant and are a great option for those looking for a great ‘crossover’ reel from fresh to salt water.
- Sex Appeal – Be honest. While it’s not the most important factor when buying a reel, how it looks often plays a part in the decision. Not only are they bombproof reels, they also look really cool. Hatch offers their Finatic reels in several unpolished silver models with different color accents including blue, green, red, and black, as well as mostly black models.
- USA Made – Best of all, Hatch reels are proudly made in the USA. You can’t beat that!
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