Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsLines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy


Fly Reel Review

Don’t count your fly reels until you try a Hatch (continued)


Casting : A good fly reel really serves one major purpose when it comes to casting and that is to properly hold your line and backing and make it easy to strip line when casting. Unlike conventional equipment casting distance is more about making sure the reel is outfitted with the right line for the application and you have the technique down. The 5 plus weighs only 7oz. (without line and backing) so it is relatively light and easy to cast all day long.


Ms. Casey is ready to go fishing, we spooled up one reel with sinking tip and another with floating line for steelhead


Retrieve: Most anglers will leave the reel in the configuration it comes from the factory which is left hand retrieve. There are two reek options available, Large Arbor (LA) and Mid Arbor (MA). If you need more capacity than the mid arbor spool will hold nearly 20% more backing and line but for most applications the large arbor spool will suit anglers just fine and delivers a slightly faster retrieve sue to the diameter of the spool.


The reel seat is machined out of the same piece of aluminum for a one piece design


The larger the reel and the bigger the species you are fishing for the more important reel integrity is, that is the strength of the reel. Hatch has created a unique spool and frame design that sweeps backwards creating “dimension” rather than just flat edges like you would normally find on most fly reels. Because the spokes extend towards the inner frame the reel not only feels more balanced but increases overall spool strength. When you strip line or retrieve there is a pleasant soft click which is audible and provides some positive feedback making it easy to properly gauge your speed.


Each reel comes with a sheepskin lined pouch...


Hatch also changed their crank design in 2009 and while the new knob is still machined out of aluminum it now features a more ergonomic design. The crank felt good pinched between my fingers when retrieving and delivered a positive grip even when wet. I seem to prefer aluminum cranks over wood mainly due to long term durability. Wood cranks look and feel great when new but after prolonged exposure to the elements often dull when they lose their finish.


...which can cover the reel when on a rod and not in use


Drag: The drag system Hatch has designed is phenomenal and delivers exceptional stopping power but also proved to be extremely smooth. The secret is a multi-disc drag cassette that loads alternating Rulon and stainless steel discs which together increase the total drag surface area over what you would normally find in a fly reel of this size. During testing even after prolonged runs Steelhead could do little to alter the performance of this drag. Because there are so many washers the heat is efficiently distributed over a range of washers throughout the stack.


Ready for a dunk?


This system is designed to be water resistant, maintenance free and self lubricating. During testing I found this system to be among the very best that I have ever fished in terms of ability to adjust on the fly and sheer stopping power. While the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout didn’t make as many extended runs the Steelhead in the Smith and Klamath Rivers really put the 5 Plus’s drag system to the test. It responded with a drag system that was both powerful and smooth so that fish tired quickly while the drag was still able to protect the tippet.


We test the drag system after submersion and it worked beautifully


After a few months of fishing the 5 Plus I encountered my one and only hiccup with this reel during an inspection of the drag. I had pulled out the cassette to check if there were any contaminates inside and found the system to be both clean and still well lubricated. I then rotated the drag setting all the way back and forth and suddenly found it completely locked up. I contacted Hatch through their website support email and was responded to within 24 hours by a rep named Andrew.


A Lahontan Cutthroat taken with the Hatch 5 Plus


His response: “Thank you for contacting us – you must have an older drag that has since been updated to eliminate that lock up action – we were having an occasional reel show up with the drag locked in the open position. We did some testing and found it was two brass parts touching and galling on each other b/c of being the same material. We changed one of the parts to stainless steel and Viola! We were in the money. If you would like to pop out the drag assembly with the bearing and mail back to me, I’ll send you a new drag with the updated materials. Please send me your address and the color of your 5Plus. Thanks again,"
- Andrew Dickinson


This reel was really overkill for these fish

Next Section: Now that's what I call support









Copyright © 2000-2021 TackleTour LLC All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy information