Hatch Outdoors Finatic Gen2 Reels
We've been doing business with Hatch for a number of years, and it has been easy for us. I own three Hatch Finatics, and they have been totally reliable and trouble free. All three reels have had workouts in both fresh and saltwater. Hatch reels just feel solid. Even the handles are made from metal. Because of that, they are a little heavier than some other brands, which never bothered me when they were attached to single hand rods, and actually made my Spey rods better balanced and more comfortable to cast, and fish with. They are made entirely within the USA. They are solid, no nonsense reels from a solid, sensible company.
Beyond all of that, I always felt that they were just great reels... with nothing to separate them from a pack of other great reels that I own. That was until yesterday when I received the guts of the communication below from Bruce Berry, our local Hatch reel rep. There have been upgrades to Finatic reels for 2018 called Gen2, but all the upgrades are available for all Gen1 reels, and all spools and frames interchange, with no built in obsolescence! It appears the the cost will be $50 for this service, unless there are warranty issues, then the upgrade is free.
Now, that is speaks to me. I've been looking for a series of reels with longevity to build fly fishing systems around. I like to travel, but I don't enjoy screwing around changing fly lines back and forth. I would rather buy another spool, so I don't have to. For instance, a Finatic 7+ with mid-arbor and gel spun backing will fit single hand rods from 7-weight through 10-weight. Sounds like the perfect arrangement for my trip to Belize in November. This same reel fits 5-7 weight Spey outfits, which is my favorite size range for steelhead. My 7+ becomes a Spey reel, just by just changing to the spool with the Spey shooting line (which could have been the same one used for tarpon shooting heads). Even after a couple of weeks of warm weather it will be good hunting for steel in a cold driving rain. There's nuthin' the matter with that plan. And, there ain't nuthin' the matter with EASY! Here's a toast to the makers of reels that are built to provide service to generations.
Here is some overview information on Hatch Finatic Gen2:
~Hatch is not closing out or doing a made-to-order closeout on current Finatic. Hatch still believes that devalues the brand, and customer investment.
~All new updates to the reels can be retro-fit to existing Finatic products to include the new lip seal, internal sealed bearing and new crank/counterweight assemblies.
~New Finatic Gen2 spools are completely compatible with existing Finatic products. No obsolescence!
~New 2018 reels go up $50, new 2018 spools go up $30
~Matte Grey Custom was so popular that it is in the line up for 2018 without the custom shop up-charge pricing. Only difference is the finish is technically "misted".
~All new reels feature "Mist" finish. Gives Hatch a new look and softens all edges, corners etc. Lighter texturing than Bead Blast or Matte Finish
~Hatch has a full schedule of custom shop limited release reels that will drop throughout the 2018 season.
~First Custom was debuted at Orlando. All L.A. configuration. Gold in Color. These will be the first Gen2 Finatic reels available and drop date is July 30th.
~In-line 2018 Finatic Gen2 will be available 9.1.2017...all colors you are familiar with + the addition of misted Grey w/ Black highlights.
~New Porting/Styling: The look is familiar as Finatic. As an example, the 7+ had 7 machined window "fins" the new 7+ will have 9 window "fins" which updates the look and lightens the reels. To further lighten the reels the inside of the frames feature a concave milling on the spokes to further take out weight w/o sacrificing strength and the ability for the frame not to flex or "rack" under load.
~Crank/Counterbalance: Aluminum Stud, Ultraflon Bushing and Aluminum handle jacket will replace Stainless steel stud/Aluminum jacket for smoother operation and longevity of smooth maintenance free movement. Handle assembly can be taken apart, cleaned and put back together should it become tacky or stiff in movement. Handles prior did not have the ability to be taken apart due to Red thread-locker. Now, two Allen keys and Blue thread-locker is used. Counterbalance had to change to balance the crank assembly by weight and the shape changes slightly. Existing Finatic reels can be updated with new crank & counterbalance assemblies.
~New Lip Seal: The seal on the back side of the spindle has been occasionally problematic. Lip seals are the preferred seals on high tech underwater robotics with movement. The seal slightly mushrooms as the spindle is press-fit onto the frame, making a better seal than previous o-rings and will last a lot longer where the o-rings would develop a flat spot with years of use reeling in/drag out or really hard fighting fish. Existing Finatic reels can be updated with new Lip Seal assemblies.
~New Sealed Internal Bearing: The press-fit bearing you can see when the drag cassette is out of the frame has been an open bearing race where you can see the actual ball bearings. Nothing really wrong with those other than the packed grease could migrate. New sealed bearing closes around the bearing race to keep the grease packed and adds another level of protection. Existing Finatic reels can be updated with new sealed internal bearing assemblies.
~New One-Way Clutch Bearing Jacket: The standard since Hatch was born was the S.S. bearing w/ a custom milled Aluminum Jacket. Hatch finally was able to re-create the intermittent loss of drag some people have had issues with. Until they could re-create the issue they could not solve it. They knew it mainly happened on sails, G.T.'s and Sharks in hot high humidity weather or extremely cold weather and hot fish. They realized as the bearing assembly heats up the dis-similar metals would move at different rates allowing the spindle bearing to slip inside the Aluminum Jacket. New jacket is Stainless Steel just like the bearing race so that the metals move together at all temperatures. Existing Finatic reels can be updated with new One-Way Clutch Bearing Jacket assemblies.
Would it be fun to think about your great, great, great, great, great, great grand child fishing with your favorite reel? And would you feel good about it being made in USA?