Hatch Rep, Bruce Berry spent some time at our Deschutes River
Steelhead camp last year, and left one of his pet Spey setups for me to
evaluate for a week. The core of this outfit was a Beulah Platinum SP1266-4
rod, and a Hatch Finatic 7 Plus reel. We had already been a Beulah Rod dealer
for a couple of years. Beulah has a solid fan club, and has always shown
steady predictable sales growth with a minimum of hassles. Hatch is a comparatively
new company, and I had been keeping my eye on it for a couple of years.
The one that Bruce loaned me was the first I had ever used, and during
my test, I landed five steelhead with it. In every way this reel impressed
me. Hatch Reels are all business
and Reel Smart. Frilly aesthetics are kept to a minimum. While
they might look fine in a glass show case, you can tell that their true
intent is landing trophy fish. There is no wood, and very little plastic
in a hatch reel. Even the man-sized handles are made from machined aircraft
aluminum. Hatch Reels have durability and reliability written all over them.
Sealed is better. Hence the Drag cassette. Hatch employs a multi-disc
stack in all models that is comprised of Rulon? and laser-cut stainless
steel discs. With a multi-disc drag , you are applying braking pressure
and heat dispersion over several surfaces rather than one to one surface
braking on most drag systems today (i.e. metal to cork or metal
to plastic). This stacked system virtually eliminates start up inertia and stick
This unique little design feature locks the frame and spool together
with a bomb-proof connection, making a positive fit between the spool
and the multi-disc drag-stack cassette for easyt spool changing and trouble-free performance.
The frame of a Hatch reel is
super-rigid to prevent warpage during the heat of
the battle. The double bottom frame rails serves as the perfect hook
keeper to provide protection for your hands while you are storing or
carrying your rod. The ports in the foot riser preform the same task,
giving you options for fly-keeper placement.
Some will say this is a gimmick,
but it?s really a matter of engineering principals. Possibly the original
principal, a solid is always stronger than two pieces attached
together. Also, by eliminating the screws you?ve eliminated the
corrosion points. The folks at Hatch are well aware that reel feet can
be bent if you are unlucky, and they will
replace the frame if such a problem occurs. You've got to admit this
type of construction looks damn cool.
Some manufacturers enjoy making reel handles that are uncomfortably small. Hatch handles are built for anglers who are used to grabbing a hold of larger diameters.