We all know what makes for a good reel, great functionality along with some curb appeal and a check that purrs when it's being emptied of its content. Vom Hofes, Hardy Perfects, Bogdans, etc each offer the combination of these characteristics and deliver in abundance. The metronomic rise in value of some of these reels can cause us to stop and consider whether using them is worthwhile. With Cascapedias selling for up to £30,000, if I owned one, I would not be looking to use it, so what are the alternatives?
The marketplace has responded with specialist manufacturers' such as Bo Mohlin, Spey Lab, L.H.Design, etc all producing high quality, well-engineered, contemporary reels that offer amazing check mechanisms, multiplying actions and modern materials which will underline these reels as tomorrow's stars.
Above are examples by Dutch reel and rod maker, Leen Huisman and include his Amber in both Trout and Salmon size along with the Highland. The Amber definitely wears it classic reel image but employs a contemporary look with Amber side plates, made of a composite "PEI", with a frame, pillars and reel foot made of titanium. A collaboration with Alex Kaplun of MEGOFF, and the Amber is born on this joint project on a reel that bears an impressive braking mechanism on the Salmon #10-12.
The reel is the middle is the "Highland" being a joint venture project with LH Design and Megoff. This hubless reel, which definitely shares characteristics with Loop's "HiTec" reels, is again made of titanium and offers a universal left / right hand wind with a smooth constant check.