Friday, February 3, 2012

Resurrection of the English made Orvis C.F.O.

When I began writing this post, I struggled to find just the right words for the title. Originally, the headline simply read, "Rebirth of a Classic." After giving it some time, I thought the title needed to be a little less trite, a lot less nebulous, and I wasn't sure I liked the connotation of the word rebirth. To be reborn is to live again, but to be somehow changed in the process.

Consider Stephen King's, Pet Sematary. The beasts that crawled from the graves of that burial ground were not the same as they were before they died. Certainly ... yes ... they were reborn, but they were merely grotesque shadows of their former selves. No, I couldn't reference rebirth in the title. That zombie child, Gage ... far too creepy.

I digress ...

In a move that is sure to surprise collectors and aficionados, the Orvis company has decided to resurrect the original C.F.O., and release a limited edition fly reel that is made in England by the Hardy company. Yes ... made by Hardy ... in England. The resurrected C.F.O. will only be available in size III, and production is likely limited to fewer than 250 units. Such lineage and limited production suggests the reels will demand a premium.

These are brand new reels ... machined and assembled just months ago.
As I am sure you can see in the photograph, the new C.F.O. retains the hallmarks of the early reels (spindle cap, rivets through the back plate, slim reel foot). The production run will use all the original tooling used to craft some of the earliest variants of the C.F.O., and once machined, these new reels will be anodized rather than painted.

Most bug chuckers wouldn't notice these reels while flipping through a catalog. I'm sad to say that classically styled spring and pawls have been replaced by large arbors, sealed - stop a sub - drags, and custom camouflage anodization. I suppose this is what some people call progress. Maybe it is, and maybe I'm just a curmudgeon. Whatever the case, I have to say that the collector in me is excited to see this new reel, first hand.

If I was especially brave, I might even throw a line on one, carefully mount it to my old Far and Fine, and fish it at the height of the hendrickson hatch.

C.F.O.s - old and new - are meant to be fished.


Anonymous said...

The original CFO III was made in 1971. I don't know why everyone says 1972.

BKill said...

Everyone says 1972 because the reel first appeared in the 1971 Christmas catalog - a catalog that few customers received. The CFO first appeared across the board in fishing and seasonal catalogs in 1972.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter what others say, and not everyone says it. There were sufficient Christmas catalogs sent out. The fact remains that the reel did in fact come out in 1971 so it is a moot issue and incorrect to say that it came out in 1972.

BKill said...

OK ... but "everyone" was your word (unless there are several Anonymous users posting to this string). You asked why "everyone" thinks 1972 was the first year, and I offered a possible answer ...