History of the Orvis C.F.O.

All that follows has been published as part of a website I put together many years ago. I've been playing with the idea of closing down that particular site as I haven't updated it in over a year, so I thought I would republish this information here (it's the only section of the website that still gets regular hits). I understand that the blogosphere is populated by many flyfishers who pride themselves on a fishing style that is nothing like that of their fathers. Unlike these folks, I often enjoy fishing the way it was done thirty, forty or fifty years ago. By extension, I enjoy fishing with the same tackle my father or grandfather would have used all those years ago (had they not been unabashed worm dunkers). Hence my obsession with the Orvis CFO. The CFO has become something of a modern classic; the rarest variations often demand two or three times their original asking price. I've become something of a collector and researcher, and the history I've compiled will help those folks who wish to date their reels. For those folks who want to know if their reel was made by Hardy or BFR, all I can say is that sometimes it is impossible to know. I've stopped at 1997 as that year marked the final change to the original style of CFO. The newest incarnation (bronze color with champagne colored appointments), which was manufactured in England and is now made in China, simply does not interest me as do the older models.


 History of the Orvis CFO

In 1874 Charles Frederick Orvis received a patent for his ventilated fly reel. This reel was the first of its kind, and is considered by many to be the father of all modern fly reels. Many years later, the Orvis company introduced the CFO reel to commemorate Charles Orvis' achievement. The CFOs were first offered in 1971 and quickly became a success. The original CFO was a spring and pawl design; the disc drag model was introduced in 1994. The prototype CFO, "designed and made by Stan (Bogdan) now resides in the American Museum of Fly-Fishing in Manchester, Vermont" (Marchant 45).

Stan Bogdan's Prototype CFO






(1971) 1972 - 1977
The Orvis CFO was first offered in the company's catalog for the Christmas season in 1971. The photos below detail the contents of that catalog.


Catalog photos courtesy of Jukka Kujala

The original reels had a screw that went through the back of the frame, which held the spindle. The earliest of these had inverted script, which appeared upside down when hung on a rod. The newer model did not have the screw, instead the spindle threaded into the inside of the reel. The screw on the back was replaced with a cap. All reels with the screw through the back are early models. For roughly the next 20 years, all CFOs were manufactured by Hardy.


1978

CFOs were offered in sizes II, III, IV, and V. Size II and III came standard without the nickel silver line guard, but the III was also offered with the guard for an additional charge. All other reels came standard with the line guard. All of the reels with the exception of the II had adjustable spring and pawl drags. The CFO multiplier was introduced in sizes III, IV, and V. The multipliers have a retrieve rate of 1 2/3 to 1. At this time, all CFOs are cast and then machined. On all these models, the spring and pawl mechanisms are held in place by rivets, which show on the back of the reels.



1979

A size VI CFO was offered. A limited edition CFO was offered in both silver and gold color schemes. These reels were machined from solid bar stock aluminum. They were hand engraved with their limited edition number and "C.F. Orvis." 500 reels of each color were available.




1981

The limted edition reel is no longer offered.

1982

The CFO III without the line guard is no longer available.

1983

A new saltwater CFO is introduced. This reel was produced by STH, and manufactured in Argentina. The drag is still spring and pawl, but all parts are made of corrosion resistant materials. The reels were available in Light and Medium sizes; each is a bright gold color.



1984

The Large saltwater CFO is offered to accommodate larger line weights.

1986

A new drag is offered in the saltwater CFO, a double pawl system. An angler can use the light pawl for minimal resistance, the heavy pawl for strong resistance, or both for an even stronger drag. This design was copied from the Presentation series of reels. The CFO VI freshwater was dropped from the inventory as was the CFO Multiplier.

1987

The CFO saltwater model is dropped from the catalog.

1989

The CFO VI is reintroduced, and the CFO II is replaced by the 123. The 123 has a larger diameter, line guard, and an adjustable drag.

1990

CFO size selection is downsized; the reel is only available in sizes 123, III and IV.

1991

The CFO VI is once again reintroduced. At this point the 123, III, IV and VI are available. A new anniversary edition is available, to commemorate the 20th year of the CFO reels. These reels were machined from bar stock aluminum, and had a platinum finish. This edition was a size III, and was designed to accept spools from standard reels.




1992

Machined reels are introduced this year, and were available in sizes II, 123, III, and IV. These reels feature a "no rivet" design. The rivets that were used to hold the drag pawls in place are removed; the pawls are now internally affixed to a reinforced internal plate. The old cast reels are still offered this year in sizes 123, III, and IV. These still had rivets through the back. The new reels were manufactured in such a way as to allow interchangeability of spools between machined and cast CFOs. However, some experimentation may be necessary before a proper fit can be attained. An "Introductory Edition CFO III" was also offered this year. The reel was identitcal to the new, machined reel except for the finish. The Introductory CFO had an olive finish (slightly different from later disc-drag models) and featured gold anodized aluminum hardware. The line guard on this model was made from nickel silver.



1993

The CFO I is introduced. This reel has a slightly larger diameter than the CFO II, and is designed to match up with the One Weight and One Ounce rods. The CFO I also had an adjustable drag, which the CFO II did not. The cast reels are dropped from inventory. All CFOs are now available in either gray with silver appointments or olive with gold components. These reels were available in size I, 123, III and IV.

1994

The CFO III disc is introduced. These reels were green with silver components, and should not be confused with their olive, spring and pawl counterparts. The first 2000 of these models were introductory editions. Each of the introductory reels was individually numbered. Incidentally, the C.F.O. 1874 reproduction reel is offered this year. The reel foot on this reel was affixed with four screws, while the original's reel foot was held in place by three rivets.



1995

The olive spring and pawl models are dropped from inventory. The CFO disc is offered in sizes I, 123, III, IV and V.

1996

Size IV and V disc reels are offered with corrosion resistant finishes and parts, for use in saltwater. These reels are named the CFO Saltwater IV and V.



1997

Small changes are made to the drag mechanism of the CFO disc. All spools are still interchangeable, but the clutch gear components are not.

2012

Two limited edition reels are offered - one in the United States and the other in the UK. Both are manufactured by Hardy in England, supposedly on machines that utilize the tooling of the original 1971 - 1972 reels. The reels bear several updates to the original, including changes to the finish and the spindle cap.

U.S.A. version of the new reel
The U.K. model

*** Many production anomalies exist. I've seen CFOs in red and jet black, and still others without script on the back. This is further compounded by the fact that some reels (especially the earlier models) were occasionally modified by their owners. As to value, I've followed the sale of many reels at auction (Ebay, Lang's, etc.), and those that consistently demand the highest prices ($350.00 to $700.00) are the gold and silver limited edition model of 1979 and the original 1972 model with inverted script.***


Bibliography
Akiyama, Yoshi. CFO Prototype. American Museum of Fly Fishing, Manchester, VT.

Marchant, Douglas J. "Stan Bogdan: The Man and His Reel." Art of Angling Journal. 1:3. Eds. Paul Schmookler and Ingrid Sils. 2002.

47 comments:

  1. CFO 1 and Troutbum CFO2 both from 2004-2006, are these Chinese built reels?
    Says made in England but is that false advertising?
    I'd like to sell these reels and I hate the realization that I won't be able to get even half of what I paid if they are chinese junk.

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  2. If the reels read "Made in England" then they are indeed made in England by BFR. The reels made in China lack any print on the back plate.

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  3. I have an Orvis CFO IV with the four rivets on the backplate, no screw just the bump. Spring and pawl adjustable drag. "Made in England". I'm assuming this was the second design? Manufactured by Hardy, 1978 and later?

    Thanks for any info! Enjoyed your History of the CFO!! I'm anticipating selling the reel. Would $150.00 be a fair price with the original green zippered clamshell case?

    Bob

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  4. With continued growing interest in the Orvis CFO, new buyers fuel the market while misinformed sellers cause confusion and doubt. “Made In England” does not guarantee a reel completely sourced and built in England unless it’s a Hardy Built reel. It’s been more than rumored that BFR or British Fly Reel Company practices offshore out sourcing of material and build, how much is not known. Those wanting to play on the safe side of the English Hedge, best do it with True House of Hardy Built Reels or as it’s been recently described, ‘the one with Exposed Rivets.’ Early CFO’s like many Hardy Reels might even contain the initials of the chap that built your reel. They are few and far between but they do exist. Fish and Chips anyone? bsmcash001

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  5. Out of interest what about the last Falmouth produced CFOs of which I understand there were 72. They were "Made in England" and anodized in a red colour with a commemorative inscription dated 23rd December 2004.

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  6. The red Falmouth reels that we see every so often when they show up for auction or sale, were made to mark the end of production in Falmouth (before production was moved to China). The reels were given to shop workers. They are of the newest incarnation of disc-drag CFOs, with porting along the edge of the frame, and on the disc drag itself. Aside from the color, print, and manufacturing origin, they are the same in all regards as the reels currently for sale.

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  7. In the late 60s and early 70s, Orvis published a newsprint flyer on a regular basis.

    This is where the CFO was first announced, at a price of, as I recall, $39.95.

    I ordered mine within 5 minutes of reading the announcement.

    I have been told that there was a small pre-production run of CFOs (30 is the number I heard) which had no engraving.

    And that's the reel I have.

    Do you have any info on these very early CFOs?

    I can provide photos.

    JohnMD1022@yahoo.com

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  8. Here I thought that CFO was chief financial officer. Who knew it had to do with fishing as well?

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  9. New to the Orvis CFO, What is the Value Differance in a 1994 Issue CFO I, 123, III Introductory, IV, V if they Dont have the Case?

    If its a Huge Differance Where is the Best place to find the Case?

    Thanks

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  10. I am currently rehabing my CFOIII and appreciate the info. I bought it from new in the UK and still think it is the best real i ever owned.

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  11. Troy,

    As with anything that is even marginally collectible, condition is everything. A reel that lacks a case, box, or paperwork will generally sell for much less than one that has all its accoutrements. Without seeing the reel, I would guess (and it is ultimately a guess ... much of value is determined by what the market will bear) its value drops by 20 - 40 percent without any of those items.

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  12. Thanks BK...What about if the Case isnt the Original Case but Made for Orvis with the Orvis Name?

    All the Reels are Brand New with Brand New Orvis Fly Line, I Got all 6 "1 is a TFO" w/Brand New Orvis Rods for $1000 and Could not Pass it up...That was Less than $90 each...so i have room for Buying the Case i believe!

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  13. Troy,

    If you send pictures of the reel (mdaley73@yahoo.com) I may be able to tell you which of the various Orvis cases would have been original. You can then search for that particular case. Again, much depends on what the market will bear. I've sold CFOs without cases or paperwork that have sold for more than reels that had all the odds and ends. Right now is a good time to be a buyer, and a poor time to sell.

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  14. Who is "BFR" and hpw do they relate to Hardy.
    Also, check out this link: http://www.orvis.co.uk/store/product.aspx?pf_id=6L9H. CFO III UK 30th Anniversary Editions.

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  15. BFR is short for British Fly Reels. They are a company that is separate and distinct from Hardy. Both companies produced variants of the CFO.

    The 30th UK Anniversary reel pairs with an American reel that will be released shortly. Both are identical, minus the 30th script on the British variation.

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  16. British Fly Reels was acquired by Orvis Co. in or around 1991 partially to expand the Orvis Corporate profile and secure the continued production of the CFO. It's no secrete that Orvis and Hardy Brother's were experiencing some rocky dealings financial and design wise. The new bar stock reels cost less to manufacture than the more costly 'investment casting' and riveting that continued to Hallmark both Hardy and Orvis reels.

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  17. I have a CFO III with no line guard and a rivet instead of the plastic knob between the rivets on the back. Script is upright when reel hangs upside down on the rod. Came with a 1986 Orvis Madison 3-wt cane fly rod so is older than the rod I assume. Diameter is right at 2-19/32". The pawl looks like it can be reversed for RH and LH cranking; it clicks lighter in one direction. The reel foot has two holes drilled in it, for lightening I assume?? Am wondering what age this reel is. V nice little reel that goes well with this Orvis rod.

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  18. What you likely have is a CFO II. The II was the only reel in the line that did not have an mechanism for adjusting the tension on the spring. The reel could have been made anytime from 1972 - 1989 (when the II was replaced by the 123). If your reel has a screw back rather than a solid spindle cap it is an older reel. Hope this helps ...

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    Replies
    1. You're right - it is a CFO II with no spring adjustment and no screw on the back. I'd guess then that it dates from when the Orvis cane rod was made in January 1986. When making comments here it gives you the choice to reply as name/URL...so, what's my URL?? email? That's why I commented anomymous. Thanks for your help at any rate. I now know what I have for sure.

      Delete
    2. I'm glad I was able to help. Truthfully, your question was an easy one. Too often, I am unable to answer the questions people have. This is the only reason I am so eager for folks to leave their contact info. All of us have little pieces of information that - when given an opportunity to coalesce - can turn into a fine resource.

      If you would like to leave your name, you may simply Click on "Comment" and leave your name by selecting "Name/URL." If you haven't a website or do not want your email address made public, then just type a name and leave the URL blank.

      Of course, anonymous comments are also welcome. So please ... come back as often as you like, and do only as much as you're comfortable doing.

      Delete
  19. A few anonymous comments lately ... I appreciate all of them, but please - if you have information that contradicts what I've posted or in some way expands on this chronology - please, please, PLEASE ... leave your contact info or contact me directly. This history (for lack of a better word) is intended to be a dynamic document. Everyone is welcome to contribute, and I would be happy to credit you with any contributions you might make. I am not an expert ... I am a devotee. Thanks all.

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  20. Hi I have a CFO 1 and reads Made in England and has Its original sheep skin case but a gentleman decided to inform me that i had a different screw that held the drag knob in place and said the real is worthless and the proceeded to offer me a hundred dollars for it and a hundred for a 123disc i have also made in england. Is he full of shit and I am not sure exactly when wither was made. any info would be greatly appreciated as i could not determine which of the cfo 1 you wrote about is mine

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  21. Hello,

    I could give you a better idea of what you have if you would be so kind as to send pictures. I suspect you're being low-balled, but it is hard to say without seeing the condition of the reels. Please write mdaley73@yahoo.com ...

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  22. Great site with great info! Thanks so much for putting this history together. My father passed away a few years ago and he was a huge fan of Orvis, L.L. Bean and pretty much anything and everything "fly-fishing". :) I just finally decided to put a few of his things up on eBay and your site helped immensely with gathering info on a couple of his reels! I have a "C.F.O. 123" and also a "C.F.O. I", both in excellent condition, along with the little green/brown leather Orvis cases. In your opinion, do you think starting bidding at around $20 would be good for these reels? Or is that just stupid? I know they're worth much more than that, and I guess I'm hoping that a low starting bid will get people interested, but I'm also just wondering how many people are actually even searching for these reels these days or if these particular models are the type that someone can just go out and buy brand new? Anyhow, thanks again for the info, keep up the good work and happy fishing! -Noelle :)

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  23. I have a CFO123 in a British Racing Green' with 'brass coloured' adonised fittings 'Made in Enland, bought second hand, at a town hall sale in Stockbridge England about 12 years ago, has anyone seen one like this before I have 3 CFO 123's, Hardy made one's, but in all my fishing life I haven't seen one like this.

    [IMG]http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w91/greenbacking/PICT02202.jpg[/IMG]

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  24. Your reel is circa 1992 ... "An "Introductory Edition CFO III" was also offered this year. The reel was identitcal to the new, machined reel except for the finish. The Introductory CFO had an olive finish (slightly different from later disc-drag models) and featured gold anodized aluminum hardware."

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Bkill, was it made by Hardy or BFR, do you think it's worth much? I have used it with a 6'6" rod on the small rivers in England and it works perfectly, but as I have injured my arm and I can know longer work, would it be worth selling or do you think it's worth hanging onto?

      Delete
    2. There is some debate about the origins of this particular model, but I believe the reel to be made by Hardy - the final iteration before production was moved to BFR. If the reel is in very good condition - both functionally and cosmetically - and has the original case, then I would be reluctant to let it go for less than $250.00. You could probably get $300.00 - $350.00 if you also have the original box and find a motivated buyer.

      Delete
  25. I have an Orvis reel that I bought several years ago from Marty Keane. It is about, if not exactly, the size of a CFO III, and its color is very close to, if not exactly, the color of the 1992 20th Anniversary reel. There are rivets on the back of the frame, and the spindle cap appears to be the same as on the Hardy-made CFO reels. The writing on the back of the frame is circular and in script and contains: "Charles F. Orvis," "Made in England," and "Series xxx of 300." Do you know anything about the history of this reel? Thanks.

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  26. A friend at Orvis was very gracious and contacted Jim LePage with my questions regarding a reel limited to a production run of 300. As it turns out, these may be amongst the very earliest of CFOs, and according to Mr. LePage, likely date to 1971 (although I question this date as the earliest reels had a screw back and not a spindle). I am told that I may expect photographs of the first reel of the run - it is in mint condition - and those photographs will soon be included here on The Rusty Spinner. I am excited as this variant of the CFO was to me - at least until now - never more than a whisper of a rumor. Thank you for your question.

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  27. Thank you for your efforts. I look forward to seeing the photo from Mr. LePage.

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  28. I don't mean to belabor the point of the 300 edition reels, but it's my experience (based on my other Hardy-made CFO IIIs) that the earlier made reels had three holes in the reel foot while the feet on the later Hardy-made reels had only two holes. The "special" edition reel that I have has the three holes. Does the number of holes in the reel foot have any relevance in determining the period in which the reel was made? Thanks again for your very able assistance.

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  29. The holes can sometimes be indicative of age, but not necessarily a year of production as reel feet were sometimes removed and replaced. As you suggest, a three-hole foot is generally seen on older reels, but this isn't necessarily gospel. Orvis' reel repair department has always worked with whatever parts it has on hand. Three-hole feet were sometimes put on two-hole reels and vice-versa. Also, I haven't been able to receive definitive answers as to which reels had which feet. Consequently, I'm left to believe there remains no one at either Hardy or Orvis who can reliably answer the question. This is why I think it best to rely on the reel's frame for signs of the reel's vintage.

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    1. Regarding the 300 reel limited edition CFO, I have found the description of the reel from Marty Keane's catalog. At the risk of boring you to tears, I am repeating it here: "CHARLES F. ORVIS Limited Edition with rich silver/alum. color anodized finish throughout, from a limited series of 300 reels, each is brand new, flawless & untouched in orig. wrapping paper, each has an individual number noted on reel; made in England, LH/RH, adj. drag, perforated spool & backplate, palming edge, 1 1/8" x 3", a specially designed reel, which has a spool approx. 1/8" wider than the standard CFO III reels, therefore they are quite exclusive & the spools are not interchangeable with the usual CFO III's."

      Delete
  30. Although Marty was an excellent source of info, he doesn't have this quite right. The 300 20th anniversary reels that we brought out in 1971 were the harbinger of the entire machined reel series that came out a year later. We called the color of the anodized finish "platinum". The extra spools from all other CFO reels up until that time were interchangeable with that reel. I know, because I worked at the Orvis San Francisco store at the time and one of the first things I did when we received that reel was was try one of our standard extra spools out of the stockroom. It fit fine.

    In 1992 the entire series of CFO machined reels were offered and I bought a CFO IV and put a 5-wt on it. It is still my main trout reel. I went with the IV because it had a larger diameter than the III and even with the 150 yards of backing that fit on it behind my 5 wt, the overall weight was still less than the Battenkill 5/6 we sold at the time.

    Another note about the cast CFO's versus the Machined CFO's. With the cast reels and spools, when a customer came in needing an extra spool, I took the reel into the back room with me to get the spool. That way I could try it on first to make sure it fit. Usually 2 out of 3 extra spools would fit a given cast reel. But, if I just grabbed a spool out of the back and came out and tried to put it on the customer's reel, I always seemed to grab the one that didn't fit and would have to go back for another. The control of tolerances with cast trimmed, and polished reels/spools just isn't nearly as reliable as CNC machined reels/spools.

    All of the machined extra spools always fit the reels just fine. I started grabbing CFO x-spools out of the stockroom again with full confidence that they would fit whichever CFO reel I had. If you have the two spools next to each other you can pick out the machined spool. It has a little thicker (heavier) rim than the cast one. Not much, but if you're looking for it you will spot it.

    Hardy manufactured all of the Orvis CFO reels until 1994. After Orvis purchased British Fly Reels, we had to completely re-fit it as most of its equipment was very outmoded. We also purchased and installed CNC machines at BFR. In 1994 we started making some CFO's at BFR and from 1994 to 1996 CFO's were produced at both factories. They were made using the same program on the same CNC machines and there is no way to tell if a CFO spring and pawl reel between 1994 and 1996 was made at Hardy or BFR. By 1996 all CFO's were made at our BFR factory.

    In 1994, Jim Lepage designed a disc drag for use in the CFO that was based on the offset Disc-Stack that John Harder designed for the Battenkill Disc reels. However, Jim's new design sported instantaneous drag engagement through a one-way needle bearing clutch mechanism. it was awarded Best of Show at the Fly Tackle Dealer show that year. Hardy was manufacturing that reel for us and the very next year Jim's needle bearing one-way clutch started appearing in Hardy reels. And of course it was exactly the same one part (unchanged) that Jim designed for the CFO. Although I never heard anything about it, I would imagine that Hardy using Jim's design may have ruffled some feathers.

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    Replies
    1. I have one of the 20th Anniversary "platinum" reels that came out in 1991, but it does not the rivets exposed on the back of the frame as the "xxx of 300" reels do and there is no indication on the reel itself of the number of Anniversary reels that were made. Therefore, I believe
      that the 300 series reels are an earlier vintage than the Anniversary reels. Thanks for your interesting addition to the history of the CFO reels.

      Delete
  31. My theory concerning your XXX of 300 reel is that it belongs to the Classic limited edition series released in 1978 and 1979. It was sold as a set with a limited edition bamboo rod, all together in a nice case. You can view it here http://classicflyrodforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=34576.
    If the Keane catalog that you mention predates 1978, then my theory is probably wrong.

    Incidentally, I believe that there is a typo in the first paragraph by Dan Gracia above, at least how I read it. It should be "The 300 20th anniversary reels that we brought out in 1991 were the harbinger of the entire machined reel series that came out a year later." This would fit the timeline. Of course he is referencing 20 years since the CFO came out in 1971.

    As for the Christmas Catalog above, which shows a reel with, apparently, a rounded pin head in the handle rather than the screw head normally found on all early CFOs--another theory. First, it may be a bad photo at a weird angle and the slotted screw head is there, but just very difficult to make out. Or, second, the reel in the photo is a Hardy proof that employs the contemporaneous (late 60s/early 70s) Hardy handle pin. Orvis likely insisted on the original slotted screw head, either to differentiate from Hardys, or, more likely, to avoid losing too much money on the $4 warranty repair offer card that came with their early CFOs.

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  32. Splitcane,
    It does appear that the reel shown at your referenced entry in the Classic Fly Rod Forum is of the same issue as my XXX of 300 reel. It would be easy to confirm that if the frame side of the reel were shown. Thanks for your contribution.

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  33. Any idea where I can get a manual for a most likely (based on the above info) 80's model CFO iii?

    Thanks

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  34. Hi Dan Garcia! It's been awhile... Where did our 'Retired' "Perk" Perkins Jr. go... Last time I ran across him and you, was on eBay. Perk, as I recall was/is playing in San Francisco - It would be great having a few of the guys that made Orvis - Orvis, Poke their Heads Up and shout a Howdy! Take Care, BSM

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  35. Hi Dan ... last I heard Perk was taking a bit of a sabbatical, and sailing to the far corners of the world ... I don't know him personally so I can't be sure if he's found his way back to Sunderland as yet ...

    http://perkperkins.wordpress.com/

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dan; and our Wayward 'Perk.' About 4 months ago, I could have sworn I saw Perk coming into the Corinthian Yacht Club... We gave a few Tugs on the Horn, just about made an enemy of the 'Old Salt' in the slip next to us, but was trying to get 'Perks' attention. So, if you can confirm or deny (sounds a little legalese (not intended) There was what appeared to be Pointing Dog with him... My Brittany's surely spotted the potential competition and chimed in with the horn making us a Real Stand Out! Hope All is Good... Take Care,

      BSM

      Delete
  36. I am particularly interested in the saltwater versions. For how long were the saltwater versions in production and were there any significant design variations throughout production?

    Any information on how well the corrosion resistance works?Was it anodizing?

    If I follow the thread correctly because these are letter " Made in England" after 1996 they are manufactured by BFR.

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  37. There were changes to the bearings of the saltwater model spools. As a consequence, some spools will not work when paired with some frames. This is anecdotal information and I haven't anything more precise, which is why it isn't included on the history.

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  38. I've just pick up a really interesting CFO. It is exactly the same spec as the forest green IIId except that it's champagne in colour. Also, instead of being engraved the script on the back plate script has been printed.

    My guess is that it is a prototype as the factory has lightly scratched every surface including the underside of the foot and the disc. It was originally bought by an employee at the Falmouth factory when it closed down.

    Best, Jon

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  39. So is the CFO III Disc introduced in 1994 made by Hardy or BRM? I ask, as I just won an auction off Ebay from an estate sale and was told it was bought circa 2000. The reel itself comes with an extra spool.

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  40. I have a 1970s CFO that I am having a hard time definitively identifying.. it appears to have "CFO IIII" on the back of it.. the "IIII" being distinct white vertical lines all attached across the top and bottom, with 3 gray areas separating the 4 white lines. I am thinking this is either a misprint/anomaly of some sort, or I am misinterpreting the roman numerals... as I think mine is too small to be the "three" or "four" (mine has only a 2.5 inch wide spool), and I believe the "four" was shown as "IV"... any thoughts would be greatly appreciated... would be happy to email pics if you are interested in seeing them.... thank!

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