Gear Spotlight: Hatch Iconic 7+

Gear Spotlight: Hatch Iconic 7+

Hatch Outdoors has been a stalwart in the high end, American machined fly reel market since their inception in the early 2000s. Hatch has pushed the limit in performance for a sealed carbon drag reel and it's benefits can be seen in the new Iconic Reel design. Here's what you need to know. 

While the new Iconic boasts some important new updates, it is undeniable still the Hatch Outdoors style you might be accustomed to seeing all over the US. Manufactured in Southern California, Hatch brings back its fin pattern in the machining of the reel. Classic and par for the course with hatch's style in reel design. Another staple of the Hatch reel seen in the Iconic is the machined reel foot. This design leaves no space for corrosion between the frame and reel foot. It creates a stronger connection and one less place for a fly reel to fail while attached to the catch of your life. 

The updates in the Iconic are notable as well. The drag sealing has been updated leaving less points of entry into the drag housing. That drag housing is also built into the reel frame instead of using a cassette to attach the drag to the frame. This allows the reel to be tougher and more stable. They also updated the inside of the drag with a carbon filled system that will be noticeably smoother and dissipate heat faster. 

New venting on the spool allows backing to dry faster and will keep that nasty mildew off your backing and spool. There is also a new distinguishable difference in the large arbor and mid arbor spools. Extra porting can be found in the Mid arbor reels so that you can easily tell the difference if you have multiple reels in the boat. The new spool nut is now one piece - meaning there is less parts for you to lose as it will not come apart as easily. The new handle and counterweight assemblies also discourage corrosion. Meaning this will be your go to reel for a long, long time. 

This reel comes in 4 sizes. 5+, 7+, 9+ 11+ all with a Large Arbor or Mid arbor options. The Large Arbor is a perfect reel in most saltwater applications with the 7+ holding 240 yards of backing with a standard 8 weight line. Consider the mid arbor reel to be a good option if you are pursuing fish like bull redfish in louisiana or wading for bonefish or permit on a saltwater flat. Some specialized scenarios might require more backing but for most of your standard saltwater use the Large arbor will get the job done. 

The new Iconic is a reel that is well updated but built on the solid foundation that Hatch reels has carved out for themselves. The 7+ specifically is a well built, perfectly sized 8 weight sized reel that you'll be happy you have. The machining is tough enough that you can drop the reel and not worry about losing any function. The drag sealing gives you a great reel to walk the beach with. It's an 8 weight reel that is right at home in every situation you might think to put it in. It'll also go very well on that 7 weight that you like to do silly things with such as hook big jacks, tarpon, and snook around structure. 

The 7+ will ring you up at $815 at the cash register and in our opinion, is well worth the hole in your wallet. It's not the least expensive, nor the most expensive reel you can hang on a rod. In the grand scheme of the fly reel market it's priced right where she should be. 

Hatch probably isn't known for having the most options when it comes to customization of a reel. However, they do run a custom shop. That shop has been limited to creating limited edition batches of reels over the last year in order to still give you a custom option in the company. You cannot currently customize a standard Hatch Iconic with their different color options like you could on the Finatic. While this may disappoint some, the limited edition reels Hatch has dropped are awesome. They give the brand a collector's feel that will really keep you coming back to see more of their designs. It's been a great way to deal with limited sourcing and manufacturing while also keeping reels in stock at shops and having custom options too. We look forward to having the opportunity to get our hands on a couple in the future. The 7+ as well as the rest of the Iconic line are available in 4 colors: Clear/Blue, Clear/Red, Black/Silver, and Gray/Black. 

Nab yourself one from the shop and enjoy your next fishing trip with a Hatch Iconic 7+!

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