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Post 07 Jan 2021, 15:51 • #1 
Master Guide
Joined: 05/16/10
Posts: 782
Location: South of Houston, TX
I posted a pic of this reel in another thread and I've gotten a few questions about it, so thought I'd start a new thread to focus on it.
Image



What is it -
a classic reel that combines the spring and pawl design of the Hardy Lightweight series, the daisy cut outs of Sal Trout and other classic reels, and the exposed rim and open frame of CFO series reels.


How does it compare?
Well, what is it being compared to - a Hardy Lightweight or Orvis CFO? Or a modern Battenkill or new Medalist? At $275 list, I'd think it is being positioned in the market closer to the Hardy and CFO, as the Hardy seemed to have had an MSRP of around $300 and the CFO was $325 when Orvis sold the Abel model. The Orvis Battenkill at $120 and Pflueger Medalist at $125 are significantly easier on the budget at MSRP. The Medalist 3/4 has the same spring and pawl system, weighs about the same, and has a full cage plus a palming rim. I'll let each make their own aesthetic decisions, but I thought those were points in the Leland's favor, which factored in my purchase.

How does it sound? I absolutely want to communicate a good answer on this, so I thought that the best way to quantify it was to use a dosimeter and measure dB when reeling. I don't have a Hardy Lightweight, Battenkill or modern Medalist, unfortunately, but I do have a Hardy made CFO III, an Able made CFO II, and Heddon clones in sizes 300, 310, and 320.

Sure that I'd be able to tell the difference, I reeled them all about 6" away from the speaker - and they all hit about the same level, going from 40 dB background to about 80 - though it's not that loud further away than 6" of course. So i didn't get the differentiation I was looking for there, I grabbed my most tooth rattling caliper reel (an empty Sal Trout) and it also came up to the same level, though with a completely different level of harshness. So unfortunatly that test doesn't let me tell you anything quantifiable.

So I'll just do my best to describe the reel. It sounds to me like a sharper click than either of my CFOs. The Able made reel seems like it may have a heavier grease in it from the factory which mutes it a little bit. The feel of the reels is very similar. The Hardy CFO and Leland have 32 teeth, they all have very similar pawls. The Abel CFO has 30, but feels similar, and per pictures the modern Medalist has 36.

For what its worth, the Leland and my CFOs feel more similar than my three Heddon clones do to each other. The 300 was tuned by Ron and has a very smooth retrieve and a stronger play. The 310 is a bit clacky, and the 320 is a much softer click.
Shown are the springs of the Leland, the 300 and an Olympic 4300.



So that has me thinking that the spring could be loosened a little bit to bring it a lighter click in line with some of the others. Surely Ron could comment further on this if he sees this as the changes he made on the Heddon 300 I bought from him (including changing the pawls to Hardy pawls) have a noticable difference. I don't plan on taking pliers to the springs in my reel, I look forward to fishing it as is, but hopefully this helps some of you who are on the fence as to the Leland Classic model.


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Post 07 Jan 2021, 18:13 • #2 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17116
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Take your pliers and gently squeeze the spring leaves together in place - once - and try it. Probably take the pawl out first.
Probably all you'll need.


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Post 07 Jan 2021, 22:48 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1021
Location: SJC
Great review.

It looks like these are 50% off on the lelandfly website and ebay right now. On a related note, I picked up a Red Truck Diesel Classic 3/4 over the holidays at the sale price. I got out fishing with it, and it looks really solid.


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Post 08 Jan 2021, 07:59 • #4 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8086
Location: US-ME
Thanks for that fine description. Sounds and looks like a very well thought out product. Before making any mods to a brand new click pawl reel, I'd want to load it with the line I planned to use and fish it with the rod(s) to be used with it. This enables a break in period that may slightly change resistance or smoothness, and conveys the feel/resistance range more reliably, especially with 'glass rods whose flex range and shock absorption is a more integral part of moderating outgoing line resistance. After a brief wear-in period, if the reel needs tuning at all, best to tune it relative to the line weight and rods it will be used with.


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Post 08 Jan 2021, 12:49 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 01/26/07
Posts: 1253
Location: Ada, Oklahoma
I picked up the Red Truck Diesel in 0-2 weight just before Christmas. It is like a combination of Hardy Marquis and Lightweight reels. Very solid reel, came with a WF2 line on the reel. I told my friend Kurt about these deals and he picked up the Leland Classic Spring Creek as pictured above. I tried the reel out on both my Fisher 7' 2/3 weight and my Orvis One Ounce 6' 2 weight, balanced well on both. I was unsure about the Leland Creek line on the reel, but has a very slick surface and shoots really well. Loaded both rods very easily with little line out, probably more of a 2.5 weight line.

Larry


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Post 13 Jan 2021, 23:47 • #6 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/07/12
Posts: 546
Location: US-CA
They are nice reels for sure. Made in Korea - I bet in the same factory that made the Hardy LRH series when they made them there.


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Post 14 Jan 2021, 13:13 • #7 
Guide
Joined: 07/12/17
Posts: 309
Location: SW B.C.
I was about to ask where in Asia they are made and that is the right answer for me. ;)


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Post 14 Jan 2021, 16:36 • #8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1021
Location: SJC
The forum search will pull up a few past threads about these reels, such as ...

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=15894


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Post 24 Jan 2021, 10:58 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/10/09
Posts: 1490
Location: US-OH
A fellow forum member and I recently each picked up Classic Spring Creek reels from Leland on sale. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the reel. I think an argument can be made that it even surpasses the Hardy LRH or Featherweight reels with its brass foot, line guide, and latch cover. The check mechanism is very similar if not identical to the Hardy lightweight reels and the sound is the same too - not too loud, just a nice subdued click. IMO, the $300 MSRP price tag wasn't unreasonable but it's a screaming bargain at half that on sale. One detail to note however; they describe the Spring Creek as a 3/4 size reel but their dimensions appear to be incorrect. While you could, of course, put a 3wt line on it, to me it should be rated 4/5 and I think a WF6 will even fit with minimal backing, although I haven't tried it. The diameter of the frame is right in between a Hardy Featherweight and an LRH.


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Post 25 Jan 2021, 13:16 • #10 
Sport
Joined: 07/27/16
Posts: 34
Location: MI
Thanks for the reviews and write ups guys... I had a classic trout cued up in my amazon cart, when I decided to see what the scoop was on these reels... luckily for me, Odonata let it be known that these reels could be had for half price on ebay.... YAY!!!

Thanks Odonata!! :) You just saved me a lot of $$$

I ended up choosing the Spring Creek model in the 0-4 weight ( the click pawl system it uses is proven) to be paired with a Bamboo 3 wt my son bought me for Christmas... I also ordered a Cortland Sylk line in a 3wt DT.... can't wait to try this combo out this spring!


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Post 31 Jan 2021, 09:07 • #11 
Guide
Joined: 10/31/10
Posts: 238
Location: US-MI
tiptop wrote:
A fellow forum member and I recently each picked up Classic Spring Creek reels from Leland on sale. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the reel. I think an argument can be made that it even surpasses the Hardy LRH or Featherweight reels with its brass foot, line guide, and latch cover. The check mechanism is very similar if not identical to the Hardy lightweight reels and the sound is the same too - not too loud, just a nice subdued click. IMO, the $300 MSRP price tag wasn't unreasonable but it's a screaming bargain at half that on sale. One detail to note however; they describe the Spring Creek as a 3/4 size reel but their dimensions appear to be incorrect. While you could, of course, put a 3wt line on it, to me it should be rated 4/5 and I think a WF6 will even fit with minimal backing, although I haven't tried it. The diameter of the frame is right in between a Hardy Featherweight and an LRH.


Agreed on the line capacity. I have the Spring Creek 3/4 and have it lined with a WF5F that includes "plenty" of backing - more than I will ever need unless I hook a steelhead with it.


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Post 31 Jan 2021, 11:18 • #12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/10/09
Posts: 1490
Location: US-OH
I was very happy with the Spring Creek so I went ahead and ordered the "Golden Trout" which is the smallest reel in their Vintage series. I received it a couple days ago and it's a real beauty too. Although it doesn't specify on their website, the diameter of the frame is 2.75" and holds a WF4. It may hold a DT4 but I don't know. The color of the reel is very similar to the color of leading on the old hardy reels. The click/pawl tension is fixed and not adjustable, unlike the Spring Creek. However, it seems to be set just right - light when taking in line and a bit stronger with line going out. The loudness of the click is about the same as the Spring Creek although the tone is different. Mine was set for LHW but I assume it can be changed to RHW by flipping the spring and pawl - but I don't know that for sure. It may be heresy to say it but the quality is similar to Kineya. One final detail is that the foot is a bit thicker than on some reels so it may not fit a slide band reel seat that needs a skinny foot.




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Post 31 Jan 2021, 15:40 • #13 
Guide
Joined: 04/05/07
Posts: 335
Location: Belmont Bay, Virginia
I bought a Leland Golden Trout as well; back in December when they were 50% off. The brass foot pairs beautifully with the brass cap&ring seat on my Barclay 70p. I loaded it with a WF4 Cortland peach and about 20 yards of 20lb. backing. Very pleased with the quality of the reel.



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Post 02 Feb 2021, 16:52 • #14 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/20/07
Posts: 609
Location: US-TX
I want to thank everyone on this forum that has reviewed these Leland and Red Truck reels on this thread and on other threads.

Based on your insight I recently had the confidence to order a Red Truck Diesel 5/6 and it is a solid reel and balances both my 8ft 5/6 wt Steffen and my 8’3” 5wt Kenney perfectly. See other reviews on this forum for further details about this awesome reel.



So today I reached out to Leland to order a Spring Creek 3/4 for a lighter Steffen and their customer service is fantastic. “Keith” answered the phone and was very personable and attentive and provided gold star service.

Looking forward to getting the Spring Creek 3/4 lined up and out in the water.

Gotta love good customer service.


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Post 02 Feb 2021, 17:53 • #15 
Guide
Joined: 10/31/10
Posts: 238
Location: US-MI
Keith at Leland is super helpful and always makes the time to discuss your needs - with enthusiasm. Great guy.


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Post 03 Feb 2021, 11:13 • #16 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/03/15
Posts: 420
Location: Weatherford TX.
I’ve been sitting on the fence eyeballing these reels for about four years now.
Last night I pulled the trigger on a Spring Creek classic 5/6.The $300 price tag has always stopped me before... I couldn’t help myself with the sale price and the detailed report here.

It should go nicely on a McFarland 8’8” 6wt
I’m building right now. Three more guides to wrap today and she’s done except for the finish


Last edited by MikeW on 05 Feb 2021, 14:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 04 Feb 2021, 20:42 • #17 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/20/07
Posts: 609
Location: US-TX
Oooohhh.... I like this.

So for those who may be wondering like I was, the Leland Spring Creek 3/4 balances a Steffen 8’ 4/5 just like I like it. (Just at the top of the grip.)

And the aesthetics aren’t too shabby either.



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Post 23 Feb 2021, 15:53 • #18 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/03/15
Posts: 420
Location: Weatherford TX.
Received mine today
Very pleased with the quality of it and the sound is just about right for me.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anybody looking for a quality click/pawl reel.
Specially at the sale price.


Edit:
I have to do a customer service report already.
So a few days later after receiving my reel I decided I’m gonna want another spare spool for this reel and a pouch for the spare spool just FYI your spare spool does not come with the padded pouch.

So what shows up in the mail? A brand new reel with a spare spool and a charged to my credit card for $103.... winner winner chicken dinner!

This is on a Friday and they are closed weekends so I have all weekend to sit around and ponder my options which are zero really I tell my wife what they did and she just looked at me like disgusted and says you know what you need to do and goes back to what she was doing.

So Monday I called Leland and Keith answers the phone and explain his screwup to him, we spent a couple minutes discussing how to correct the issue and he finally says you know what screw it why do you just keep the dang thing and thanked me for my honesty.

Once again winner winner chicken dinner!
I thanked him for his offer and then placed an order for the two pouches I still don’t have

Looks like this is going to be a good company to deal with they have a customer for life with me.


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