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BrianBM

Solitude Fly Reels

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The Harrises sold their line to some gent in Washington, who was suppossed to be working with Jack Charlton, etc., .. did he run out of cash? I think they were supposed to be out by now. Not a word in the hook and bullet press.

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Solitude Reels was sold by Craig Harris to Edco, Inc. in the state of Washington. They have been at the last two Fly Fishing Retailer Shows in Denver. This year they came with the newly updated reel in all sizes except the Solitude VI. We received word at the show that shipment of all sizes except the VI would be available before December 1. I received a Solitude II from them recently in order to get a feel for the new reels. Just within the last few weeks I received an e-mail saying that the initial shipments would not be made until after the first of the year. They are unwilling to ship any reels until every bug is worked out, and for that I commend them. The VI is getting a more thorough redesign to make it a more serious saltwater model and won't be available until the second quarter of 2007. All the initial models will be available in black only and only with the standard arbor spools. Other anodizing colors and the large arbor spools will come later in the year. Visually, the reels look virtually identical to the Harris versions. They tightened up the tolerances quite a bit which removed the spool wobble the reel was known to have. They've also made it far easier to convert the reel from LH to RH and vice versa. All this was done with essentially no change in price, though the VI is exected to come out a few dollars higher. Jack Charlton is still a resource for Mark, the owner, but I do not think he has a specific affiliation any longer. He was going to be national sales manager, but that no longer seems to be the case. Let me know if you have any further questions.

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That contents me.

 

I have an odd fondness for Harris - odd, because I' ve never handled one, much less owned or fished them - because the price of an extra spool was normally quite sane. The price of, say, an extra spool for a Tibor is obscene.

I am not sold on SH solutions to the price of a spool. I'll wait with interest to see where the current owner prices his extra spools.

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Just for the record, the current prices for spare spools are the same as when they were Harris reels ($95.00-$115.00.) The only exception to that range is the Solitude VI large arbor spool which actually dropped from $145.00 to $140.00. We're all expecting these spool prices to hold for 2007. It'll be real interesting to see what happens for 2008.

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That's a fair decision. However, it would help all of us if you would be more specific about what happened. Reel companies go out of business all the time so if you had a repair problem and couldn't get Craig to do it, that can be frustrating, but again it can happen anytime. The people who bought the equipment and the design from Craig did repairs for as long as parts were available. Nancy said she often spent more time dealing with issues regarding Harris reels than she did helping get the new reels off the ground. I found them to be extremely accomodating as long as they had the part that was needed, but they weren't willing to make new parts that weren't already going to be needed for the newer designs. It was frustrating as a dealer to not be able to help people with older models, but if the company had gone bankrupt and closed the doors they wouldn't have been available either. If your problem was other than that, I know we'd all like to know about it.

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When you think you are really good friends with a guy, tothe point of hosting him at your house and visiting at his house, and then going out of your way to introduce him to dealers for his product without asking for anything in return. Then he drops off the face of the earth and you still stand by him, and then find out that he has taken off with your stuff and you get it back almost a year later in pieces in boxes...you would be unhappy as well.

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I agree completely. Was it Craig or Mark who did this? It would seem that it would almost have to be Craig. If so, then I'm still willing to give Mark and Nancy, the new owners, a chance. They seem like remarkable people. I can understand why you might not be willing to do so, but I'm hoping others who read this will at least give them a chance.

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Again, like what? One of my frustrations with internet forums is all this "I know a guy who said he knew someone who had problems with this product." It doesn't do anyone any good to know there is a problem unless there is some firsthand knowledge of what that problem is or was and with some specifics of how it was handled by the manufacturer or shop. I'll also again point out that the company has changed hands and if the problem was simply a lack of followthrough by the previous owner, that perhaps the present owners should be given the benefit of proving themselves worthy (or not as the case may be.) The Solitude is simply too good a reel at a very attractive price for it to go south just because the previous owner of the company got tired of dealing with problems. End of sermon...cwm15.gif

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It was Capt. Gordon's enthusiasm for the Solitudes that originally brought the line to my attention, actually.

 

We'll await the debut, and the reviews, with interest.

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Fly reels are simple enough machines that any machine shop can make them.  As a result, no one has more than a small part of the market. Companies come, companies go .... Solitude. Steelfin. Phos. 

 

Since Charlton /  Mako is gone, what are the cool kids buying these days?

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19 hours ago, BrianBM said:

Since Charlton /  Mako is gone, what are the cool kids buying these days?

Mako is not gone I believe. Thou no-one from Charlton family in the business anymore I think.

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