Here is a brand new, unfished, limited edition Fairy reel from the Perfection Fly Reel Co. The reel embodies all of the quality and simple elegance of the vintage HL Leonard version. In 2011, a limited edition of 15 reels was made in the old 1874 Skilton Tackle machine shop in Winsted, CT. Each reel represents 24 hours of hand work.
The Fairy Reel was introduced by HL Leonard around 1894, designed especially for the exquisite 37L and 38L he had developed for small stream fishing, weighing 2.25 and 2.75 ounces respectively, and named the Catskill and the Fairy. The small rod and reel revolutionized fly fishing by enabling anglers to cast small dry fly imitations that would not be drowned by the heavy lines normally used until then.
Apart from having closer tolerances, the new handmade Fairy reel is identical to the historic model sold by William Mills and Co. Side plates are carved from custom made laboratory grade hard rubber (ebonite); bolstered pillars, crank arm, footplate and screws are nickel silver; spool shaft and bushing are naval bronze, and the pawl is upgraded to stainless steel.
Weighing 2.25 ounces, the new Fairy performs comfortably with lines in the 1-4 weight range. To avoid coiling, many anglers cut and spool only the front section of line with some backing. The purist can choose modern silk line.
Reel comes with original black pouch and papers.
Comments and evaluations of the reel have been encouraging; here are a few:
-- "I have seen and held this reel and it is spectacular"
-- "It is gorgeous, it has a most pleasant tone when drawing line from it. ...a magnificent piece. Great job!"
-- "I saw and handled the reel and agree it is beautiful. I'll have one in my collection. Very nicely done, NO shortcuts, nickel silver screws, reel foot, hard rubber side plates. It really is a work of art."
-- "...such a finely made reel"
-- "Being functional does not detract from its value as sculpture"
-- "The integrity junkie's dream reel"