Hanak River 46 Fly Reel (4-6wt)

(2 customer reviews)

$84.99

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SKU: RIVER 46 Category:

Description

-Modern lightweight, versatile large arbor reel designed for river fishing.
-Thanks to the large arbor design, it limits tangling, damaging of fly line and speed-up reeling.
-Cut from of one piece of top quality aluminum.
-Durable construction drag system.
-Anodized reel for increase durability.
-Quick change spool system.
-Polycarbonate cassette spools allowing you to carry many of different lines.
-Perfect in all situations. Three plastic spools in set.

*WF5F + 50 m backing
*Weight: 159g (5.61oz)
*Width: 87 mm
*Diam: 38 mm

2 reviews for Hanak River 46 Fly Reel (4-6wt)

  1. M (verified owner)

    The chief selling point for this reel is that it’s a size 4,5,6 reel that comes with 3 polycarbonate (plastic) spools for a reasonably low price. Extra plastic spools, in case 3 isn’t enough are (sometimes) available in the US and Canada for $13ea, and in Europe for as little as 8€.

    There are basically 2 versions of this reel, the 46 River and 68 Lake, size 4,5,6 and size 6,7,8 respectively. But, just to confuse things, Hanak also offers more expensive, much better reels called the Stream and, yes, another Lake model that are lighter weight, faster retrieve and machined rather than cast. I have yet to see those in the US.

    So, let’s clear some misconceptions about the River 46. The Competitive Angler site gets so much wrong about this reel that it’s maddening.

    Modern lightweight, versatile large arbor reel designed for river fishing. -Thanks to the large arbor design, it limits tangling, damaging of fly line and speed-up reeling.

    With a 40mm inner spool diameter it’s right in the middle between a 28mm spindle antique Lamson #2 small arbor and a modern Waterworks Lamson Speedster 2 with a 60mm “super arbor”. It’s not as big as a $55 A.R.E. 202M with a 45mm arbor or a cheap Albright GPX 5/6 with a 58mm arbor. At 40mm is pretty much a medium arbor.

    -Cut from of one piece of top quality aluminum.

    No, it is not cut from one piece of aluminum, nor is it primarily machined. Even the Hanak site makes no such claims. They sell it as a “Metal reel with three plastic spools and quality drag.” It is a cast reel with casting marks on the interior to prove it.

    -Durable construction drag system.

    We’ll see about that. It is definitely not salt rated. (And one might not reasonably expect a reel called the River and sold under $100US to be salt worthy.) The 28mm drag knob takes 1 1/2 turns to go from just clicker resistance to almost, but not quite fully stopping the spool. I like the fact that it never fully locks up. Most people will probably find all the resistance they ever need somewhere around a half turn from null. How much drag do you need on a 4,5,6 weight, anyway?

    -Anodized reel for increase durability.

    No, it is not. This is most likely a baked on finish on a die cast reel. It’s fine for what it is, but again, even Hanak makes no such claims, though they certainly do offer other more expensive reels that are machined and anodized.

    -Quick change spool system.

    Well, yes and no. When I 1st got this one, without any instructions, it was very difficult to even figure out how the spools were supposed to be changed. I mentioned this to Comp Angler and he sent a little short video from Smart Angling showing that the spools pop off with thumb pressure. They do. It’s a friction fit between the poly spool and an O ring on the shaft, but it is so hard that it takes both thumbs and a whole lot of pressure. Initially, I was concerned it was going to break the plastic spool. Seriously, this takes so much thumb pressure some folks may not be able to do it. I almost wanted a bearing or pulley puller just to pop off the spool.

    -Polycarbonate cassette spools allowing you to carry many of different lines.

    This is the major selling point, and it is unique in that manner. The closest competition for it in the US is probably the Lamson Liquid 3 pack #2 which sells in the US for ~$170 for a reel with 3 spools. The Hanak River 46 is half that cost, but the Lamson Liquid has a sealed conical drag and comes with a carry case for all. The River comes with a thin cloth bag that only holds the reel, not the extra spools.

    -Perfect in all situations. Three plastic spools in set.

    Not for salt. Probably not for those who can’t exert a ridiculous amout of thumb pressure to change spools. Also, note that the spools are directional. One side has (4) raised plastic nubs that must engage with the holes in the reel to keep it from slipping.

    *WF5F + 50 m backing

    This is actually understating it’s capacity a bit. I tested the River with (4) 6wt lines ranging in length from 80′-105′ and ranging in running line size from 0.035″ – 0.046″ with heads from 0.048″-0.055″. Even with the fattest, Echo Sphere WF6F 100′ line I had no trouble getting 40-50yds of 25# backing and the line on while still having adequate clearance between line and reel cage bar. With the other lines, more backing was possible. Again, how much backing does one even need with a 5/6 reel? I’ve never been taken to any backing with any 4/5/6 rig.

    *Weight: 159g (5.61oz)

    This puts it solidly middle of the pack between lightweight fine reels like the expensive super arbor Lamson Speedster 2 at 4.2oz, the amazingly well done cheap A.R.E. 202M at 4.4oz and the exquisitely machined solid side heavy TFO 340 at a whopping 7.7oz. Personally, I’m not at all opposed to a 5-6oz reel and think paying a lot extra for a slightly lighter reel is daft considering the line weight changes every part of the equation.

    *Width: 87 mm *Diam: 38 mm

    No, no, no. They got the width and diameter backwards. The River is right smack in the middle of the pack in terms of normal, modern 5/6 reels. It’s worth noting that it is almost the same size as an Albright GPX 3/4 and also almost the same size as a TFO 340 which was briefly sold as a 6/8 but really is at it’s best with 6wt line.

    Conclusion – So, who is the River 46 for? I’d say if you need a budget reel that comes with 3 spools and don’t mind some eccenticities and some cost cutting measures and have strong thumbs, this may be worth seeking out. For the person who wants a spool of mono for nymphing, another with floating line for dries and another with intermediate line for streamers, this may be what you want.

  2. James Taylor

    I wanted to like this reel but had to return it because the spools fit WAY TOO TIGHTLY. It’s very difficult to remove the plastic cassette from the Hanak reel spindle —two thumbs and a lot of force is required. If it’s this hard to pop off a cassette in my shop, I can’t imagine easily switching lines out on the river. I also thought the reel action was a little too tight. I agree 100% with the review by M–
    “-Quick change spool system.
    Well, yes and no. When I 1st got this one, without any instructions, it was very difficult to even figure out how the spools were supposed to be changed. I mentioned this to Comp Angler and he sent a little short video from Smart Angling showing that the spools pop off with thumb pressure. They do. It’s a friction fit between the poly spool and an O ring on the shaft, but it is so hard that it takes both thumbs and a whole lot of pressure. Initially, I was concerned it was going to break the plastic spool. Seriously, this takes so much thumb pressure some folks may not be able to do it. I almost wanted a bearing or pulley puller just to pop off the spool.
    -Polycarbonate cassette spools allowing you to carry many of different lines.
    This is the major selling point, and it is unique in that manner. The closest competition for it in the US is probably the Lamson Liquid 3 pack #2 which sells in the US for ~$170 for a reel with 3 spools. The Hanak River 46 is half that cost, but the Lamson Liquid has a sealed conical drag and comes with a carry case for all. The River comes with a thin cloth bag that only holds the reel, not the extra spools. “

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