Hatch. One of the finest reel makers in the business. We know this, not because their made in the USA, not because we've spent hours with them on the flats, and not because we're Hatch fans (well, we kind of are), but because the 7-Plus won our 8-weight Reel Shootout. But, as we've said repeatedly, trout is a different game with different rules. We're eager to find out hot the 4 Plus measures up to its big brother.   5-Weight Challenge Full Results


5.5 ounces. Heavier than we'd like to see.


  One of our favorite things about the 7-Plus, was its awesome drag. It's smooth and strong - just what we were looking for. This time around, drag was still a critical part of our test and the 4-Plus didn't do quite as well. 2.2lbs of drag is certainly enough for a trout reel, but in a test where the best reels top out at 7+ lbs, it's a little light to be a winning reel. We are happy to report, however that it was still very smooth, exhibiting a mere .19 lbs of startup inertia, which is about as much as the click mechanism.


The Hatch is sealed.



When we spoke to Andrew at Hatch about sound, he immediately told us how long they'd spent perfecting it. And we have to agree that it sounds pretty great.


The 4-Plus was in the middle of the pack in terms of spool design - not super narrow nor super fast. It retrieved line at 7.49 inches per turn and holds an estimated 98 yards of backing. The mid-arbor held roughly 180 yards of backing and retrieves line at 6.56 inches per turn.


One undeniable aspect of the Hatch is how great it looks. It's definitely the second best looking reel in the test after the Abel SD. It's bold and oozes made-in-the-USA quality. We also like the fully machined reel seat


Handle: One thing that Hatch does differently is the handle - it's also fully machined. It's got a very solid feel, but is just a hair too short to beat out the top handles.   Drag Knob: Easy to grab and easy to adjust.   Spool Change: Quick change spool is very easy to use

The Drop

Above Average. The natural aluminum finish of the Hatch makes it virtually impervious to scratching. On the otherhand, it did divot. Minor bend in the spool - did not affect reel.


Lifetime to the original owner + NO FEE!   Price: $450


Don't get me wrong, we still love Hatch reels. The 4 Plus is a great trout reel and there's a lot to love about it: It's beautifully machined, it's made in the US by a company that really stands behind their products, and it's got a really smooth drag. A couple of minor modifications to the drag and the spool would make this a top contender.   Help us review more gear! Buy it here.


  • The best warranty in the biz
  • Top notch looks


  • Heavy