Other anglers must think it odd that I still use the old Pflueger Medalist reels. What can I say? I like how they feel and work. I like the feel of the rod when there’s a little more weight at the bottom, the way I prefer older knives with thick handles when I’m preparing a meal, though I find it hard to say why. Maybe my hands have developed muscle memory for fly casting and slicing onions, and the brain connected to the hands expects a certain weight to be there. I have other reels made from much lighter metals and I used them exclusively for several years. Now I’ve reverted to the Pflueger family again. The Medalist is the reel I learned with. It’s the one the late master Lefty Kreh learned with. It has a classic look and reminds me of fly fishing traditions, all the anglers who came before me and some absent fishing friends. I think of them every time I fish.

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