Limited-Edition CFO III Reel

This limited-edition classic fly reel is destined to become a future heirloom.


Produced in England to the same specifications and using the same tooling as the original CFO, these Limited-Edition classic CFO fly reels are magnificent pieces of fly-fishing history sure to be future heirlooms. First offered in the Orvis catalog in 1972, the CFO quickly became an iconic reel in the fly-fishing community, thanks to its unrivaled sound and unique, timeless appearance. Manufactured in England for the next two decades, the Hardy-made CFOs developed a devoted following over the years that continues to this day. As a respectful nod to the past, a limited, individually numbered supply of these spring-and-pawl reels will be made. Each is a replica of the riveted 1972 model with subtle updates such as a gray anodized finish. This classic fly reel comes in a soft leather reel case and commemorative box. Weighs 3.3 oz.


Overall: Show Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 11 reviews


11 of 11 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    I love this reel! - 11/4/2013
    By: from Chicago, IL
    Top 50 Contributor

    A great reel with lots of soul. These Hardy made limited editions are the stuff of legends. My fly fishing instructor insisted a buy one of these while they last. Orvis has brought back a legend and defied the claim "they don't make them like they used to" with this great modern rendition of a classic.

  • 5/5

    Superb LE CFO III Reel - 8/26/2013
    By: from Alexandria, VA
    Top 10 Contributor

    I own and regularly use all versions of the CFO III reels that Orvis has cataloged over the past 20 years or so, including the first disc drag and the bar stock spring-and-pawl. This superb limited-edition reel adds a nearly identical version of the original 1972 CFO to my working reel collection. I say nearly identical only because this version incorporates subtle upgrades in materials, finishing and construction that enhance the reel’s reliability and durability. To complete the package, Orvis also provides an over-the-top leather case to protect the reel. I paired mine with a Penn’s Creek 7-foot, 4-weight bamboo rod and a Hydros Superfine WF4F line. The reel balances this rod perfectly and should do so on any shorter, heavier bamboo, graphite or glass rod. Superb quality justifies the price of this fly fishing heirloom.

  • 5/5

    The Finest Trout Reel - 7/1/2013
    By: from Lancaster, Pa

    I received my CFO III as a 30th birthday present from my wife and parents. I am an avid trout bum and spend 200 days a year on the water. I have several CFO's in many of its various forms and can honestly say: this is the best. From function to form to the ever important sound. This reel is simply the sweetest most "Hardy" reel for a click and pawl trout rig. I have it mounted to my 795 Far and Fine and it completes what is my favorite fishing rig. Fly fishing to many is about more than just catching fish. It's about sport and style. This reel is classic American fly fishing at its finest. Don't let it's classic look fool you, this dog will hunt. I landed an 18" Pa spring creek brown on my second outing with it and I was pleasantly surprised by how fully capable it is. Truly a working piece of our sports history and art. It is among the highest heirlooms I will pass to my children if I don't take it with me! Pair this reel with a superfine touch and you have a trout bums ultimate rig. Enjoy!

  • 5/5

    Exquisite - 6/8/2013
    By: from Grand Haven, MI

    I smile each time I take this reel out of its suede pouch. Its lighter that the comparably sized Hardy Perfect. It performs flawlessly, makes the sweetest sound when a fish gives resistance and is beautiful to fish with. A true fly fishing heirloom.

  • 5/5

    By: from Upstate NY
    Top 25 Contributor

    The CFO III is everything a trout reel should be. This particular model is every bit as good (and I think collectible) as the original inverted script reels or the 1979 limited edition reels. Incredibly well made by Hardy in England.

  • 5/5

    Still a Hardy Reel - 12/27/2012
    By: from Allen, Texas
    Top 1000 Contributor

    I have fished with a #7 weight Hardy reel and Orvis flyrod for nearly thirty years and when I saw this CFO reel available I decided to add another one to my assortment. It is slightly smaller in size than my old one but otherwise nearly identical both in engineering and quality construction. Not cheap but worth it if you're serious about the best.

  • 5/5

    NICE! - 11/29/2012
    By: from West Coast wine country

    This Limited - Edition CFO III reel is another winner for Orvis, it has classic CFO looks and is very smooth. The click/ pawl has a very pleasing sound, it sings when a fish is running. I've been an Orvis customer for about 40 years. Their products rarely disappoint and if one does, you get your money back. You won't want your money back on this charmer.

  • 5/5

    Orvis CFO 111 reel - 11/20/2012
    By: from Calgary Alberta Canada

    I own 2 CFO 111 reels and I would not fish trout with anything else. I have caught and released 15,000 trout on the Bow River in Alberta Canada using my CFO111, without a problem. This summer I caught a 17.5 lb trout in Southern Alberta using my 5wt Helios rod and my trustee CFO111 reel. After 35 minutes I landed the fish, but my reel needed some TLC. Orvis kindly agreed to put the reel back together again at no cost. My CFO111 is back in business catching fish. Thanks Orvis. Ian

  • 5/5

    Great purchase - 10/1/2012
    By: from Buffalo, NY

    Have this reel with 5 weight wonderline, I've had this reel for a very long time. It has had absolutely no problems and has been amazing. It has quickly tired out bass, trout, and panfish. Looks awesome with my 5 weight superfine touch.

  • 5/5

    Love this reel! - 6/16/2012
    By: from San Jose, CA
    Top 10 Contributor

    This is the reel that revolutionized the fly fishing trout reel. The Orvis-Hardy Made-in-England CFO III with click-and-pawl is back for a limited time and I am stoked about it. I have been looking for this reel for some time now (this is a very collectible reel and not many are on the market) and I am so excited that Orvis decided to re-release it on a limited basis. The reel is extremely lightweight and balances my ultralight Superfine Touch rods wonderfully. The click and pawl drag is nice and smooth and sports the classic sound of those old-school trout reels. I plan on fishing this and keeping it for the rest of my life and pass it on to the generations that follow me. This is a reel for the ages.

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