Last updated on June 10th, 2021.

Leonard Schoenberger
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Watch more episodes from our video series “Characters”:

Jean-Pierre Vollrath – Fly Fisher and Mountain Hunter

Fabrizio Gajardoni – Fly Tying Artist from Italy 

Edoardo Scapin – Bamboo Rods Made in Italy 

V Stick Custom Fly Rods – Renato Vitalini

Christopher Rownes – Dancer and Fly Fishing Instructor

Ari t Hart reel that made it to the MoMA in New York City

Ari t Hart is a living legend in the world of fly fishing. The Dutch designer and artist builds some of the finest hand made fly reels on the planet. His craft is of such a level that the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art in New York City) exhibited one of his reels as a piece of art.

We visited Ari t Hart at his home in the Netherlands to talk about how it all started. The collection of reels and the histories behind them are a gem for every fly fishing enthusiast. Over the years Ari t Hart built fly reels for famous people around the globe including former American president George Bush.

Ari t Hart: The Master of the Reel

His fly reels are little pieces of art that he design and builds to this day in his home in the Netherlands. We talked about how hew approaches designing a new reel and where his ideas stem from. Furthermore, we dived into what differentiates a hand made fly reel from a mass product.

Last but not least we wanted to find out how his reel making has evolved over the years and what his plans are for the future. What are his favourite models from decades of reel making. And is there a reel that he hasn’t build yet but would still get done?