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The Eclectic Angler is a small US home-based business owned and run by Michael Hackney. We produce most of the products we offer and take great pride in our craftsmanship and customer service. If you ever have a question or problem, please contact us immediately. Michael enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with others and giving back to the community and conservation and charitable organizations.

Although we do not have a physical store, our mailing address is:

The Eclectic Angler

124 Riverbend Dr.

Groton, MA 01450

email: info@eclecticangler.com

cell: 978-729-5454



Michael Hackney, aka The Eclectic Angler, is a reelsmith, angling historian, and author. His ground-breaking book, The Reelsmith's Primer - The Art of Hand-crafting Fly Fishing Reels, has inspired hundreds of anglers from around the world to build their first fly reel. He is a life member of Trout Unlimited and resides in central Massachusetts near his home waters, the Squannacook and Nissitissit Rivers. Michael's clarity, passion, and expertise is instructive, contageous, and entertaining.


Michael gives dozens of presentations to angling clubs, TU and FFF chapters, Cub Scout and Boy Scout groups, National Parks, fundraisers, and other venues each year. He has several prepared topics including:

  • A Reelsmithing Primer - This 1 hour presentation begins with a history of fishing reels and concludes with an overview of the materials, tools, and process I teach to make attractive and functional reels - without requiring a machine shop. I bring several classic fishing reels and other visual and hands-on aids.
  • Fly fishing in the 19th Century - This 1 hour presentation looks at how fly fishing evolved in the 19th century as new materials and the Industrial Revolution took root, forever changing angling as a recreation.
  • Everything you wanted to know about leaders, or Furled Again! - This 1 hour presentation starts with a history of leaders and leader development. I bring my collection of antique leaders and equipment to make knotted and furled leaders. Attendees will learn how to make furled leaders.
  • Introduction to rod building - This 1 hour presentation is a basic overview on how to get started building your own graphite or fiberglass fly rods. I cover rod blanks, components, tools and techniques.
  • Tenkara - traditional Japanese fly fishing - This 1 hour presentation is an introduction to tenkara - fixed line Japanese fly fishing. It includes a history of both western and Japanese fixed line fly fishing, tenkara flies, rods and lines. I bring examples of the equipment for the audience to try out if they desire.

Please call or email if you would like to schedule a presentation at your meeting or event.


Michael conducts 3 hour hands-on workshops with groups of 4 to 25 attendees. These can be performed as a fund-raiser for the sponsoring group. The Workshop begins with a short presentation that includes a history of the fishing reel and an overview of the materials, tools and techniques used to assemble the Reel Kit. Michael furnishes all materials, supplies and tools and no previous metal working experience is required.

Although he can travel across country to conduct the Workshops, he may require a minimum number of participants and/or contribution to travel expenses. Please call or email if you would like more information on Reelsmithing Workshops.