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Orvis Mid-Arbor Fly Reel Fishing Reels

Fishing Reels Manufacturer: Orvis
Orvis Model: Mid-Arbor Fly Reel
Review Category: Fishing Reels

Purchase: I purchased the Orvis Mid-Arbor Fly Reel at the Orvis store in Pasadena, Ca. for a fishing trip to the lower Owens river near Bishop, Ca. I paid approximately $120.

Things I like about the Orvis Mid-Arbor Fly Reel: Pleasantly surprised is about the best way to put it! The new Orvis Mid-Arbor reel is one nice piece of machinery! I shouldn't be surprised actually, because Orvis makes quality products but for approximately $120 I thought I'd be getting some cheaply made reel with an expensive name on it. Not so; it's machined from the same bar stock aluminum as their Battenkill Bar Stock reel and has a nice solid feel to it without being heavy. The mid arbor design strikes a nice balance between the traditional sized reel and the wide arbor models that seemed to be all the rage just a few years ago. The wide arbor reels are fine for a salmon or surf rod but they always seemed a bit odd to me when seen hanging from a 3 or 5 wt. rod. I was hesitant to buy the mid arbor because of this but found it to be slimmer that the wide arbor and only a slightly larger than the regular reel I had. Another draw is the line capacity. I usually fish small streams and rivers so I'm not going get zipped into my backing by a monster, although I once had a submarine in Crowley Lake nearly take my kayak for a ride! It is nice, however, to have a little extra "insurance" when you least expect it! The drag system according to Orvis is a glass composite centerline drag that has a 720 adjustment from free spinning to stopping a locomotive dead in its tracks. The drag knob is easy to handle too. I have a G. Loomis Adventure 7 on my surf rod which I really love but the bevel of the drag knob is sometimes difficult to turn with wet hands because it's nearly flush with the reel surface. Speaking of knobs, the crank handle is made from a flattened composite material that is wide with small bumps for gripping similar to those found on the bigger reels. Again, great for when you have to put the brakes on that 8 inch Golden trout! The reel is easily switched from right to left hand retrieve like most and has a spool that is simple to remove. According to Orvis, the reel is made from a corrosion-proof material with a scratch resistant finish so it can be used by those of you who are salty dogs.

What I don't like about the Orvis Mid-Arbor Fly Reel:

Mid-Arbor Fly Reel quality:

Mid-Arbor Fly Reel summary: Being a traditionalist, I went with the black finish rather that the titanium but I'll tell you, it was a difficult decision as both are equally attractive. My test drive came on the Owens River a few weeks ago and I have to say, the reel performed flawlessly. The drag seemed infinitely adjustable and the reel was smooth as silk. I did get a chance to hear this baby sing when a nice Brown darted out from an under-cut bank and munched my juicy nymph formerly known as prince! Overall, I think this reel is a great buy that competes with the Loomis and several other in the same price range but the quality here is first rate.

Rating for this Orvis product: 5

Author of this review on Orvis Fishing Reels: Michael L. Bazzo

Date: 2006-05-03

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