Orvis Ratings and Reviews

Top Rated Product

Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels

There is not another true large arbor, big-game fly-fishing reel out there that carries this drag system performance at a price starting at just $225. It's unheard of until now. The new Hydros® Reel Series features a sealed drag surface that increases total drag surface by model: The larger the reel, the larger the drag surface and the more resistance available to handle larger fish. Using stacked carbon washers, controlled by a positive click adjustment system, the Hydros can be fine-tuned to handle any fish from a trout to a tuna with sustained and infinitely durable drag pressure.
Average Customer Rating:
4.534 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (103 reviews)
5 stars
83
4 stars
7
3 stars
4
2 stars
3
1 star
6
91 of 103(88%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Stories:
Customer Reviews for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Review 1 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Lightweight but strong,
August 11, 2014
By: Xmen28
from Connecticut
"I use this reel in a 7 weight set up for stripers and bluefish inshore. It is great. It is lightweight but big enough to handle good sized fish. Simple design , fast line pick up , and is very easy to use and especially easy to clean after salt water use."
Review 2 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
9/10 wt Hydros!!!,
July 28, 2014
By: Matt0819
from Massachusetts & Florida
"I recently ordered the Orvis Hydros 9/10 wt fly reel and received it within a few days. The reel felt light yet strong. I loaded it up with 30 lb backing and 10wt floating line to match my 10wt rod. That week I went out and caught four striped bass, one measuring 40 inches. The drag system on this reel is amazing and for the price it is the best fly reel I have used. I can't wait to use this reel for tarpon back in Florida."
Review 3 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
The Best,
July 22, 2014
By: HARL
from Barrie Ont.
"I have tried other reels but have found I wanted the best . Should have came here first."
Review 4 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Well Built and Balanced.,
June 12, 2014
By: Timbonz
from New York State, Vermont, NJ, Penn Trout Rivers
"I haven't had any problems with the reel. Smooth casting and retreiving. Ordered with Hydro 5 float. Nice that the line, backing were loaded by Orvis. Nice touch."
Review 5 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Super Reel !!,
June 12, 2014
By: ColFrank
from Houston, TX
"I bought the Hydros V, loved it and got another, the added two spare spools. My main benchmark is the superior drag system where I can incrementaly increase the drag when fighting the big fish. A 5lb Bonefish is a no contest with this reel. A perfect match with my 7wt and 8wt. Helios 2's"
Review 6 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Hydrose,
May 5, 2014
By: thePhishwittnes
from Edmonton AB
"Twice the drag available in any large arbor i have ever had!! Supper strong with less fall damage as well. Great real can't wait to fight some big trout on this guy!!"
Review 7 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Orvis comes through again!,
April 29, 2014
By: pcgator
from Panama City, FL
"I own an Orvis Battenkill reel on a Orvis Saltrodder which I use in both fresh and saltwater. I love that set up so when I wanted to upgrade I looked to Orvis. After researching the rods and reels and holding them at an Orvis store, I settled on the Hydros Large Arbor V and put it on an Orvis Helios2. This set up is very balanced and I love the Hydros reel, especially the drag system. Orvis came through again!"
Review 8 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
The best flyreel i ever had,
April 4, 2014
By: flyfischermanfromnorway
from Dilling, Norway
"This is the best flyreel buying i have doing ever, a dream too togheter with my Helios 2 class 4.
Thank you Orvis....
"
Review 9 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
2 / 5
2 / 5
An upgrade, not really,
April 1, 2014
By: Garioch
from Aberdeenshire, Scotland
"I have various Mach and Battenkill Large Arbour reels from a size III upto size VI's. I bought the Hydros in size V for use with my 12' 9" shooting head salmon rod as it was a nice weight and size for the rod. I also bought 2 spare spools. I have 2 issues, one is the gap as already mentioned. The second is the amount of play the spool/bearings have. Grabbing the cage and the spool, it is easy to deflect the spool. This is, I am sure, the reason for the large gap because if you have the drag set strong, the spool deflects in the cage. My Battenkills and Machs, despite being a good few years old not, do not have this problem. I think there is a real problem with manufacture on these reels/spools that is unacceptable in a reel of this price. A real shame as I have always recommended Battenkill and Machs to others over the years."
Review 10 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Buy it!,
March 24, 2014
By: OntarioFlyOutfitters
from Rochester, NY
"A great reel for the price. The weight of the reel is perfect for balance on most fly rods and light enough to cast all day long. Great looking and well designed. The large arbor picks up line quickly and can compete in diameter with most in it's class. As a professional guide, I have recommended and this reel to many of my customers."
Review 11 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
hydro fly reel,
March 18, 2014
By: JKCinTN
from Tennessee
"On a quest to catch a musky on the fly I've had difficulty finding a reasonable priced great reel to throw large flies. The hydro arbor reel has done amazingly well throwing large flies far for me."
Review 12 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Excellent,
February 18, 2014
By: GuernseyFlyfisher
from Guernsey, Channel Islands
"Reel arrived within a few days by courier - great service! Really impressed with my first Orvis reel - wonderfully balanced, well machined and perfect for the job of targeting saltwater sea bass on the fly! One very happy customer!"
Review 13 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
homerun by orvis on this reel,
February 13, 2014
By: bezer
from Matlacha Fl.
"I bought this reel after a lot of research on it's drag.I fish for snook a lot along mangrove lines and you need a reel that can really put the heat on a big snook since you have about 5 seconds to keep them out of the cover or it's game over and this reel delivers and then some.I love my #4 hydros.Other than I wish it had a bigger handle.You can buy more expensive reels that don't have the drag the hydros has but why?Great reel.Well done orvis!"
Review 14 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
What more do you need?,
February 7, 2014
By: Aficionado
"I own several Orvis reels, but this is my first Hydros - it did not disappoint - beautifully machined with smooth and consistent drag ratchet, and made to last a lifetime. Well done!"
Review 15 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Hydros LR III reel,
February 3, 2014
By: dwbauer
"Ordering new equipment online without having the opportunity to test it can be a guessing game. But the Hydros LR reel is everything that it is described to be.
I have been searching for a replacement reel for my 5wt rod and the Hydros is a great addition. Well built and has all the (smooth) drag I will ever need. All I need now are some extra spools and I'll be set.
"
Review 16 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
1 / 5
1 / 5
THE GAP!,
December 13, 2013
By: kingfisher44
from Aberlour, Scotland
"So you buy the Hydros. It seems like the perfect reel. You can't wait to go fishing ... and then, when you do, you discover THE GAP!! How? Because your running line has already discovered it, and has slid through.
Seriously, especially if you Spey cast, save yourself a lot of time and hassle and buy another reel."
Response from Orvis:By Orvis Customer ServiceJanuary 30, 2014
Thank you for your feedback regarding the Hydros Large Arbor Reel. This reel has undergone a running change; we modified the design in 2013 to minimize the issue of running line slipping through the line guard / spool interface. A reel with exceptionally tight tolerance is prone to rubbing under pressure. A slightly larger tolerance, as intended in the Hydros Large Arbor, allows for more operational clearance, but does allow running lines smaller than 0.029" to potentially slip through. For those using running lines less than 0.029" in diameter, please take this into consideration.
Again, we appreciate your feedback. As always, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our products.
Review 17 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
1 / 5
1 / 5
why?,
December 2, 2013
By: thelongboot
from Dublin, Ireland
"As other reviewers have said, the running line escapes through the gap between spool and reel – causing a reel jam and a lost fish. Result: an unusable reel that has to be returned for a refund.
I've used Battenkill LA reels for years now, without any problems; the Hydros is an upgraded version of the Battenkills, and were in not for the gap problem they would be excellent reels for the money.
Given that it would be such a small and easy thing to fix, I'm curious to know why Orvis don't seem to be addressing this issue."
Review 18 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great reel,
November 14, 2013
By: Rockstar8282
from Las vegas
"Amazing reel and great customer service from Orvis as always. I used the reel the day after delivery and was impressed with it in action. I would highly recommend this product to anyone in the market."
Review 19 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Smooth, powerful Drag,
November 6, 2013
By: Jekyll
from Salmon River, NY
"I've now used a Hydros V for 2 seasons and caught over 2000 Chinook salmon and steelhead. I've found the drag to be impressively smooth and powerful. I think the Hydros drag beats that of my Mirage V. The spool handle is the weak spot on this reel. Mine loosened several times and ultimately stripped but, an Orvis dealer swapped out my spool for free. I've learned how to avoid future problems with the handle. This is a superb reel for strong salmon and steelhead. It has the power and capacity to subdue and tame hard fighting, large fish."
Review 20 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Good reel,
November 2, 2013
By: Zumpafust
from Twinsburg, OH
"This is a good reel that I use steelhead fishing with my ClearWater 10', 8w rod. The drag is very smooth, easy to adjust and very gradual. Too bad that the click pin is made of some sort of plastic and after a while it wears out and it doesn't provide very audible feedback. Orvis should really fix this design flaw. FIshermen love to hear that sound when they have a nice fish at the end of the line!"