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:
4.533 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (107 reviews)
5 stars
86
4 stars
7
3 stars
5
2 stars
3
1 star
6
94 of 107(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: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Two thumbs up,
September 14, 2014
By: RodVar
from Mexico City
"Just to let everyone out there know how good this product is. I just got back from a trip to the Mexican Caribbean and was lucky to land a 120+ lb tarpon on a Hydros VI matched to a 12 wt Access. I fought the fish for an hour and the reel performed excellent (so did the rod). And the price tag is wallet friendly too. With this price you'll get to fish an extra day and buy some beer at the beach. Once again, thank you Orvis: I love your toys!"
Review 2 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Excellent Birthday Gift,
September 9, 2014
By: JRBurbage
from Hampton, VA
"My son who is an avid fisherman and holds a PhD in Marine Toxicology, finds great pleasure in fly fishing in the surfs of VA as well as the Rockies when he travels out west. This reel offers features that are not even offered with other manufacturers. I gave him this reel with the expectations that he will have an opportunity to test this it out on the current migration of Red Drum."
Review 3 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
3 / 5
3 / 5
August 26, 2014
By: eddy3131
from Port Alberni, BC
"I have had this reel for 9 months and already the click pin is worn out. This reel has had a moderate amount of use and has been babied since I bought it. The drag on it is excellent for the price but the components are cheap. I wouldn't recommend any Canadian buying this as the shipping is way overpriced and took nearly a month to get to me. It is a good looking reel that could have been a real bargain but has yet to impress."
Review 4 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Hydros - Best Orvis Valued Reel,
August 25, 2014
By: Qrachel
from LA
"Dollar for Dollar, the best reel value and that's not just my opinion. Checkout 8wt Shootout by Yollowstone Anglers. I have an 8wt and a 4wt, just top shelf products. I'm thinkng about an H2 3wt , 10' and looking at FWX, Lamsom Lightspeed and the Orvis Mirage. Hydros is at a tough value to turndown. I'm new to the sport and wouldn't mind an upgrade, but nothing seems $100-$200 better.
Good problem to have. Rachel"
Review 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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.