Orvis Ratings and Reviews

Top Rated Product

Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel

Finally a cast aluminum large arbor fly fishing reel that's lightweight enough to balance properly with your favorite fly rod and truly the best value fly reel around. Two years in design and development and with a powerful inline, Rulon® to stainless, stacked disc drag that can hold its own with high-performance machined reels, the all new Clearwater Large Arbor costs significantly less than its machined cousins, but has not only the looks, but the guts of a higher-priced version. Easily converted to either left- or right-hand retrieve, the Clearwater fly reel has a positive click drag knob for consistent settings every time. Whether you're looking for your first large arbor, fishing on a budget, or want a spare or two in the bag, the new Clearwater Large Arbor can handle anything a machined reel can and completely changes the game in die cast reels.
Average Customer Rating:
4.685 out of 5
4.7
 out of 
5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (92 reviews)
5 stars
69
4 stars
18
3 stars
4
2 stars
1
1 star
0
90 of 92(98%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Review 1 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Clearwater Rocks!,
October 8, 2012
By: bigsur
from Great Smokies TN
"This is my second recent purchase of an Orvis Reel. I purchased an Encounter for my back up reel and was impressed by the the smothness of the action and drag. I thought the Clearwater being machined would be a bigger improvment over my existing primary reel so orderd online and received shortly after. New line and backing the next morning after I received and on the stream in the Great Smokies that afternoon. Fished a small stream and a larger one and the Clearwater rocked on both, line fed clean and smooth and cranked on the retrieve smooth and quiet. Great reel for the money could probably charge more but don't tell Orvis I said that!"
Review 2 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great Buy!,
August 10, 2014
By: BHole
"Just got this reel as a replacement, love it! Large arbor is the way to go!"
Review 3 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Solid as a rock,
August 5, 2014
By: Howie408
"Granted this is only my second fly reel but it is a definite upgrade from my previous one. You cant beat the price point either. I recommend getting the reel with the line loaded by Orvis. Well worth the time."
Review 4 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great Value,
July 29, 2014
By: flyflyfly
from Louisville, KY
"As a first time, or backup, reel, this one is hard to beat.
Smooth, light, and will stop a fast moving car. Or a 2 1/2 lb Rainbow!!"
Review 5 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Just don't drop it,
July 26, 2014
By: RandyT
from Little rock, AR
"I've used this reel for a couple of months now it matches up nicely with the Clearwater rod, giving the outfit a nice balance. I've caught several trout on this, the largest was 4# and the drag worked great. It appears the reel is well designed, but I dropped it when trying to get it in the reel seat and pitted the aluminum and the paint/powder coat. Cosmetic on!y and probably justthe nature of the cast aluminum. I would not consider this a design flaw though as the reel is tough where it counts ."
Review 6 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Great Quality Reel,
July 4, 2014
By: PolskaFisher
from New York
"I bought this reel along with the Clearwater rod. This is great little reel! You get the Orvis quality without breaking the bank. It's just what I was looking for. The mechanics of this reel are very smooth. Pair it up with a Clearwater rod & you have yourself a nice rig!"
Review 7 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Greet Buy!,
July 3, 2014
By: Dominic123456654321
from El Paso, TX
"Great quality fr the price. Very happy with my Clearwater II."
Review 8 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great Reel,
June 27, 2014
By: Fly11
from Central PA
"Clearwater reel is outstanding. Matched with the clearwater rod it cant be beat. Just got the combo rod and reel today and took it out for a test drive very impressive!
Thank you Orvis for a great product that is also affordable! Worth every penny.
"
Review 9 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Hat Trick,
June 13, 2014
By: SpiCam
from Arlington TN
"The large arbor reel is a good value for the light weight, ease of disassembly and drag setting, all simple to me. But paired with the Orvis installed backing and paired with the Clearwater line is a good combination of price competitive, quality products. Delivery time was excellent. I already had an Orvis 5 WT rod."
Review 10 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
great reel.,
June 5, 2014
By: morgat11
from Reno, NV
"I have had the reel for 2 months now and have used it on my 5wt many times already. The drag is a good system and the quality is better than most other reels at the same price and one of my old ones that cost even more. I plan on buying a few more to outfit all my rods with."
Review 11 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great Reel,
June 4, 2014
By: Flyboy77
from Washington the State
"The Reel arrived the day before we departed on a weekend long trout expedition. It performed flawlessly, the drag was smooth and easy to adjust, handling many trout in the 2 to 6 lb class. While this reel is not cheap it is a great value!"
Review 12 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Reel was as expected,
May 21, 2014
By: iliniwek54
"The online advertising for this reel was accurate. I attached it to a rod and worked it a bit, all was as I expected."
Review 13 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Very nice reel,
May 20, 2014
By: BigRainbows
from Colorado Springs, CO
"My first trout water large arbor and I love it. Takes up line quickly, adjustable drag allow me to crank it down when needed and great balance on my Access, Clearwater and Winston rods. Great real for the price and does all you need it to do."
Review 14 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Rescinding a bad review. Orvis fixed.,
May 13, 2014
By: Ghost22
from Clinton Twp. MI
"This is part 2 of my 2 star review I posted a few weeks ago. Long story short is I had a horrible time with my 1st Clearwater reel. I sent it to orvis to be fixed and my new review starts here when I received the "fixed" clear water..
I received a brand new Clearwater reel. Right away it felt different. The machining is tight, the drag is sensitive and responsive. As I tighten the drag the reel responds as it should..I tighten the drag all the way down and I have full confidence that it will stop the largest pacific salmon that the Great Lakes has to throw at it.. This is not the same lemon that I purchased. This is the reel that I expected when I read all the great reviews.. I would absolutely recommend this Clearwater reel to a friend.. I am very happy with my replacement... It reaffirms my decision to but the orvis guide waders and gale force sling pack.. The orvis warranty is alive and well!! Thanks orvis for making this right."
Review 15 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Large Arbor Fly Reels,
April 25, 2014
By: Donny42
from Cambridge, NY
"I am in the end an old fashioned fisherman. I wanted to try one of the newer types of large arbor fly reels, and ordered one from Orvis, with this in mind. The entire experience in dealing with Orvis was very positive, and the quality of the reel was outstanding, but in the end, after playing with the new item, I returned it for a full refund without difficulty. I can see the advantage of the large arbor configuration, but I still prefer the more conventional narrow spool type."
Review 16 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
2 / 5
2 / 5
Maybe I got a lemon,
April 22, 2014
By: Ghost22
from Clinton Twp. MI
"My experience hasnt been good like the others. I bought this reel about 6 months ago. I went salmon fishing in the PM with it the first time out.
The drag on it was not smooth but rather "chunky" or "jerky". i coulndnt tighten the drag enough to put the brakes on at all. The drag would get stuck and the drag knob would spin both directions without adjusting the drag tension. after that trip i put it in a box and didnt touch it for months.
To Orvis's credit, i called and they told me to ship it in for repairs at no charge. (I just had to pay the $13.00 shipping).
It is currently being worked on and i hope that they can fix or replace it because the positive reviews im reading are the exact opposite of what i experienced.
With the drag issue aside (im going to assume it was a lemon) the reel is really nice for the price. It feels sturdy in your hands and has very good machining. The only feature i didnt like on the reel was the "pointy" drag knob. I wish it had a round knob for better comfort when making adjustments.
I will be adding to this review after i recieve the reel back from repair and test it out.
Assuming Orvis fixes the drag and it is working smoothly i would have no reservations using the Clearwater reel for all applications.
to be continued....."
Review 17 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Clearwater Large Arbor,
April 17, 2014
By: JNDfromOR
from Alpine, UT
"It has been years since I have purchased new fly fishing equipment. 20 to be exact. I needed to upgrade from an older Clearwater system (the old click and pawl) to something newer. Price was an issue and settled for the large arbor. Wow! Compared to my older setup, this reel is smoother and far quieter than the Clearwater III from years ago. The drag system is excellent and you can lock the reel down for transport. I was so happy I ordered an extra spool with more spools in the future. I hope this lasts me 20 years like the old one has. Thank you, Orvis!"
Review 18 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Very nice,
April 16, 2014
By: Jojodancing
from Johnson city tennessee
"I'm just starting out so I don't have much to compare to but this reel looks as good as any reel I've seen. It's very smooth the drag works great and I hope it last me a long time. I think for the money if you want a reel there's no other option unless you just want something that cost a lot because this is a very nice reel."
Review 19 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best way to start a kid,
April 16, 2014
By: tolotom
from Stanley, Idaho
"This reel price is the real deal for starting a kid or an adult into fly rodding adventures, and one hec of a backup reel......"
Review 20 for Clearwater® Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Clearwater Large Arbor,
April 15, 2014
By: LuckyLeon
"Haven't had a chance to use this reel yet but it looks and feels great. I wanted a reel with a spare spool to use in Colorado. Have one spool with floating line and the other with a sink tip.
I'm basically a Saltwater Fly guy but have done well with streamers in freshwater. The reel compares well to what I'm use to in the Salt."