Orvis Ratings and Reviews

Top Rated Product

Encounter Large Arbor Reel

The all new Orvis Encounter Large Arbor is a value-priced fly reel with the all the credentials of a much higher-priced large arbor. Made of a molded composite, the Encounter is extremely lightweight, but the inline, Rulon to stainless, stacked disc drag system is the most powerful in its price class making it the budget fly reel. Easy right- and left-hand conversion with a positive click drag knob to allow for consistent drag settings. For the budget-minded angler or a first fly reel, the Orvis Encounter Large Arbor is a no-compromise option.
Average Customer Rating:
4.667 out of 5
4.7
 out of 
5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (66 reviews)
5 stars
49
4 stars
14
3 stars
1
2 stars
2
1 star
0
64 of 66(97%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Review 1 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
nice reel,
April 11, 2014
By: 870expressmag
"very well built, very solid, drag is smooth, very happy, mated well with my redington ct 5wt"
Review 2 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great reel - its tough!,
April 10, 2014
By: Garioch
from Aberdeenshire, Scotland
"I bought the IV specifically for use on the coast/rocks for saltwater fishing for Pollock, Mackeral and Sea Trout. It has also been teamed up with a 7 weight Access and used for streamer fishing for large brown trout.
I love the reel. It does not matter if I bash it off a rock or lay it down on a concrete jetty, it takes all the knocks with ease.
It really sits nicely on the Access too, balancing it well.
Well worth buying as a proper "knock about" reel if you dont want to damage your more expensive Battenkills and Access reels."
Review 3 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Built for abuse,
April 4, 2014
By: Steelhead13
from Akron, OH
"This reel is awesome! You don't have to worry about it getting scratched while rigging up your rod. You don't have to worry about it breaking if you drop it. Watch the video they have here and you'll see what I'm talking about."
Review 4 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Excellent sea reel,
April 2, 2014
By: ianmandyb
from Buckinghamshire UK
"I used the reel for sea fishing because it is moulded. I just purchased another spool for my Bass fishing shooting head."
Review 5 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Not used yet,
April 1, 2014
By: Alwaysask
from WI
"The feel of the reel while loading backing and line was telling of tight tolerances. I bought two, one each for a lefty and a righty kid. Time will unveil the durability and performance of the reels (and dad's patience)."
Review 6 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Ready for anything !,
March 28, 2014
By: Mainebigfoot
from In rivers and streams of Maine
"Now when I'm fishing for Salmon on East Grand Lake this spring I can switch from a floating fly line to a sinking line by simply switching the spool on my Encounter Large Arbor Reel . This will make my fishing fast and easy for anything the fish are doing . I am very please with the quality of this Orvis reel!"
Review 7 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
quality and priced right!,
March 21, 2014
By: BigTimeYukon
from Whitehorse,Yukon .Canada
"Just received this reel and already I can tell that this is a step above the rest.Even with the impact resistant plastic this reel does not have a "plastic cheap" feel. Being a lefty switching retrieve sides was a snap ...literally just pop out the slip bearing and flip it around snap back together and your off fishing! Great reel Ovris I'll be adding more to my arsenal.
-Jon
BigTimeYukon
"
Review 8 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
This Is A Great Reel!,
January 25, 2014
By: cyangler
from Northeastern Massachusetts
"The first thing that impressed me was the aesthetic consideration put into the design. Both functionally and in appearance. Next I would have been surprised, if this weren't an Orvis product, at how close the tolerances are, no slop whatever. And in line with that, the fantastic disc drag mechanism provided in this price point. Truly, a great value in a large arbor reel. On top of it all, the spool wound up holding more backing than the conservative estimate given by Orvis. Once again, Orvis has provided a great product at a great price."
Review 9 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Can't Go Wrong With Orvis,
January 15, 2014
By: SlummingForTrout
from Ontario Canada
"I'm vary impressed for the price. Its robust and the drag is smooth."
Review 10 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great reel,
January 2, 2014
By: akfisher
from Homer,AK
"Used this reel on Sockeye and Silver Salmon in Alaska and have nothing but praise for it, in fact, purchased another one for my daughter. Great drag system,enough to stop a red heading down the Kenai R. The price is right too!"
Review 11 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Excellent reel,
December 20, 2013
By: Wildbrownie
from Amersham England UK
"The Encounter is an excellent reel for the money. I purchased it because it is moulded plastic which is perfect for sea fishing. It is not of the same quality as my BLA's but they are three times the cost. For the money it is perfect for a beginner or someone like me who doesn't want to ruin expensive reels with sea water. Off to buy a spare spool or three cheap at £23 each."
Review 12 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Brilliant for what I bought it for,
November 6, 2013
By: Frankthesurf
from Llanarmon Yn Ial, Near the River Dee, North Wales
"Purchased as a ' cheap' reel to use for French nymphing.
Didn't want to spend a fortune as the reel is mainly stuffed full of backing and cheap line ending with my french leader.
Best part is.... It's light as a feather. Obviously not as robust as my battenkill LA's , but it'll do the job
Spot on
"
Review 13 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great Product,
October 31, 2013
By: youshine
from Park City, UT
"Product is exactly what I thought it would be. Nice packaging. Works great. Thank you!"
Review 14 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Tough Encounter,
September 9, 2013
By: Owegocrick
from Endicott, NY
"Switched to Fly Fishing August 2012 and bought an Encounter II as my 1st reel. It stood up well to my often rough learning curve being used minimum twice a week for the past year. I've fallen on it, dropped it, left it on top of my car only to watch it bounce down the road in my rearview. In the process, I've landed 22" browns and 20" Smallies, and it performed well. I just bought another as back up. Love it,"
Review 15 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Well pleased,
August 9, 2013
By: Doyler
from South Shropshire
"Excellent product & first class service from the supplier."
Review 16 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
amazing value - seems very advanced,
June 28, 2013
By: solocanoe
from Fort Smith, AR
"I recently put together a 'bang thru the woods, never leaves my truck, or carry everywhere in the canoe" fishing set up.
I chose an Orvis 905 7 piece Frequent Flyer rod and this reel with the extra spool (for sink tip/sinking line) to do the dirty work.
This set up is amazing! The rod is amazing - no way it feels like it's got that many joints in it!
And this reel....man....I guess I have been living in the past awhile.
My favorite reels (and my last purchased) were over a decade ago. I have a Orvis Clearwater made in England from the middle 90's! It's traditional and has 'no arbor' haha...compared to the ones today. it's all metal and looks like what it is...a classic. It's been fantastic and is just as great today as when I bought it. This has been my 'workhorse' reel - it's on a 5wt rod - and I have enjoyed it over these almost 20 years I've owned it very much.
I have another well known brand in a 'mid arbor' that I bought about 10 years ago....it's been great too. That's been my 8 weight reel. I don't do a lot of fishing that requires such a powerful set up...but if I did...I think I'd buy the Encounter reel set up right now for that class.
Anyway....I am really impressed with the advancements (haha should be I guess in almost 20 years!) that Orvis has put into their products!
The Encounter is SO quiet and the drag seems fantastic. It's hard to dispute why large arbor reels are the norm now. I see that finally. They are just better at almost every aspect - line pick up, fish on the reel, etc...
I can't believe the Encounter value for the reel, backing, and line installed! the spare spool is great value too - heck I think I paid over $100 just for the spare spool on my old English made Orvis reel!
If I had a quibble....it would be in the case. well...I'm used to nice padded and zippered cases....this is really just a thin sack! but hey...I can buy an Orvis case if I really want....and besides...this reel is tough as nails and doesn't really require much babying!
So my rod and reel now fits INSIDE my backpack - instead of being strapped to it. That's SO great for packing, balance, and getting thru brush and branches as I crawl around following creeks and streams.
Orvis really knocked it out of the park on the Encounter reels to me."
Review 17 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Big Bass,
May 28, 2013
By: Raypat
from Lincoln, RI
"Was looking for a reel with a large line capacity, the drag was exceptional when playing larger bass.
Nice reel for the price.
"
Review 18 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Excellent reel,
May 16, 2013
By: Dan2511
"This is a fantastic value large arbour reel. I put on a frequent flyer and load it with a 9# line. Superb saltwater outfit. The reel performs amazingly well especially for the price. Buy one!"
Review 19 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Backup Salt,
May 8, 2013
By: TNBud
from Smoky Mountains, TN
"Purchased this for an upcoming Bahamas trip as a backup. The overall feel is very light compared to similar models and still has a decent drag system. Only concern is whether it will hold up in heavy use. Obviously cheaper materials, but still made with the Orvis standard."
Review 20 for Encounter Large Arbor Reel
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great value and function,
May 8, 2013
By: JB156
from Lavallette, NJ
"Just purchased the Encounter Large Arbor IV for my 9 wt saltwater fly rod. The reel is very well made, has a smooth drag and holds 200 yds of backing and fly line with no problems. Haven't caught any fish yet but the season is still early. I would highly recommend it for saltwater applications."