I think I'll take the 20 mile drive up to the rod shop and find out. I admit to having a fond spot in my heart for Orvis, or more correctly, some of the family that owns it, and would like to provide a definitive answer. Although I'm not sure what that answer means in the scheme of things.
Orvis's description: 2⅝ oz. 9', 4-piece, Tip-Flex Fly Rod for 6-wt. line.For the traveling freshwater angler, this is the rod of choice for throwing sinking lines, big streamers, bass poppers, and heavy nymph rigs. Built with our proprietary tapers and actions developed on Helios by our rod designers, the 906-4 is incredibly light and powerful, in fact as light and powerful as any rod we sell, but at a price that is about half the cost of our premium rods. This new series is extraordinary in price to performance ratio and once you cast it you'll realize why. Made in USA.
I like Orvis myself. I'd had two Orvis rods in the past....sadly,,they are gone to good homes long time now. So, when I came back to fly fishing, the first rod I got was the Access. As I said,,,it's a very fine rod,,I especially love the 'fish on' feel transmitted thur it's medium action.
I have five rods now,,,the Access,,,a TFO, a St Croix and two Redingtons,,all good rods,,but I don't think my soul will rest till I get that Superfine Touch. I've came close to buying other rods lately, but always decide to keep saving my milk money for the Orvis. I've bought new gear from Orvis,,waders, boots, fly boxes and a chest pack,,all well made gear.
That is not saying their's is any better than others,,or anything like that,,,but there is something ,,,ummm,,,,kinda 'right'...comfortable,,, with the hobby of fly fishing and using Orvis gear together...to me anyways. As I said one time before,,maybe I'm just 'too' eastern streams.
I toured the Orvis Manchester Factory a couple years ago and they were making the Access rods there at the time of the tour....from the blanks all the way to the hardware. It was a first run and I believe at the time they weren't even available to the public.
If you really want to know just call over to the rod factory and ask. Everyone there seemed very accommodating and I wouldn't hesitate to do it!
I've heard different rumors about Orvis rods so if you do talk to them I'd be interested in knowing what they say. I buy a lot of stuff made overseas (I even bought a Japanese car while working in the Detroit area), it's the reality these days. What would bother me though, is if a company claimed an item was made in one country (whether a fly rod or a car or whatever) when most of it was made elsewhere. Even if it's legal, it's deceptive.
I've been listening to back episodes of the Itinerant Angler and he's interviewed people in the tackle industry who have talked about country of origin stuff. A recent one was a guy from Orvis, but there have been others. Interesting stuff.
i have a 9' 5 wt orvis clearwater II rod that i have fished hard since i got it 5+ years ago. it's one of my favs and i will never get rid of it. not sure where its made but i'm pretty sure it was made well.
In the current Orvis catalog, the Clearwater rods are describes as "designed in the USA". In contrast, the Access rods are described as "Vermont made" and "made in Manchester, Vermont". The H2 page has a whole paragraph bragging about how every piece "from tip to butt" is built by hand in the Manchester shop and how "from the design process, to the testing, all the way to the actual production, each phase takes place here in the USA". (I guess if you're going to pay $800+ you deserve some over-the-top verbiage.)
(By the way, I am quite impressed with the quality and value of the current Clearwater series.)