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  1. #1

    Default Orvis Hydros ll or Hydros lll reel for Orvis Recon 9' 5 weight rod?

    I'm ready to purchase an Orvis's Recon 9' 5 weight rod, should I go with the Hydros ll or Hydros lll? Besides size and looks, is there any advantages choosing one over the other? This is my 1st fly rod and reel. Any help would greatly be appreciated, thanks in advance.

  2. Default Re: Orvis Hydros ll or Hydros lll reel for Orvis Recon 9' 5 weight rod?

    I have an Orvis Zero-G 9' 5wt rod and I use a Battenkill large arbor II model. The III models are too big, in my opinion, for a 5wt rod. They're heavier and the setup isn't balanced. It's simply overkill on a 5wt. Plus the II models saves you $25. I sometimes even throw 6wt line on the II model reel on my 5wt rod. Capacity isn't an issue if you do a little less backing.

    Throwing a wrench in, take a look at the Clearwater II large arbor for line weights 4-6. That is a really good quality reel for $100. In my opinion, the only time to go nuts with reels is if you're planning on fighting fish that can peel line off your reel, like salmon/steelhead or some saltwater action. You likely won't be doing that with a 5wt. I've fought some 20"+ bull and brown trout on my 5wt setup and while they can pull some line off, it isn't screaming off the reel so the Clearwater can easily handle it. Give them a quick look at least.

    One negative of the Clearwater is you can't buy a spare spool for it. BUT...you could buy 2 Clearwaters for the price of one Hydros (give or take $20). If you DO decide to get a Hydros, spend the extra coin and get a spare spool. Orvis likes to discontinue these large arbor reels regularly and in 5 years you'll be kicking yourself for not grabbing an extra spool while they were readily available. I am still scouring ebay and sites for a spare spool of an Orvis reel I bought in 2008. So far no luck.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Orvis Hydros ll or Hydros lll reel for Orvis Recon 9' 5 weight rod?

    I just bought an Orvis Recon 10ft 3wt with the Hydros ll reel. Its a nice combo but dont care for the nymph line it comes with. The hydros lll holds a tad more backing but if your fishing freshwater i doubt the extra weight and line will be benificial.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

  4. Default Re: Orvis Hydros ll or Hydros lll reel for Orvis Recon 9' 5 weight rod?

    Would you be able to take your rod to a shop and try each out? Orvis designs their rods and reels to balance well together, and the Hydros III is designed for 5-7 weight lines. So my first inclination would be to try the Hydros III, but since the Recon series is really light, the Hydros II could potentially balance out fine and save you some weight. Another consideration is that the two sizes actually have different drags, the III being the strong of the two. Probably won't matter on a 5 weight, but worth considering.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Orvis Hydros ll or Hydros lll reel for Orvis Recon 9' 5 weight rod?

    I have a Recon 9-5 that I use a CFO III with and the balance is spot on. If you decide to go with the Hydros III the outfit will be back heavy. IMO the III is overkill for that rod. Take a look at the Battenkill Disc II also. It has the same drag as the Hydros in a mid arbor. It’s a great fit.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Orvis Hydros ll or Hydros lll reel for Orvis Recon 9' 5 weight rod?

    I use an Hydros SL II on my 9' 5WT Sage XP - very nicely balanced and holds plenty of line. Good combo IMO.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Orvis Hydros ll or Hydros lll reel for Orvis Recon 9' 5 weight rod?

    between the two, it's the difference of 1/3 of an ounce and less than have an inch in diameter. if you can, cast both reels on the same rod and see which one feels better. if not, go with the 2, which is the one orvis would pair it with if you bought the combo.
    "There's only one thing wrong with a fishing day--its staggering brevity. Zane Grey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    KANADA - Southern AB
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    Default Re: Orvis Hydros ll or Hydros lll reel for Orvis Recon 9' 5 weight rod?

    I find the Hydros III is a tad heavy for a 5wt. I use my Hydros III on my 8wt, all personal preference.
    Last edited by fenix84; 06-16-2018 at 12:14 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Orvis Hydros ll or Hydros lll reel for Orvis Recon 9' 5 weight rod?

    The hydros ll is plenty up to a 5wt. I have one on my Recon 3wt 10ft and 5wt 9ft and they balance out nicely. My buddy put a hydros lll on his 8'6 5wt and it seems heavy to me. Best thing is hit an Orvis store and cast them for a while. Most freshwater streams you dont need these big reels guys are using.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

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