#8 (tie)  Orvis Recon   9 foot #5    $425.00

Orvis Recon

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Orvis Recon


George's Comment

For sure, this is no Helios 2, but a pretty darn good rod and you’ll save $370.  The Recon was new in 2015 and very well received.  This rod is just a tad heavier than the Helios 2 with lower modulus graphite.  Orvis doesn’t use the same guides, nor do they use the same high-tech thermo-plastic resins that they use in the Helios 2.    

The color of the blank is a dark grey/olive with slightly darker gray wraps.  The Helios 2 is a great looking rod.  This one is pretty dull in comparison.  Craftsmanship is good though.  An excellent Western style grip and a very nice double lock aluminum uplock seat with a good looking burled wood insert.  One SiC stripping guide is used and the rest are hard chrome snake guides.  This rod has a fast action but is heavier in hand than others.


George’s Casting Notes:   The perfect line: S. A.  MPX in WF-5-F.

Performance at 25 feet:  18 points out of 20

Not as accurate in close as the Pro 4x LP, and it feels heavier in my hand than the Helios 2 and doesn’t have that same sweet feel in tight. 

Performance at 45 feet:  19 points out of 20

Very nice tight loops, and tracks nicely at this distance.  A solid performer here. 

Performance at 70 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

Good power and casts about as well as the Helios 2, but the Legend Elite was definitely better at long range. 


Orvis Recon 9’#5  $425.00  - 55.5/60

Orvis Recon

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 James' Comments

 The Orvis Recon is in the same boat as the G. Loomis Pro 4X LP.  It’s not the best, nor is it constructed of the best materials available, but it IS a very good casting tool with significant savings.

It's certainly a huge improvement in terms feel and accuracy from past Orvis mid-priced rods.  It’s night a day better than the old Orvis Access.  A great choice for a backup rod or beginners who aren’t sure if they will be able to fish as much as they’d like to. 

Jamie’s Casting Notes with a Scientific Angler MPX WF-5-F line.

James' Casting Notes:  55.5 out of 60

Performance at 25 feet:  17.5 out of 20  
More power than feel, I’m not getting nearly as much pleasure out of this rod as the H2 and the other top rods. 

Performance at 45 feet:  19 out of 20  
A solid balance between feel and power this rod felt excellent at 45 feet.  There are just so many great rods that I wasn’t able to score it a 20.

Performance at 70 feet: 19 out of 20   
Aggressive casters will love this rod at 70 feet. It reminds me of a Sage ONE as it can handle a quick punch without throwing a tailing loop.  

Cast the whole Line?



12.  Orvis Recon

Orvis Recon

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Logan's Comments

The Orvis Recon has now been out for about a year or so.  Overall I really like the Recon.  It has a very nice look and the color was a nice subtle “metallic olive.”  The Recon has a good balance and didn’t feel tip heavy.  I still like the Orvis Helios 2 -tip flex better, but the Recon is still a very nice rod for the money.  If I had to choose, I would go Helios 2 for dries and wade fishing and the Recon for nymphs and boat fishing.

Logan's casting notes: 52 out of 60

Performance at 25 feet: 17 points out of 20

The Orvis Recon was good but I think the tip might be slightly too stiff for it to perform better at close distances.

Performance at 45 feet: 18 points out of 20

The Recon was performing much better at 45 feet.  It tracked nicely and was consistently accurate.  This rod loaded very well at this distance.

Performance at 70 feet: 17 points out of 20

The Recon had good power and tracking at 70 feet.  I still liked this rod at 45 feet the best.

Orvis Recon - 52

Orvis Recon

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Josh's Comments

The Orvis Recon isn’t a bad rod, however with a lot of new rods at half the price coming in much lighter and less expensive the Recon took a hit.  I’d like to see this rod revamped; lighten it up and given a softer tip. 

Performance at 25 feet:  17 points out of 20 

This rod just feels heavy, accuracy suffered at short distance mainly because of the stiffness and lack of feel..

Performance at 45 feet:  17 points out of 20 

Getting better but the Recon still feels too stiff.  Also, much heavier in my hand than the top rods in the shootout.  I had to put more effort into my cast to get tight loops with good control.

Performance at 70 feet: 18 points out of 20

Pretty good accuracy but I could not control the loops as well as with the Radian, NRX LP, or Helios 2.



#9. (tie) Orvis Recon  - 54/60

Orvis Recon

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JG's Comments

The Recon is a nice rod at a nice price.  There is nothing that is exceptionally good about the rod but there is nothing exceptionally bad.  It’s just a good rod.  It casts pretty well, it feels pretty good, and is well suited and priced to be a mid-range rod. 

Performance at 25 feet:   17.5 points out of 20

At 25 feet the Recon was a little to stiff for me and felt a little bit unresponsive.  It was hard to judge just where your fly was going to land because of the lack of sensitivity.

Performance at 45 feet:   19 points out of 20

Despite being a little off in close Orvis’ Recon was great at the 45 foot mark.  It still lacks a little sensitivity but is accurate and has the power to make longer casts.  I really liked the action of the Recon especially at the mid-range targets and thought that timing my cast was effortless.

Performance at 70 feet:   17.5 points out of 20

I didn’t like the Recon as much at 70 as I did at 45 feet.  It was still a good rod but lost some of the feel again at longer ranges.  It did have plenty of power and was pretty accurate, so was still enjoyable.