Orvis Ratings and Reviews

Top Rated Product

Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels

There is not another true large arbor, big-game fly-fishing reel out there that carries this drag system performance at a price starting at just $225. It's unheard of until now. The new Hydros® Reel Series features a sealed drag surface that increases total drag surface by model: The larger the reel, the larger the drag surface and the more resistance available to handle larger fish. Using stacked carbon washers, controlled by a positive click adjustment system, the Hydros can be fine-tuned to handle any fish from a trout to a tuna with sustained and infinitely durable drag pressure.
Average Customer Rating:
4.527 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (110 reviews)
5 stars
88
4 stars
7
3 stars
6
2 stars
3
1 star
6
96 of 110(87%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Review 1 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great drag,
31 October 2014
By: TNBud
from Smoky Mountains, TN
"I've paired the Hydros IV with an Access 6 weight. This reel performed amazingly in the salt with 5-8 lbs bonefish pulling. Got a little nervous when I hooked a 4 foot lemon shark, but the reel did it's job well. I also use this setup for bass and carp on my home waters. I've not experienced any issues with the line getting caught, as others have mentioned. Nothing but good results from this reel. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a reliable reel."
Review 2 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
3 / 5
3 / 5
HydrosIV fly reel,
11 October 2014
By: BigHiz
from Sugarloaf PA
"Tried the Hydros IV at Salmon River NY 2014 season and was disappointed with this reel.
I use straight mono line and it was a real problem when using this reel. When you strip out line the line gets between the frame and the spool and is outside the frame arm instead of under it. So every time you strip line you have to work it back between the frame arm and spool and with a fish on it frustrating. I do not recommend it if using straight mono. I do understand it is set up for fly line which I have never tried. Otherwise the drag is great and smooth and is a great reel.... for fly line users. Sent it back to Orvis and was issued a refund. Orvis customer service is fantastic. If Orvis resolves this tolerance issue I would gladly buy another Hydros fly reel. THX BigHiz
"
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best Reel I ever Bought,
29 September 2014
By: ColFrank
from Houston, TX
"For bonefishing I needed a reel with a first class drag system. The Hydros V was my choice and I really like the Incremental drag. Other reels - with one click you go from free wheeling to lock down - not the Hydros. I now have two Hydros V's for Saltwater.
For fresheater I went with two of the Hydros III's and have never been dissapointed with their performance.
Highly recommended!!"
Review 4 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Two thumbs up,
14 September 2014
By: RodVar
from Mexico City
"Just to let everyone out there know how good this product is. I just got back from a trip to the Mexican Caribbean and was lucky to land a 120+ lb tarpon on a Hydros VI matched to a 12 wt Access. I fought the fish for an hour and the reel performed excellent (so did the rod). And the price tag is wallet friendly too. With this price you'll get to fish an extra day and buy some beer at the beach. Once again, thank you Orvis: I love your toys!"
Review 5 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Excellent Birthday Gift,
09 September 2014
By: JRBurbage
from Hampton, VA
"My son who is an avid fisherman and holds a PhD in Marine Toxicology, finds great pleasure in fly fishing in the surfs of VA as well as the Rockies when he travels out west. This reel offers features that are not even offered with other manufacturers. I gave him this reel with the expectations that he will have an opportunity to test this it out on the current migration of Red Drum."
Review 6 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
3 / 5
3 / 5
26 August 2014
By: eddy3131
from Port Alberni, BC
"I have had this reel for 9 months and already the click pin is worn out. This reel has had a moderate amount of use and has been babied since I bought it. The drag on it is excellent for the price but the components are cheap. I wouldn't recommend any Canadian buying this as the shipping is way overpriced and took nearly a month to get to me. It is a good looking reel that could have been a real bargain but has yet to impress."
Review 7 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Hydros - Best Orvis Valued Reel,
25 August 2014
By: Qrachel
from LA
"Dollar for Dollar, the best reel value and that's not just my opinion. Checkout 8wt Shootout by Yollowstone Anglers. I have an 8wt and a 4wt, just top shelf products. I'm thinkng about an H2 3wt , 10' and looking at FWX, Lamsom Lightspeed and the Orvis Mirage. Hydros is at a tough value to turndown. I'm new to the sport and wouldn't mind an upgrade, but nothing seems $100-$200 better.
Good problem to have. Rachel"
Review 8 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Lightweight but strong,
11 August 2014
By: Xmen28
from Connecticut
"I use this reel in a 7 weight set up for stripers and bluefish inshore. It is great. It is lightweight but big enough to handle good sized fish. Simple design , fast line pick up , and is very easy to use and especially easy to clean after salt water use."
Review 9 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
9/10 wt Hydros!!!,
28 July 2014
By: Matt0819
from Massachusetts & Florida
"I recently ordered the Orvis Hydros 9/10 wt fly reel and received it within a few days. The reel felt light yet strong. I loaded it up with 30 lb backing and 10wt floating line to match my 10wt rod. That week I went out and caught four striped bass, one measuring 40 inches. The drag system on this reel is amazing and for the price it is the best fly reel I have used. I can't wait to use this reel for tarpon back in Florida."
Review 10 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
The Best,
22 July 2014
By: HARL
from Barrie Ont.
"I have tried other reels but have found I wanted the best . Should have came here first."
Review 11 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Well Built and Balanced.,
12 June 2014
By: Timbonz
from New York State, Vermont, NJ, Penn Trout Rivers
"I haven't had any problems with the reel. Smooth casting and retreiving. Ordered with Hydro 5 float. Nice that the line, backing were loaded by Orvis. Nice touch."
Review 12 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Super Reel !!,
12 June 2014
By: ColFrank
from Houston, TX
"I bought the Hydros V, loved it and got another, the added two spare spools. My main benchmark is the superior drag system where I can incrementaly increase the drag when fighting the big fish. A 5lb Bonefish is a no contest with this reel. A perfect match with my 7wt and 8wt. Helios 2's"
Review 13 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Hydrose,
05 May 2014
By: thePhishwittnes
from Edmonton AB
"Twice the drag available in any large arbor i have ever had!! Supper strong with less fall damage as well. Great real can't wait to fight some big trout on this guy!!"
Review 14 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Orvis comes through again!,
29 April 2014
By: pcgator
from Panama City, FL
"I own an Orvis Battenkill reel on a Orvis Saltrodder which I use in both fresh and saltwater. I love that set up so when I wanted to upgrade I looked to Orvis. After researching the rods and reels and holding them at an Orvis store, I settled on the Hydros Large Arbor V and put it on an Orvis Helios2. This set up is very balanced and I love the Hydros reel, especially the drag system. Orvis came through again!"
Review 15 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
The best flyreel i ever had,
04 April 2014
By: flyfischermanfromnorway
from Dilling, Norway
"This is the best flyreel buying i have doing ever, a dream too togheter with my Helios 2 class 4.
Thank you Orvis....
"
Review 16 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
2 / 5
2 / 5
An upgrade, not really,
01 April 2014
By: Garioch
from Aberdeenshire, Scotland
"I have various Mach and Battenkill Large Arbour reels from a size III upto size VI's. I bought the Hydros in size V for use with my 12' 9" shooting head salmon rod as it was a nice weight and size for the rod. I also bought 2 spare spools. I have 2 issues, one is the gap as already mentioned. The second is the amount of play the spool/bearings have. Grabbing the cage and the spool, it is easy to deflect the spool. This is, I am sure, the reason for the large gap because if you have the drag set strong, the spool deflects in the cage. My Battenkills and Machs, despite being a good few years old not, do not have this problem. I think there is a real problem with manufacture on these reels/spools that is unacceptable in a reel of this price. A real shame as I have always recommended Battenkill and Machs to others over the years."
Review 17 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Buy it!,
24 March 2014
By: OntarioFlyOutfitters
from Rochester, NY
"A great reel for the price. The weight of the reel is perfect for balance on most fly rods and light enough to cast all day long. Great looking and well designed. The large arbor picks up line quickly and can compete in diameter with most in it's class. As a professional guide, I have recommended and this reel to many of my customers."
Review 18 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
hydro fly reel,
18 March 2014
By: JKCinTN
from Tennessee
"On a quest to catch a musky on the fly I've had difficulty finding a reasonable priced great reel to throw large flies. The hydro arbor reel has done amazingly well throwing large flies far for me."
Review 19 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Excellent,
18 February 2014
By: GuernseyFlyfisher
from Guernsey, Channel Islands
"Reel arrived within a few days by courier - great service! Really impressed with my first Orvis reel - wonderfully balanced, well machined and perfect for the job of targeting saltwater sea bass on the fly! One very happy customer!"
Review 20 for Hydros Large Arbor Fly Reels
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
homerun by orvis on this reel,
13 February 2014
By: bezer
from Matlacha Fl.
"I bought this reel after a lot of research on it's drag.I fish for snook a lot along mangrove lines and you need a reel that can really put the heat on a big snook since you have about 5 seconds to keep them out of the cover or it's game over and this reel delivers and then some.I love my #4 hydros.Other than I wish it had a bigger handle.You can buy more expensive reels that don't have the drag the hydros has but why?Great reel.Well done orvis!"