Orvis Recon

The Orvis Recon was recognized as the "Best Mid-Priced Rod" in the Fly Fisherman 2015 Gear Guide after the rod was first released, but now Orvis has greatly expanded the available models ($425-$450, orvis.com) with everything from 7'11" "brush rods" in line weights 8, 9, and 10 for bass fishing (tournament legal) and for saltwater fishing under the mangroves for baby tarpon and grown-up snook. For trout fishers, there are variety of new models including a 10-foot 4-weight that's perfect for Euro nymphing techniques. Recon rods are made entirely in the U.S. in the Manchester, Vermont factory (even the aluminum tubes are American made). Although they share the same design ethics that went into the Helios 2, they have entirely new tapers, don't use the same thermoplastic resins, and do not use the same carbon fibers in the finished rod. The hardware and reel seats are also pared down for a rod that is not showy, but performs at an exceptional price.

As always, I recommend that you try before you buy any rod to see if it's right for you, and this summer from June 6 to July 5 Orvis has a special offer for anyone who test casts a Recon rod. Try the rod, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a limited-edition CFO III reel with a topographical etching, or a piece of Safe Passage Luggage, or a Hydros HD fly line.

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