Gear Review: Orvis Recon – 9ft 6wt

A Coffin Fly perched on an Orvis Recon 9ft 6wt.

Over the last 15 months, the 9ft 6wt Orvis Recon became one of my favorite all around trout rods to date for the larger water that I fish. Yes, this rod was released in 2015, but I like to thoroughly fish a rod at least full season before drawing any conclusions.

Orvis released the Recon in the mid price category with a retail price of $425 for the freshwater models and $450 for the saltwater models. It seems that over the last year or so, fly fishing companies are putting more emphasis on offering quality products at the mid price level. While priced in the mid level category, the Orvis Recon is anything but.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect when purchasing a mid priced fly rod because I frequently do so. Over the last 15 months my Recon saw much more than a fair share of water time. Some of my other fly rods are actually feeling neglected. For trout fishing on the larger pieces of water I frequently fish, I can’t put the 9ft 6wt Recon down. Why? It’s simple. I love the way it feels in hand, and love the way it casts.

Although physical weight might make the Recon heavier than some other rods, it’s almost impossible to tell that with the rod in hand. The Recon feels so light in hand, and to me that’s what really matters. The Recon’s progressive action also makes it super smooth and easy to cast. Be aware, this rod is faster than you may think. Yet another reason I dig it.

Whether it’s a long cast with a dry fly, roll casting a heavy nymph rig, or putting the fight to a large fish in heavy water, the 9ft 6wt Orvis Recon will do so effortlessly. This rod is a great tool for wade fishing, but also for float fishing. When it comes to all around trout fishing on larger waters I feel right at home with the 9ft 6wt Orvis Recon.

The only application that I would shy away from the Recon is serious streamer fishing. In my experience, the Recon is not quite as stiff as desired for throwing sinking lines or big, heavy streamers.

If you are in the market for a mid priced all around trout rod, I’m sure it will be hard to find one better than the Recon. At the price point, I almost think that Orvis did too good of a job with this one. Go cast a Recon, see what you think.

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19th annual On the Fly PA Flyfishers Tournament

This year I was presented with the opportunity to fish on a team in the “On the Fly” fly fishing tournament, which took place last week (May 11th). In the local area of Spruce Creek this event is commonly referred to as “the one fly tournament”. “On the Fly” is a charity tournament to benefit the Centre County Youth Services Bureau. It raises money for a great cause, but always draws a field full of anglers ready to fish that sponsor the tournament through creating teams. Most of the teams represent a business in the local area. I was fortunate enough to be asked to be apart of one of the Lee Industries teams. Lee Industries is also a primary sponsor for the event. The tournament was a learning curve for me due to it being drastically different from any of the competitions I have fished prior. The competitions that I fished while competing on the US Youth Fly Fishing Team, as well as in Trout Legend, required a very offensive style of fishing. This tournament was much more about a defensive approach in order to protect yourself from losing your fly. I won’t reveal any of my tactics because I do plan on fishing in this event again in the future, but I will admit I had to make adjustments to my usual techniques. In the morning I struggled, it took me awhile rub the rust off of my competitive fishing mentality and get back into that state of mind. I was able to fish progressively better as the day went on. My last session was my best where I was able to catch 5 fish scoring 93 points collectively. My largest fish of the competition came during the third session of the day with a 22 inch Rainbow scoring 42 points. Due to bright sunlight and warm temperatures the number of fish caught during the competition dwindled in the afternoon, which allowed my team to make a strong comeback. As always, team results are much more meaningful and should always be the primary focus during a team style competition. The bad news is our strong comeback still left us falling short and finishing 2nd place (individually I ended up in 7th).  The good news was the team that bested us was also a Lee Industries team so we were more than happy to take home both the 1st and 2nd place team awards. To those of you that have never heard of this event it is worth your attendance, whether you’re a participant or spectator. There are a lot of great guys that are apart of this event as anglers as well as a special appearance with on stream demonstrations from Joe Humphreys. Doug Bear was also present at the event with a full rack of the new hot items from the Orvis product line up. I had my first chance to cast a few of the Orvis Recon models. I was really impressed and will most likely find myself adding one to my arsenal soon. They are a joy to cast and likely the best rod money can buy in the 400 dollar range. Once I get my hands on one and fish it for a couple of months I’ll do a more extensive review, but in the mean time go cast one at your local fly shop! Otto’s Pub and Brewery was also set up on site, but that just makes sense to drink Spruce Creek Lager while at a tournament on Spruce Creek. If you have never been to Otto’s both the food and beer are worth checking out! All in all this was an awesome event that I was extremely luck to be a part of. I have to thank Bob Montler as well as all the other guys from Lee Industries for allowing me to be apart of the tournament and showing me a great time. I also have to congratulate my teammates Bob Montler, Bob Simpson, and Bob Henry (I’m still not sure how I made the cut with the name “Kyle”) on the 2nd place finish. Thanks again for allowing me the opportunity! If ever presented the opportunity to participate in the On the Fly PA Flyfisher’s Tournament, I strongly recommend it. If fishing in this type of event isn’t your thing, buy a ticket to come participate as a spectator. Both will be a great experience that benefits a great cause!

To see individual results from the tournament, click HERE.

To see team results from the tournament, click HERE.

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Information about the On the Fly PA Fly Fisher’s Tournament can be found HERE.

Information about the Orvis Recon can be found HERE.

Information about Otto’s Pub and Brewery can be found HERE.