IFTD 2018: New Orvis Clearwater Rods, Mirage LT Reels, PRO Fly Lines, and MORE!
Clearwater Rods: The Clearwater Series of fly rods is being completely redesigned from top to bottom. Now sporting a new color scheme and Helios 3-ish cosmetics, there's no mistaking that these are a definite upgrade.
Rather than slapping the same action on every rod in the lineup, Orvis tailors each rod with a Medium, Medium-Fast, or Fast Action depending on the model and its intended uses. These seriously attractive rods showcase black-chrome blanks with white accents, quick rod i.d. labeling (also just like the H3's), chrome snake guides, chrome stripping guides with ceramic inserts, and black-nickel aluminum reel seats. They truly look great and I heard the same comments from others while in the booth!
A whopping 27 models from 3–12 weight will be available including eight two-handed rods along with specialized models like one for musky and another for tight-line nymphing. All rods are 4-pieces except for 5-piece 14'0" nine and 15'0" ten weights. Prices range from $198 to $398 which includes a gray cordura rod tube. Expect availability to start in January to March 2019 depending on the rod model.
Mirage LT Reels: Now 30% lighter and 30% narrower, the fresh new Mirage LT series of fly reels look and feel extremely promising. At the heart of each reel is the same sealed, maintenance-free carbon drag system that's found on the current standard Mirages. As an added bonus, the drag has the capability of going from zero to full power in just one revolution of the knob.
Crafted from anodized 6061 T6 aluminum, the lighter weight was immediately apparent when holding both the current Mirage and Mirage LT in each hand. It's also apparent that the structure has been thinned out by just looking at the two side-by-side. For weight comparison purposes, Orvis points out that the LTIII weighs just 4.3 oz while the standard Mirage III tips the scale at 6.2oz—a significant difference.
Along with that great drag system (we tested the standard Mirage drag here and its smoothness impressed), each Mirage LT offers faster retrieval rates, a radiused (rounded off) reel foot, low-profile counterweight, and a choice of two color schemes: olive with silver accents or black with silver accents.
Four models will cover the spectrum from 2–8 weight lines with a price range of $329 to $398. Expect delivery to begin in May 2019.
PRO Fly Lines: These new Orvis fly lines will arrive in several different configurations from trout to saltwater and can be had in smooth or textured versions. One of the most notable features is the AST slickness additive which according to Orvis "is built into the line jacket, incorporates completely, continuously migrates out for effectiveness over the life of the line, and is 70% slicker and eight times more durable than any other slickness additive available."
Brimming with features and measuring 90-feet-long, PRO lines sport new tapers, reformulated tips, enhanced welded loops, permanent line i.d. markings, and 3-color distance marking technology which includes an 8-foot tip in a muted color, a 30-foot "working section," with the third color comprising the remaining taper and running line. Oh yeah, the box is pretty cool too and even features a magnetic closure cover!
Floating lines will arrive in 3–12 weight and there will be a Pro Depth Charge Triple Density sinking line in 150–550 grain sizes (smooth only). Delivery begins in March, and prices are set at $90 for smooth lines and $129 for textured versions.
Orvis will also be updating the Clearwater Fly Reels with a new look. These die-cast reels boast matte-grey powder-coat finishes, inline rulon/stainless drag stacks, and a positive-click drag knob. There will be a 4–6 model for $89 and a 7–9 model for $98. In addition, a Clearwater Cassette version will be available for $129 which includes two extra cassette spools for instant versatility. Look for these to start popping up in January 2019.
Coming out in March 2019, Orvis has collaborated with Michelin to produce the PRO Wading Boot. This is an incredibly durable, comfortable, attractive wading boot with an innovative self-cleaning tread design touting best-in-class wet traction. Chock full of features, these will come in Sizes 7–14 for $229 per pair.
The new PRO Vest offers the angler a high level of comfort along with ample storage. Features include abrasion-resistant nylon construction with DWR coating, stretch mesh interior, various pockets both front and rear, and a padded collar—to name just a few things. Expect a March 2019 arrival and a retail price of $198.
An array of new tools/accessories are on their way in November 2018. Included in the mix are nippers, forceps, a leader straightener, and magnetic net clasp. Prices run from $7.95 to $31.95 depending on the item.