I guess thats it for another mid-priced Orvis rod line.....
This morning while checking my email I saw one that came from Orvis. This one was titled Orvis Pro Newsletter. It comes every month directed to guides that are part of their program. I was once an Orvis Endorsed Guide, having gone through the vetting process, which included an application and day on the water with one of the representatives from the Mother Ship.
I was part of that program fro 3 or 4 years, when I split my time between the Upper Delaware and the salt waters of New Jersey. There was a yearly "fee" that came with being in the program, one that came with some controversy among other non-Orvis guides. It was kind of, and you know this term because its been in the news for a year, quid pro quo.
One of the benefits of the program was that, as an Orvis endorsed guide, was a deep discount on gear, gear that you would use exclusively and put in the hands of your clients. But, as I found, guides didn't do that. They may have used some of the Orvis product line, but it wouldn't be uncommon to see an Orvis Endorsed Guide wearing Simms Waders, a Fishpond pack, an Orvis Helios rod, coupled with a Hatch reel, throwing AirFlo line. And the kicker to me was, any guide could get the same discount, in %, as the endorsed guides.
I have never been a gear head. Give me a decent rod and I'm going fishing. Some anglers like the newest and greatest, me, well just call me, well Average. I always went for the middle of the line rod. There was the Hydros, then came the Recon. Well, today, according to the website, the Recon has come and gone. It leaves angers the choice of the H3, or the Clearwater product line.
One of my complaints of the lower price-point rods is the grip. The cork grips are often filled, and after exposure to the salt, they (the fill pieces) loosen and fall out. You can see that above on my Clearwater 10 wt. Orvis claims the tapers are the same, its just a lower priced rod with some lesser expensive options in the real seat and guides. Also, it depends on where its made. You can there is no Made in USA, Manchester Vt. sticker, so this product line is made overseas, they just don't tell you which Communist country they come from.
Most guys and ladies cant swing the $8-900 fly rods that are out there today, and that's just not Orvis, and prefer that mid priced rod, better than entry into sport that companies are offering. Yes, you can go to a TFO, made in South Korea, where the rods are good and cheap (made overseas), but if you wanted to stay with an established, sometimes American made company, it seems Orvis is missing the mark. Just stay true, don't cower to the competition, or the political correct world we live in, and stay true to what Charles Orvis started in 1856.