Orvis Mirage III Fly Reel Review
Love them or hate them, Orvis makes a lot of really great products. The Helios 2 won our 5-weight shootout, and the Mirage took 3rd in our 8-weight reel shootout. So, we knew that the Mirage was a pretty nice reel, but as we've seen a lot of great reels haven't done so well when paired down to trout sizes. Let's see how the Orvis Mirage fly reel does when we put it to the test. 5-Weight Challenge Full Results
WEIGHT4.9 ounces. Average.
Sealed?It's really sealed!
DRAG TEST GRAPH
SOUNDThe sound on the Mirage, like all of Orvis's Korean made reels, is fine, but nothing special. I'd take an Abel or Hatch over it any day.
SPOOL & RETRIEVAL RATEThe Mirage also has a really great spool design. It's got a pretty fast retrieve at 7.74 inches per turn, and it's HUGE! It will easily hold 240 yards of backing and a GPX line. While not the narrowest spool, you're not going to see a lot of pile up either.
LOOK & FEELThe look and feel on the Mirage is better than the other offshore-made Orvis reels. This is because they've done more in terms of reel design for this reel than the other two, but it's still doesn't hold a candle to the more well-machined made-in-the-USA reels. The gold color, in particular, looks especially... not like a Tibor.
ErgonimicsHandle: Ironically, the handle on the Mirage isn't as nice as the handle on the Access or the Hydros. But it works. Drag Knob: Solid, but not quite best in class. It's totally functional, but not oversized like the best drag knobs. Spool Change: The quick release is great.
The DropAbove Average. The Mirage looked really good after we dropped and dragged it. You can definitely see what happened, but it's a lot better than a lot of reels in its class. Divoting, in particular, was minimal. No Damage.
WARRANTYLifetime to the original owner + $30 Price: $475
CONCLUSIONSecond Place! The reel designers at Orvis have done it! They've created a reel that is really great across the size spectrum. The Mirage took 3rd amongst 8-weights, and did even better this time scoring a 2nd place overall finish in this shootout. Like the Helios 2, the Mirage does everything we want a trout reel to do really well. It only missed the first place spot by a few points, mostly due to the look and feel that is just not as nice as the better machined Lamson Litespeed. Like this review? Support us here.
- Excellent spool design
- Near-perfect drag
- Expensive for an offshore-made reel.