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The Orvis SSR Disc Fly Reel is Orvis’ spey-specific reel built on the popular Hydros platform. Like the Hydros, the SSR features a smooth and powerful drag system,  solid componentry, and Orvis’ excellent warranty. Additionally, the SSR (Swing, Step, Repeat) features several design attributes purposely built for spey applications. Below, we’ll discuss how the SSR differs from the Hydros, and why this is one of the best spey reels in its price category. 


We focused on the size IV model of the SSR Disc for this review, which is the 6-8wt size. The overall weight of the reel is 8.5 oz. which, for a 6-8wt reel is fairly heavy but among spey reels this is quite common. The thought behind heavier spey reels is that they balance long spey rods better than lightweight reels. Although opinions vary regarding the rod/reel balancing theory, many anglers will undoubtedly appreciate a heavier spey reel like the Orvis SSR Disc.


The SSR Disc reel features the trusted Hydros disc drag, which is sealed with an o-ring and designed to be maintenance-free. It is worth mentioning that while this is technically a sealed drag, the o-ring seal isn’t generally intended for prolonged saltwater use. Mechanically, the drag performs smoothly and offers more stopping power than would ever be required in Salmon and Steelhead fishing. The drag knob requires 3 turns to go from minimum to maximum drag, which is just about perfect - It has enough sensitivity to dial in the right amount of pressure quickly without excessive searching.


The drag sound on the SSR Disc is similar to the Hydros, producing a nice, non-differentiated click on the incoming and outgoing.

Spool & Retrieval Rate

The size IV SSR Disc spool features a maximum diameter of 3.6”, a width of 1.1”, and an arbor diameter of 1.5”. The major difference between the SSR Disc and the Hydros is the arbor size, with the SSR featuring a relatively small arbor compared to other “mid-arbor” reels on the market. Presumably the smaller arbor is to allow for more backing capacity, but at the expense of line retrieval rate, which is about 8.5” of line per turn on the SSR Disc. 

Looks & Ergonomics

The SSR Disc features an overall appearance similar to the Hydros but with some distinct differences. The first thing you’ll notice is that the SSR’s cage has less porting than the Hydros, which offers more weight for better balancing and drains water quickly. Additionally, the SSR Disc features a full-cage frame which keeps thin running lines from slipping between the spool and frame. The drag knob and handle on the SSR Disc are virtually identical to the Hydros, and both are a little small but functional. The frame and spool of the SSR Disc are fully machined from bar-stock aluminum. 


As of 2024, Orvis offers a lifetime guarantee against defects in materials and workmanship. Reel repairs are completed on an individual basis for a $30.00 handling fee plus the cost of any parts required, not exceeding $50.00 without customer approval. Any breakage or malfunction deemed by Orvis repair specialists to have been a result of a defect will be fixed free of charge.

Price: $298


Here at Trident, we’ve always liked the value reels from Orvis, and the SSR Disc is no exception. Orvis took the best aspects of their very popular Hydros reel series to create a purpose-built spey reel that will last a lifetime. With its strong drag, full cage frame, and straightforward sizing, the SSR delivers excellent performance for a reasonable price. 

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  • Full cage design
  • Solid drag
  • Sized correctly for spey reels


  • Arbor is small for a mid-arbor reel
  • Heavy, but some will like this for balance