Orvis Superfine Glass Fly Rod Review
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Our summers in New England are often spent chasing brook trout on tiny blue line streams that seldom see pressure. Wet wading and casting dries to hungry native fish is a great way to beat both the heat and the crowds found on larger rivers. This is also the time to put away that longer 5-weight in favor of a shorter, lighter-lined rod that will make casting on smaller steams more manageable and six-inch brookies more enjoyable. Lucky for us, Orvis’ redesigned Superfine Glass has dropped just in time for summer’s festivities, and we were able to give the 3wt a test drive. If you are interested in picking up a new rod for creek fishing, you will not want to miss this review.
Fit & Finish
Orvis rod designers trickled much of the componentry and aesthetics from the Helios series down to the Superfine, blending retro sensibilities with modern, sleek lines. The black anodized reel seat is typical Orvis quality and looks great, coupled with the burled wood insert. The double-footed stripping guides are durable and look on point for a glass rod. We also found the cork to be quality and the grip comfortable.
Perhaps the best compliment we can give the Superfine Glass is that it does not look like a Redington Butterstick or Echo River Glass. Last but certainly not least, the white label found on the Helios 3 has been replaced by a more subtle Olive label that features the classy cursive lettering found on the original Superfine series.
The Superfine Glass is a great rod to take out to a smaller spring creek or any fishing situation where smaller fish spook easily. Glass rods simply present flies more delicately than glass rods, especially when using tiny dry flies. The downside of glass is that the presentation can get sloppy if the caster tries to overpower the rod or uses too heavy of flies.
Flex & Feel
Orvis opted to use a new fiberglass blend for this generation’s Superfine, giving it a little more versatility than older glass rods. We enjoyed the Superfine’s added range compared to traditional glass, and those accustomed to fast-graphite might find the rod’s taper easier to adjust to than their grandfather’s glass rod. Expect a slightly faster rod with enhanced recovery speed than the previous generation’s Superfine or most glass rods. However, it will still be softer than graphite, so don’t be too concerned about the rod being overly stiff.
We used a Royal Wulff Triangle Taper fly line for our on-the-water quick-take, a pretty standard line for softer rods, dry flies, and creek fishing. While it worked fine with the Superfine, don’t hesitate to throw a slightly heavier line, like the RIO Gold or Orvis Pro Trout. A heavier-headed line allows for easier roll casts in tighter corridors, and the Superfine’s tip can undoubtedly handle the extra grains.
Orvis succeeds in crafting a fun, modern glass rod that today’s new generation of anglers will undoubtedly enjoy fishing. At the same time, those who grew up fishing glass rods will still appreciate the throwback look and feel, albeit with a little more pep than their rods from yesteryear. At $498.00, the Superfine Glass is more than Echo’s River Glass and Redington’s redesigned Butterstick. However, we still find it a great value considering you are getting a U.S.-built rod with premium components and outstanding performance. The Superfine Glass is an excellent choice for chasing wild fish on uncharted bluelines during summer’s dog days.
Watch Our Review
- Excellent Components
- U.S. Built
- More range than most glass rods
- More expensive than other glass rods on the market
- Some may find it a touch too fast for glass