Orvis Recon 908-4 Review

May 6, 2016
Orvis Recon 908-4
1-Orvis_recon_sections_908-4_1
Orvis Recon 908-4 1-Orvis_recon_sections_908-4_1
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
88
Weight/Balance
8
Fit in Hand / Grip
9
Casting Distance
8
Casting Accuracy
7
Versatility
8
Fish-on performance
8

The Good

  • Good versatility
  • Good ‘strike’ sensitive in tip
  • Moderately priced
  • Made in the USA

The Bad

  • Average casting distance
  • Felt ‘butt heavy’
  • Not as accurate
THE VERDICT

The Orvis Recon 8-wt is the brand’s premiere saltwater rod in this mid-priced model. The Recon series in general provides good performance at a reasonable price and the 8-weight version is a great example of the series’ strengthens. In the hands of an intermediate caster, the 8-wt Recon proved an effective weapon against bonefish and spawn-happy salmon. It’s med-fast action covered some casting flaws, but its lack of raw power and accuracy made it less effective in targeting spooky fish at greater range.  

FULL REVIEW

The new mid-range Recon continues to impress my team of professional testers as it mimics a lot of the traits of its big brother, the award-winning Helios 2 series. I found the Recon 908 to be a fun rod to fish—not the fastest rods in the class, but one with a great tip sensitivity that helped me make the set on soft takes in the sometimes murky waters of Puget Sound and Kauai’s south shore.

Fit and feel
The well-tapered deep wells on the grip and nicely balanced rod weight allowed casting without having to exert much grip-pressure. That made it easy to stay out all day, casting a variety of fly types without tiring, even in wind.

Distance and Accuracy
The Recon was masterful in the short and medium range—when I was working sea-run cutties along the pebbly beaches of Puget Sound, it easily covered all the water I wanted to target. But when I saw feeding fish beyond the far edge of my normal casting range, I had to really work to reach them. And at that range, I also experienced a bit of fly drift as my accuracy declined with distance.  Still, fishing within 50-60 feet was easy and spot-on accurate.

General performance
At half the price of some of the other rods, the Recon fits nicely in that middle ground of performance. It’s a solid performer out to medium-ranging casts, and it provides a ton of feedback when fish start hitting the fly. The sensitivity of the Recon helped me make more solid hook-ups on strikes than any other rod I tested here. And when the fish was on, the Recon provided the backbone to keep it on and headed where I wanted it.

 


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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$425.00
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