Orvis Recon Fly Rod
The new Orvis Recon fly rod.

At this year's IFTD (International Fly Tackle Dealers) show in Orlando, Florida, Orvis debuted a number of additions to its rod lineup. One of these additions was the new Orvis Recon, a rod that Orvis and others expect will find its way into the hands of many an angler. The Recon series will replace the well-liked Access series of rods in the mid-price range of Orvis' rod lineup.

Like the Access, the Recon is a what most anglers would classify as a high-performance, fast action fly rod. However, the Recon rods will come in only one "flavor", unlike the Access before it and Orvis' Helios 2 rods which both come in what Orvis calls "mid-flex" and "tip-flex" varieties.

According to Orvis' Tom Rosenbauer, the Recon's design is based on that of its flagship Helios 2, using very similar tapers. While the Recon series leverages different materials and components in order to keep the price point lower, Rosenbauer noted that anglers can expect the Recon series to cast very much like the Helios 2 and feel similarly (although not quite as) light in the hand. Tom explained that -- like the Helios 2 -- the Recon series "loads very well in close and has lots of reserve power".

That last bit, the one about the new Recon rods loading well in close, will be of particular interest to some anglers. Despite largely glowing reviews for the soon-to-be-retired Access family of rods, one of the consistent criticisms of the Access was regarding difficulty loading the rod for short distance casts.

The Recon series also includes a completely new ferrule design that Orvis says it has pioneered and is holding close to its chest. Overall, the all-new design of the Recon series produces a rod that Orvis says has more feel than its predecessor and even more versatility.

The new rods are modern and sleek-looking, with a shadow green blank and black nickel hardware and reel seats. The freshwater models also feature a dark walnut burl insert on the reel seat.

Rod Name Item # Length Line wt. Pieces
Recon 843-4 QS14ST 8'4" 3-wt. 4
Recon 864-4 QS14SX 8'6" 4-wt. 4
Recon 904-4 QS14SZ 9' 4-wt. 4
Recon 104-4 QS14S0 10' 4-wt. 4
Recon 865-4 QS14S1 8'6" 5-wt. 4
Recon 905-4 QS14S3 9' 5-wt. 4
Recon 105-4 QS14S4 10' 5-wt. 4
Recon 906-4 QS14S5 9' 6-wt. 4
The Orvis Recon freshwater lineup of rods.

The Orvis Recon rods are made entirely in the USA in Orvis' Vermont rod shop and will be available in both freshwater and saltwater configurations. The Recon freshwater lineup includes 4-piece rods that range from 3 weight to 6 weight and will retail for $425. The Recon saltwater lineup includes 4-piece rods that range from 6 weight to 10 weight and will retail for $450. Availability expected January 1, 2015.

Rod Name Item # Length Line wt. Pieces
Recon 966-4 QS14S7 9'6" 6-wt. 4
Recon 907-4 QS14S8 9' 7-wt. 4
Recon 107-4 QS14S9 10' 7-wt. 4
Recon 7118-4 QS14TB 7'11" 8-wt. 4
Recon 908-4 QS14TJ 9' 8-wt. 4
Recon 108-4 QS14TM 10' 8-wt. 4
Recon 7119-4 QS14TN 7"11" 9-wt. 4
Recon 909-4 QS14TS 9' 9-wt. 4
Recon 71110-4 QS14TZ 7'11" 10-wt. 4
Recon 910-4 QS14T4 10' 10-wt. 4
The Orvis Recon saltwater lineup of rods.