Orvis Mirage LT Fly Reel
The Mirage LT has all the technology of the original Mirage Reels, but in a design that is one of the lightest in the industry. By carefully re-engineering the Mirage, the engineering team and the Vermont machine shop removed 30% of the weight and made the reel 30% narrower to better balance the weight and aesthetics of modern trout rods. The Mirage LT is a beautiful gem of a reel, with looks, feel, and sound better than any other Orvis reel.
Features of the Mirage LT Reel:
• Sealed and maintenance-free carbon and stainless steel disc drag system with an aggressive knurled drag knob that goes from zero to full drag in 350 degrees of drag knob rotation
• 30% lighter and 30% narrower than the original Mirage
• Machined in the USA from strong, yet lightweight 6061 T6 aluminum barstock
• Ergonomically designed machined aluminum handle
• Quick release spool easily converts from left to right-hand retrieve
• Military-spec type III hard coat anodizing
• Titanium shaft adds strength without additional weight
• Fully radiused reel foot prevents kinked leaders
• Low-profile counterweight won't catch fingers or fly lines
• In Midnight Black and Olive
• Available in sizes I-IV
• Made in USA
TOTAL DRAG CONTROL ON THE LOW END
Orvis' patented ball-and-ramp drag adjustment system makes increasing drag at the low end much more precise. This system makes the increase in drag from each click of the drag knob more fine-tuned at the low end with a quick ramp-up to total drag at the high end. The full drag range can be controlled in less than a full turn of the drag knob, reducing fumbling in the heat of a battle, as well as finely adjusted at the low end for the difference between a 6X and 7X tippet.
The drag on the Mirage LT reels has zero startup inertia. So if you set your drag at four pounds, when a fish makes its initial run, the drag won’t spike up to five pounds first before settling down to the desired drag setting. This prevents breakoffs when a fast-running fish suddenly takes line. This benefit is displayed in the graph above, where drag pressure is measured and plotted against time as line is pulled off the reel on an Instron tester. The red line is the Mirage LT reel and the blue dotted line shows a competitive reel of the same size with startup inertia.
COMPARE TO THE STANDARD MIRAGE
To make the LT lighter, Orvis re-engineered the frame and spool design, removing material where it was not needed for a lightweight reel, but keeping material where less might sacrifice the long-term durability and structural integrity of the reel. As compared to the standard Mirage, the number of drag surfaces were reduced from 14 in the standard model to 8 in the LT. Reducing the width of the reel reduced its weight and made the reel much more appropriate on lighter rods. Orvis ported the reel foot to further decrease weight without reducing meaningful strength. Orvis reduced the number of drag seals from 12 on the original to 6 drag seals. The reel still offers a completely sealed design, but it is more appropriate for the less extreme conditions seen in freshwater and light saltwater fly fishing.
TOTALLY MADE IN THE USA
The Mirage Reel is made in the same Vermont high-tech machine shop as the standard Mirage, the Orvis Nippers, and the Orvis Pliers. Some reels marked as “Made in USA” contain parts that are machined in Asia and assembled in the States. Because the only requirement to mark something “Made in USA” is that the chief value in the product must be produced or assembled here, some reel companies make this claim (which is misleading but legal). Orvis Mirage Reels are all made in one shop, and all the parts, except for one Japanese bearing, are produced in the same shop. The reels are even anodized in-house, a rare occurrence in reel manufacturing, ensuring strict quality control.
I absolutely love it. Not only do I love the looks and design, but the performance is awesome. I would not change anything about it. Looks great and works great. I like that one click changes the drag and you don’t have to crank it a number of times. It has worked great on the Missouri for me. – Pete Skidmore, guide, Montana
A lightweight, American made reel that doesn’t compromise anywhere. There is smoothness in everything this reel does from setting the drag to fighting a big redfish well into the backing. The Mirage LT is being used in my Hell’s Bay skiff every day and it is going to stay that way for a reason. – Captain Tuck Scott, saltwater guide, South Carolina