A best seller, with a ton of drag
Orvis introduces an entirely new line of reels for spring 2016, with extremely fast line retrieve (8.25 inches per second in the Hydros SL III trout reel size), completely sealed drag, and a new design to enhance rugged durability.
According to Sam Orvis (yes that's his real name), Orvis Rod and Reel designer, "This is a totally new reel, designed from square one and about the only thing similar to the original Hydros is the name. The original Hydros, while it had a long sealed drag, did not always retain its seal and the clutch bearing itself was not sealed at all. In the Hydros SL, the clutch bearing is fully sealed inside the drag mechanism and the inside edge of the spool is strengthened for better support. The Hydros SL has tighter tolerances and less spool wobble, and the tighter tolerances minimize the chance of backing or running line migration outside of the spool."
The spool edge is thicker and thus stronger than the original Hydros. Less spool wobble due to the increased shaft engagement will increase the life of the reel and reduced wear as the spool rotates only on the surface intended. The clutch bearing received an upgrade to a higher performance and more reliable bearing that won't free-spool. We also replaced the big, obtrusive drag knob on the original Hydros with a lower profile, ergonomic knob with thumb location indent and knurling for secure grip. The handle has been improved to an ergonomic machined Delrin handle.