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Discussion Starter #21
@lemaymiami thank you for that sound advice!!

"Once you find a reel you like for a given line size it should provide a lifetime of service" Exactly!! that's why I want to do everything I can beforehand to make sure I make the right choice that will last me many many years.
 

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nice. how do/did you like that rod? heard that thing is a laser inside 40 feet.
I liked it. I still have the 7/8 weight. Broke the 8/9 weight. I guess the series has been discontinued. I like the 7/8 weight. Both are really powerful, very fast rods.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. After much deliberation, and finally getting an XL Max in my hands at my local fly shop, I decided to go with an Orvis Hydros.

The XL Max is no doubt a beautiful reel, but after having it in my hands for a bit I really felt like it was just too light and the frame super open. As much as I like the reel's aesthetics, I had to be honest with myself that I (personally) might get caught up babying the reel. I'm not reckless with my gear, but I definitely put it through the ringer, and if I can help it I would like the mental peace to not always be worrying about a ding here and there. The frame also has very sharp edges, which are hard to tell from pictures, and I can definitely see how that could be a recipe for heartbreak if tippet or fly line gets snagged or caught. And I'm sure we all understand that in this sport, we only have the ability to control the things we can control, i.e. flies fowling, coiling line, rusty hooks, etc.

Now if I happen upon $400 down the road, I'm not saying I wouldn't consider swiping one for a second rod or something ;) but as my daily driver, I think the Hydros is my best option.

Thank you all again for chiming in and sharing your thoughts!
 

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Ex Troutbum
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@Gadaboutgaddis what stick did you pairs yours with?
It was paired with a Sage X 8wt. I was looking for the lowest swing weight I could get and that combination fit the bill. After having done that it turned out that swing weight was not that noticeable. So I replaced the XL Max with an Able SDS. A heavier reel but lovely..
 

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Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. After much deliberation, and finally getting an XL Max in my hands at my local fly shop, I decided to go with an Orvis Hydros.

The XL Max is no doubt a beautiful reel, but after having it in my hands for a bit I really felt like it was just too light and the frame super open. As much as I like the reel's aesthetics, I had to be honest with myself that I (personally) might get caught up babying the reel. I'm not reckless with my gear, but I definitely put it through the ringer, and if I can help it I would like the mental peace to not always be worrying about a ding here and there. The frame also has very sharp edges, which are hard to tell from pictures, and I can definitely see how that could be a recipe for heartbreak if tippet or fly line gets snagged or caught. And I'm sure we all understand that in this sport, we only have the ability to control the things we can control, i.e. flies fowling, coiling line, rusty hooks, etc.

Now if I happen upon $400 down the road, I'm not saying I wouldn't consider swiping one for a second rod or something ;) but as my daily driver, I think the Hydros is my best option.

Thank you all again for chiming in and sharing your thoughts!
i don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Good luck
 
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