Mirage II vs III for H3 5wt

I'm also curious about other reel options other than the Mirage series that would be a good match. I prefer solid quality and that outstanding "sound" a good reel makes.

Nick Clayton

Active Member
The size of the reel doesn't have as much to do with the size of fish that can be handled as the rod, leader, and fish fighting ability of the person using it.

The larger size reel will simply allow you to use larger lines if so desired.
The III.

That’s a great outfit for a beginner; arguably one of the highest performing rods out there! You won’t grow out of it...

Now, the trick is matching up the right line for it.
I kinda figured that it would be a great outfit. I managed to stumble across the deal(600) and jumped on it. Now all I have to do is grab a reel and I'll be set. The III is looking like it's going to be the one unless someone can suggest as good of one or better.

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
man, you really like to overthink this. Get into the store and check them out for yourself.

The II or III would both work, and work great. The H3 is bomber....tough as hell and casts like a dream, not to mention super accurate.

If you're breaking your rod fighting a trout, any trout....stop high-sticking and fight it with the butt.

Richard E

Active Member
What I'm wondering is. If I go with the III being in a 5-7 range, is it possible to use smaller than 5 or larger than 7 line without compromising anything?
Another option you might consider is the Hydros SL III. It’s all the reel you would ever need for your 5 weight, and you can pick up the SL reel, an extra spool, and two lines for the price of just the Mirage reel. In the choice of the SL, you might want to consider the SL II.

Nick Clayton

Active Member
What I'm wondering is. If I go with the III being in a 5-7 range, is it possible to use smaller than 5 or larger than 7 line without compromising anything?
Only downside of using a lighter line would be weight. Biggest downside of using a larger line is less space on the reel for backing

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
How much backing do you really need in your 5wt reel? just curious.

yeah, the SL is sweet too! I just grabbed one to hang on my musky rod....
I've researched the Hydros series and get the impression it's a lower grade reel and I'm not a fan of where it's made. Last thing I want to do is cut myself short on quality after buying such a great rod.

I appreciate all the responses and opinions.

Getting the impression with some of the responses that some have missed the very first sentence in my post.

Thanks again for taking the time to give your feedback. I DO appreciate it and your patience.


Active Member
It can be overwhelming when selecting a reel, especially with all the choices out there. Do as you please, but you would be better off buying a Hydro or another comparable reel instead of a Mirage. Based off your comments, it’s simply going to be overkill. Any half decent reel on the market will have enough drag to land any fish you plan on targeting. A Mirage III is almost 600 dollars, add a spool and your looking at $850.00. If you were solely targeting tarpon or other large salt species, I would highly recommend a Mirage.
Save your money and book a casting lesson.

Quote from Fish Alaska Magazins Editor’s Choice,

“Orvis Hydros SL III
This 5- to 7-weight, large-arbor fly reel has a great drag system and performs as a high-end, machined-aluminum fly reel at a reasonable price of just over a couple-hundred dollars. The start-up inertia on this drag system sets this reel apart and we found the drag system to engage quickly when hooking feisty salmon. We paired the Hydros SL III with an Orvis Recon 6-weight and it was a smooth casting and catching setup, making this one of the best fishing reels this year”.
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