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Orvis Mach IV reel

By Magnus Angus

Orvis Mach IV reel

The IV in the name means it takes #7 to #10 fly-lines. Backing capacity is 150 to 275 yards of 20lb Dacron, which is more than adequate for fresh-water fishing and adequate in a bonefishing context with #7 or #8 lines. The Mach IV weighs in at 6.5oz (184g), heavy amongst freshwater reels, normal on tropical flats.

Fit and finish are excellent. There’s very little end float and a large handle.

The Mach drag is extremely smooth, with a covered mechanism and cleaning instructions inside the reel. The drag adjustment range is about 360˚, and the useful range is adequate. I like the size of the large plastic drag knob, and I guess, compared to a solid metal knob, it saves precious weight, I doubt I would ever find a use for the numbers on that knob.

The sheer size of the ports in the Mach spool make me wonder about gel spun backing bulging through holes if not wound on under tension – easy when fitting backing, not so easy when fishing.

To take full advantage of the large arbour Orvis have opted for a relatively wide spool on the Mach. Line is retrieved quickly and consistently and the actual drag is about as consistent as possible.

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