Mirage Reels

Orvis Mirage large arbor fly reels are designed for superb performance and stopping power.

Details

Our large arbor Mirage fly reel combines superior performance and a great price to put it in a class all by itself. Using the same principles employed for the brakes of fighter jets, the carbon to stainless drag gives smooth, consistent, and infinitely-adjustable stopping power—from free spooling to a dead stop. Imported.
Size I, II, III, IV, V, VI in black, gold, black nickel.
Size VII in gold and black nickel.

  • A completely sealed and maintenance-free drag surface, impervious to saltwater, dirt, grit and other corrosive elements to last longer and hold up to real world abuse.
  • A positive-click drag knob for accurate and repeatable drag settings.
  • True large arbor performance picks up line fast to give you the edge over all fresh and saltwater fish: from trout and panfish to bonefish, stripers, tarpon, tuna, marlin, and sails.
  • Crafted of strong yet lightweight anodized 6061 T6 aluminum with a heavily-ventilated spool to shed weight yet keep its strength.
  • Special handle shape reduces line from catching.
  • Aggressive diamond knurling on knob for easier grasp and adjustment mid-battle.
  • Quick release spool and easy conversion from left- to right-hand retrieve.

  • Mirage LA I for line weights 1-3; 3.8 oz., 3" diameter.
  • Mirage LA II for line weights 3-5; 4.3 oz., 3¼" diameter.
  • Mirage LA III for line weights 5-7; 4.8 oz., 3½" diameter.
  • Mirage LA IV for line weights 7-9; 7.2 oz., 4" diameter.
  • Mirage LA V for line weights 9-11; 7.7 oz., 4¼" diameter.
  • Mirage LA VI for line weights 11-13; 10 oz., 4½" diameter.
  • Mirage LA VII Shallow for line weights 11-13; 11.7 oz., 5" diameter.
  • Mirage LA VII Deep for line weights 13-15; 11.5 oz., 5" diameter.

    All at the best price for a high performance big game large arbor reel. The VII size comes with two spool choices. Pick the high-capacity deep spool for blue water species or the “freak” spool for the highest amount of line pick up for the serious tarpon angler, nearly a foot per crank and nearly 40% faster line pick up than the Size VI reel with the same spool capacity.

    Reel Manual

  • Reviews

    Overall: 4.8/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 4.8 / 5 based on 69 reviews

    5 stars 5-star:
    62
    4 stars 4-star:
    3
    3 stars 3-star:
    3
    2 stars 2-star:
    0
    1 star 1-star:
    1

    65 of 69 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

    • 5/5 stars 5/5

      Montana Trout Extravaganza - 8/12/2014
      By: from Richmond, VA

      6 days ( Aug 3 - 10 ) fishing with my virgin ( no longer ) Helios 2 -4 wt / Mirage reel/ Hydros line on the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers...other guys all wanted to try the set-up and I am meeting one of them at the Richmond Orvis store to help him decide whether a 4, 5 or 6 wt is right for him. I have used my 5 wt Sage for 12 years and it's good, but not like the Helios 2. Right price / right 4 wt / better caster and presenter. Can't beat that.

    • 5/5 stars 5/5

      Best reel you will ever own! - 8/7/2014
      By: from FLAGSTAFF
      Top 500 Contributor

      This is probably the best reel out there. It's engineered well, smooth in looks and performance and performs at a five star level. It's likely you will not have this level of quality at this price ever again.

    • 5/5 stars 5/5

      Terrific Reel - 7/3/2014
      By: from Boston, MA

      I bought this to replace my 15 year old large arbor Bauer for my new 9 weight rod. It's a real step up, lighter, saltwater resistant, and a smoother action. No more trips back to the factory because the salt ate the reel.

    • 5/5 stars 5/5

      Good reel - 6/19/2014
      By: from West. Irginia

      I purchased the mirage and was immediately impressed with the overall design and feel. The reel preformed flawless and I believe that the reel will provide years of service. There are no hidden cracks or crevices to snag leader or tipper. I highly recommend this reel

    • 5/5 stars 5/5

      Better brake than on my truck - 5/27/2014
      By: from Golden, CO
      Top 250 Contributor

      Pike are angry toothy critters that feel tame as a kitten on this reel. I matched this reel with an 8 wt Helios 2 and a 26 inch pike on the other end. No worries to report here. The drag on this reel is as smooth as a babies bum and flawless. If I had brakes this good on my old truck I wouldn't be so white knuckled behind the wheel. This reel slows them easily and stops em' in their tracks ! And yes, it looks cool too. Nicely done and highly recommended. Thanks Orvis !

    • 5/5 stars 5/5

      Just buy this reel - 5/20/2014
      By: from Newfoundland, Canada

      I've just taken possession of a Mirage IV for atlantic salmon and salt water. The quality is superb and the drag is as smooth as butter but stops a truck. Will order another for my H2 5 weight

    • 5/5 stars 5/5

      My third one. - 3/13/2014
      By: from Thorntown, Indiana
      Top 1000 Contributor

      I love these Mirage reels. This is my third one I've purchased. I love the large arbor, lite weight, and sealed drag. The large arbor lets me pick up line quick to help me fight large fish. The lite weight keeps me casting all day. I always seem to come home from a day on my local stream with the reel covered in mud and dirt and never have to worry about the sealed drag. I just rinse it off and it's ready to go again. They are worth every penny.

    • 4/5 stars 4/5

      Great reel that works great BUT - 3/4/2014
      By: from Marion, NC
      Top 1000 Contributor

      The reel matched with my H2 6wt rod works and looks great. My problem with it is the anodized 6061 T6 aluminum is too soft therefore it is easy to damage, dent or bend out of shape.

    • 5/5 stars 5/5

      2/26/2014
      By:

    • 4/5 stars 4/5

      Nice Reel - 2/11/2014
      By:

      I have been using a 6 weight fly rod for bone fish and have ended up burning up the drag on other reels. This one should do the trick while being light weight.

    Learn More

    The Evolution of the Mirage

    The Evolution of the Mirage Reel
    By Phil Monahan

    Phil Monahan has guided fly fishers in Alaska and Montana and was the editor of American Angler magazine for almost 10 years.

    Last week, I was hanging out in the office of my friend Steve Hemkens, the Divisional Merchandise Manager of Orvis Rod & Tackle, when I noticed a jumble of reels on top of a filing cabinet.

    "What's with those?" I asked.

    Steve got up and took the five models down off the cabinet and put them on his desk in a line, explaining that each represented a stage in the development of the Mirage series of reels. As he explained how the reel had developed through the research & development process, I thought, "Cool. I have to get this on the blog."

    So I had my colleague Tim Bronson, an exceptional photographer, shoot a picture of each reel and then sent the images to Steve so he could walk us through the steps that led him from the original prototype to the finished product. The reels at opposite ends of the series are astonishingly different. Here's Steve's story, a rare behind-the-scenes look at the product-development process:

    Step 1

    Step 1: I had the grand plan that we would name this reel the "X Factor," so I worked hard on a design that had features more suggestive of an X—thus the triangular holes and the very tricky X shape on the drag knob (which, by the way, gave the milling machine a heart attack because the pattern was so complicated to machine). I also though that a bead-blasted Titanium-esque finish would be cool. I WAS WRONG. To steal one from Kurt Vonnegut, it was "uglier than a gut-shot iguana." But the internal mechanisms of this initial prototype were 90% of what ended up going to market.

    Step 2

    Step 2: This version and the reel in Step 1 are the first of six prototypes of the Mirage, which were made in the winter of 2008 and fished continuously for over a year. I had been warned by my collaborator that machining the drag knob in the shape of an X was going to be problematic. As a fall-back position, we made one version that was a simple round knob. You can see where I started to sketch out the now-iconic drag-knob "swirl" with a pencil on these early versions. If you look closely at one of our Spring Fishing Catalogs, you'll see a photo of my boss, Jim Lepage, with a big tarpon he caught in Florida, and one of these prototypes is in the background.

    Step 3

    Step 3: This reel was part of the second round of prototypes, once the field-testing feedback started to come in favorably on the "gray" reels. As you can see, I still wasn't totally willing to give up on the X Factor concept, even though I moved on from the triangular hole patterns on the spool. You can see from this drag-knob concept that we were trying to do something a little different by putting distinct indents in the knob for your fingertips. However, the testers were lukewarm on the performance improvements, and IMHO it looked awful. This version also confirmed that gold looks better than concrete gray.

    Step 4

    Step 4: This picture represents what happened when we gave up on the X-frame idea and went to a design that was more fluid and suggested more movement. Also you can see, the swirl icon on the drag knob, as well as the knurling, come to life. You can also see that the backing is pretty dirty, thanks to the beatdown this reel gave to some Florida Panhandle tarpon in May-July of 2009.

    Step 5

    Step 5: This is the preproduction approval sample from the Summer of 2009, just before we launched the reel in January of 2010. Notice the reference detents around the drag knob, and the two-tone finish on the "swirl," which was a small signature that we made before the reel went to market.

    Step 6

    Furthest left in the group picture at the top of this page, you can see a "concept spool" designed for a super-high retrieve, with even more machining around the arbor to decrease weight, as well as a speed handle. I'm not sure if this will go to market or not yet, but it's a sneak peak at the kinds of things we're working on.

    Backing Info

    Mirage Large Arbor Reel: Backing Capacities
    Model
    Line
    Backing
    Reel Capacity in Yards
    Dia.
    Weight
    Mirage LA I
    1-3
    12-lb Dacron
    WF2F: 125
    3"
    3.8 oz.
    20-lb Dacron
    WF2F: 75

    Model
    Line
    Backing
    Reel Capacity in Yards
    Dia.
    Weight
    Mirage LA II
    3-5
    20-lb Dacron
    WF4F: 125
    3 1/4"
    4.3 oz.
    35-lb Gel Spun
    WF6F: 125

    Model
    Line
    Backing
    Reel Capacity in Yards
    Dia.
    Weight
    Mirage LA III
    5-7
    20-lb Dacron
    WF6F: 125
    3 1/2"
    4.8 oz.
    35-lb Gel Spun
    WF8F: 150

    Model
    Line
    Backing
    Reel Capacity in Yards
    Dia.
    Weight
    Mirage LA IV
    7-9
    20-lb Dacron
    WF8F: 200
    4"
    7.2 oz.
    35-lb Gel Spun
    WF8F: 250

    Model
    Line
    Backing
    Reel Capacity in Yards
    Dia.
    Weight
    Mirage LA V
    9-11
    30-lb Dacron
    WF10F: 225
    4 1/4"
    7.7 oz.
    35-lb Gel Spun
    WF12F: 325

    Model
    Line
    Backing
    Reel Capacity in Yards
    Dia.
    Weight
    Mirage LA VI 11-13 30-lb Dacron
    WF12F: 325
    4 1/2"
    10 oz.
    35-lb Gel Spun
    WF12F: 525

    Model
    Line
    Backing
    Reel Capacity in Yards
    Dia.
    Weight
    Mirage LA VII
    Shallow
    11-13 30-lb Dacron
    WF12F: 325
    5"
    11.7 oz.
    35-lb Gel Spun
    WF12F: 525

    Model
    Line
    Backing
    Reel Capacity in Yards
    Dia.
    Weight
    Mirage LA VII Deep
    13-15
    50-lb Gel Spun WF14S:600
    5"
    11.5 oz.

    Testimonials

    Testimonials for the Mirage Big Game Reel

    From Dave Hise, 2005 Orvis Fly-Tyer of the Year:

    Had the opportunity to fish with the Mirage IV the last few days... Hooked and landed a ton of large, hot steel. The reel performed flawlessly on all the corkscrewing, head shaking, twisting surges, and screaming runs. Had it teamed up with the 11' 6. Unbelievable combo. Thats all. Great job. That reel is amazing.

    From Conway Bowman, shark-fishing guide and extreme fly fisher

    Three days…twenty five Mako sharks…I’m tired. But my Mirage is still going strong. Fly fishing for Mako sharks requires a big game fly reel that can handling the strongest, fastest fish in the sea. A smooth drag, functional design and a great price is what you get in the new Orvis Mirage.

    Try one on your next big game fly fishing adventure.

    From David Mangum, renowned tarpon guide

    I had a chance to put what would become the new Orvis Mirage reel to the test this summer. I was asked to give my best shot at destroying the prototype I was given and with a smirk on my face, that's exactly what I set out to do! I failed. Many of my tarpon clients helped put the prototype through its paces, we fished with straight 60lb .test and buckled the drag down far past what would be considered "normal drag pressure", I wanted to see what the reel could or couldn't handle. Fish after fish the reel put-up with the abuse, we either stopped the fish or broke them off, but the reel was never the weak-link in the system, it never skipped a beat! Finally serious big fish stopping power, a light weight package, and a large arbor to pick-up line fast!

    From Ron Gras, retired steelhead guide and saltwater fly fisher

    Whatever is in that drag must be strong and durable; after four hard days of fishing and many fish including a 30 lb. yellowfin tuna, large bonito, super large needlefish, jacks, etc., the reel never missed a beat, absolutely smooth and incredibly strong. From my experience with this reel, Orvis has a winner, I can't wait to get back to Baja this December and give it more time on the water.

    From Capt. Michael Augat, pursuer of over 75 species of sport fish

    I’ve been using the Orvis Vortex reels for over a decade and a half and have caught fish with them worldwide. They are good, solid reels that don't let you down when you're along way from nowhere. But now the Orvis design team has created a new flagship reel that is better in every way. I’ve tested the drag on tuna and sailfish and many big bull dorado. It’s brutally strong, smooth, sealed, and faultless. I love the look of this new reel, its balance, its toughness and its signature. This is a reel I’ll happily use all day long for stripers on the east coast or tarpon in Mexico, but I’ll now also dare to tackle striped marlin in the Galapagos islands.

    Kudos to the product and research team at Orvis who are now turning out the best Orvis products I’ve seen in 22 years. The Helios rods finally have a worthy matching reel.

    From Capt. Steve Horowitz, flats guide, Miami, Florida

    For what it's worth, I thought the reel performed great. Hooked lots of tarpon in the 150-pound range. One of the smoothest drags I've ever used. Really like the initial start up and evenness (is that a word?) throughout the range of speeds coming off the reel. From quick pre-jump bursts to 200 yard sprints all was good.

    From Capt. Ed Hurst, Sarasota, Florida

    I was impressed with this reel as soon as I saw it.

    After submitting it to over 80 hours of beach fishing I'm totally impressed and not much rocks my boat.

    I cleaned it for the first time today. It took me about 2 minutes to take the spool off wash the sand of it and wipe the body with clean cloth and reassemble it. It's so simple even a fishing guide can do it.

    There is absolutely no corrosion on the reel and it looks like it just came out of the box.

    I used a caliper as a tool to get into the drag. There was no sand or water inside. You're on to something here. Reminds me of the hydraulic steering on my boat. The steering cylinder can be all ratty looking but the caps always unscrew because of the O ring seals. The saltwater doesn't get into the threads causing electrolysis and corrosion.

    Retrieve Rates

    Mirage VII Fastest Line retrieve ever for the serious tarpon angler.

    Buy it now

    Select an item: EE3K80
    • Mirage Reel £339.00 - £505.00
    • Mirage Reel - Extra Spool £139.00 - £249.00
    Quantity   Add To Basket