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: Show Rating Distribution 4.8 / 5 based on 80 reviews

    5-star:
    72
    4-star:
    3
    3-star:
    4
    2-star:
    0
    1-star:
    1

    76 of 80 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

    • 5/5

      5/20/2015
      By:

    • 5/5

      All you need for trout fishing - 4/15/2015
      By: from Patagonia, Chile

      I own several in size 1,2 and 3. For trout fishing it does not get better. I use and abuse these reels for several seasons and they hold like new. My Mirage 2 was dropped from a moving truck and kept its shape running perfect. Can only say the same about the old Battenkill Reels, all my other Orvis reels has required service or change of parts, not the Mirage. Looks awesome to on my Helios, Winstons and TT rods.

    • 5/5

      Best Drag System - 3/27/2015
      By: from Mammoth Lakes, CA

      The Mirage reel has the best drag system I've experienced in a reel.

    • 5/5

      Lovely and smooth - easy to use - 3/10/2015
      By: from Oakville, ON
      Top 1 Contributor

      I got this reel for my Helios 2 864-4. I have it loaded with Airflo Ridge line. Boy does it work well. I've unexpectedly fooled a few steelhead while nymphing and this drag more than proved itself. Well done Orvis!

    • 5/5

      best reel on the market - 2/26/2015
      By:

      only one for both fresh water and sea for VERY big fish

    • 5/5

      Worth Every Penny - 2/15/2015
      By: from Madison, WI

      I have wanted one of these reels for years. I am primarily a musky fisherman with the occasional saltwater trips and the sealed drag on this reel is perfect. The drag starts smoothly and my local store was able to set it up for high capacity backing so now I am set. Thanks again for such a wonderful product!

    • 5/5

      mirage = fish - 2/12/2015
      By: from Cross Lanes,WV

      I have a mirage LAIII and II both have excellent drag and durability. I sincerely believe this reel has helped catch fish that otherwise I would not have

    • 5/5

      Fantastic reel - 2/5/2015
      By: from Canterbury

      This is an excellent reel. It is light, easy to change the spool and has a tremendous drag. It also looks the part. I purchased a Mirage V to go bonefishing. It worked very well in perhaps the most hostile of conditions. I now look forward to to catch some salmon!

    • 5/5

      Orvis mirage - 9/16/2014
      By: from Memphis, TN

      I love this reel. Between the appealing styling and wonderful performance this is my favorite reel on the market. This reel's drag system could stop a freight train. Enough said.

    • 5/5

      Great saltwater reel - 9/16/2014
      By: from New Hampshire

      Excellent reel. Great quality and craftsmen ship. Smooth for long casts and fast pickup with superior drag mechanism.

    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
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