Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Orvis Hydros Carp Line

About five months ago Orvis sent me a prototype carp line in the mail. In the past I was never really a "line" guy, generally just fishing whatever the fly shop recommended at the time. As I fell farther and farther into the carp addiction, I realized just how important a fly line really is. Accuracy became crucial, and lets be honest, the line is as important as a rod when you go from talking about accuracy in terms of feet to talking in terms of inches. Yes, when it comes to carp...inches matter.

So what exactly do you need in a carp line? Unlike most modern lines, you do not need a cannon designed to shoot line for 100 feet. To me, the most important aspect of a carp line is the ability to make short, accurate casts, quickly. Most of my shots come between 20 and 40 feet and not many fly lines on the market really hit that sweet spot.

Orvis's new Hydros Carp line does. It only took one outing for me to fall in love with the line. I took it to a flat early in the season, and realized quickly that I was making short flips and one pick up 30 ft casts with no effort. Any carp in my optimal range was in danger. It simply casts with ease in that 20-40 foot range.

I have fished this line exclusively all season, from the flats of the big C to the emerald waters of Lake MI. I have thrown size 8 hybrids to picky fish and chucked 2 inch long streamers to meat eaters...all with the Orvis Hydros Carp Line. I liked it so much I told the Orvis people that when they released it (assuming they didn't change it) I was going to buy a couple more lines and switch them out on all of my reels!

Well, Orvis just released the line and the only change is the color. They switched form a grey head (which I disliked...not sure why really) to a perfect, muted olive color. If possible...I like it even more now. If you get a chance, check it out here.

Caught this guy with it!




Brent Wilson said...

Excellent review John. I will definitely have to check it out.

TA said...

As excited as I am to check out this line, I am curious about your negative experiences with other lines in the 20-40' range. If anything, the upper end of this should be where most WF lines excel, given that the line weight rating should be based on the weight of the first ~30'. Even though that's not the full head on most lines, it should work fine for accuracy if carrying the line & not shooting to target. Uplining by a line weight or using a more mid-flex rod should solve any remaining issues. But 20' is quite different from 40', since 20' is really 1' fly line outside of tip + 10' leader. I can't imagine how this line can load a rod with only 1' outside tip while still being manageable with 30' outside tip + 10' leader. Just curious. It seems that muted earth tones and longer front tapers are the staples of carp-designated lines, but these don't suggest better castability at 1-30' outside rod. What can you tell us about the taper of the line and how it works with the flex of the H2 rod?

John Montana said...

Timothy, I was casting it specifically against a rio grand (also in a 7 wt). The first few outings I carried two reels and switched them out to get a sense for both lines. At short distances, the Hydros was simply easier to cast. Granted, at 20 feet you are doing more flipping and pitching than straight casting, but I was much more effective with the Hydros than the grand. The dirty secret of carping is that most fish are caught in close. Even at 30-40 feet I felt more comfortable with the Hydros than I did with the grand. I cast both lines on the h2.

I will say that once I stated booming out casts past 60 feet, I struggled...but to be fair, I struggle at distance with most lines! Hah. I really am a 60-70 ft max caster, but in close and tight I am pretty efficient.

After a few outings, I stopped bringing the grand. I know that is a great line, but the Hydros simply fit the way that I fish for carp better. Sad part about that was that I had the grand on a cheeky mojo 425, so I essentially shelved a bad ass reel for half the year! I will get the Hydros on the cheeky ASAP.

Worth hitting an orvis store and checking it out. It fit my style perfectly.

Gregg said...

That was a great review with intelligent comments. I like a line that will throw close and toss indicators placed at odd distances, they can mess up your cast stroke. Plus, I have found that a premium line is all important for the newer coatings that insure a floating tip. Leaving my line in the H20 long periods with a bobber will test that tip. When the line sinks 18" deep I am sure that frightens the fish.


Mark VanDehey said...

Nice review John. Sounds like a great line.

David McKenzie said...

How do you think this line will handle hot water? Down here everything I fish past June 1st ranges from 75-85 until Oct cool down.

John Montana said...

Not sure David. My waters don't get that hot. I will ask the orvis guys, but I would bet it has a wrm water core.

TA said...

Thanks for your response. I appreciate it. One of my several jobs is sales associate at Orvis. Although I don't think my store is going to stock the new carp line (we don't make that call), I was curious about the products pros and cons to help me make good recommendations to customers. Of course, I was interested as an enthusiastic carp-on-fly angler, too...
Keep up the good work! I'm crossing my fingers for the contest

Unknown said...

Will the Orvis line work well with fiberglass rod? I am using a blue halo 5 weight 8ft for bass and want to start after the carp as well with it.