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Quick Orvis recon 8wt review vs xi3 and cc glx

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I will caveat this with 2 notes.


1. This is just test cast in the grass.  ( though I have fished the xi3 and cc glx extensively in past seasons)

2.  I just got my left arm out of the sling from shoulder surgery so I basically can only do a very small haul with my wrist.



Sitting around with a shoulder injury has led to me buying gear.  I found an orvis recon 8wt used that showed up yesterday.  I tested it along side my sage 8wt xi3 and g loomis 8wt crosscurrent glx.



I used 2 different float lines.  wulff bermuda 8wt and SA grand slam 8wt.


weight of rods.

Recon is lightest

XI3 is barely heavier than the Orvis

CC GLX is noticeably heavier


swing weight ( just by feel)

Recon is lightest

XI3 is barely heavier than the Orvis

CC GLX is noticeably heavier



Both lines worked equally well on each rod.  They each cast a bit different.  These are my favorite 2 flats fishing lines, both are excellent.  A few differences are:

The SA works better for short shots of less than 40' as it has more weight forward. 

The Wulff Bemuda lays out the best due to its taper.  It really excels in the 35'-65'.  Though you can bomb it out there

The SA hits the water a bit harder and does not straighten out the leader as effortlessly as the Wulff at mid range.  The SA is very good for the long shots and is better in the wind.



Recon was the best as it was lightweight and accurate

Sage Xi3 was almost the same as the recon maybe a bit slower, smoothest of the bunch

CC GLX is just a power house accurate as the other 2 but really fires it in there



All 3 rods were great at this distance as far as accuracy here are my thoughts:

Recon really reminds of the BVK I used to own.  Very smooth and way more powerful than I expected.  Works well with fast and slow stroke

Sage Xi3 smoothest of the bunch requires a slightly slower stroke.  Fast stroke created tailing loop

CC GLX again power house.  The faster your stroke the more power you get.


Overall Power and backbone

I could not really test the long bomb cast today nor fish fighting with the recon but I have with the other 2 rods and feel i can make an educated guess about the recon.

Recon could probably cast the 100' mark if needed.  I think the backbone of this rod is probably equal too or slightly less than the Xi3.

Xi3 gets sloppy in my hands if you just try going for pure distance.  Recon is better.  Xi3 has good backbone In my experience.

CC GLX is a beast.  It can cast as far as your ability allows it too.  Has tons of fish fighting backbone equal to a 9wt easily.



Final thoughts.

I mostly did tis to see how my new Recon compared to my 2 older rods I knew well.  I thought this would be informative for people here as I think a lot of us dont buy the top dollar rods that are $700 and up.  The CC GLX an the XI3 i guess are "old technology" and thus readily available used at a good price.  I actually found both of these rods on craigslist for very good prices.  All of these are very available used for $300 and less ( except maybe the CC GLX which is more like $375 used).  The Recon is touted as a mid priced rod at $425.  From what I read it seems likes the expensive graphite and glues of yesterday are the mid priced of today so thus this seemed like these rods are all equal maybe?


Final Final.


Recon- I would say is the best all around rod.  Good for flats / sight-fishing.  Has enough power for wind and big flies.  I was surprised how much power this rod had.  Looking at the deflection chart on the yellowstone angler i thought it would be softer overall.  It is definitely fast and powerful.  We will see how the fish fighting power is and how it handles sinking lines later


XI3- Great rod.  By far the smoothest caster mid range of the bunch.  Great flats rod.  Good fish fighter and I have found to be a very good rod for sinking lines as I have thrown a 300g sinking line no problem on this stick.  It is not super great I have found powering into the wind and throwing big heavy flies.


CC GLX-  Just a beast.  Most power in stroke and in fishfighting capabilities.  Its much heavier and its what I would call the least "fun" to cast but what this equals is a rod that is tough as nails and does not break easily and can handle multiple types of lines and conditions.  This is probably the worst bonefishing rod of the bunch for delicacy but would be the first I would grab if it was blowing 20mph on the flats.  This is the best rod for stripers in my opinion as it can handle big flies, wind, sinking lines, and does not break when its abused on the beach or jetty.





Edited by mightyrime

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Thanks for your review.  Kind of what I'd expect.  Higher end technology getting inserted at the mid-price level.  I've seen this happening for awhile.


Also found a similarity in the 8 weight shoot out review - the Recon and BVK scores are nearly identical.  Do you think the Recon is worth $175-200 more than the BVK?  I don't really like the short handle on my BVK and kinda wish I had had one custom built with a more ergonomic grip.  Eventually, if it doesn't break first, I might get someone to rebuild it with a better handle and reel seat.  The BVK I own is the 8wt 2nd version and it is actually a full 3/4" to 1 inch shorter than 9' when assembled.

Edited by Killiefish

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I was one of those people who had breakage problems with an 8wt BVK.  I broke mine twice.  Once fighting a not very big fish the tip section broke and once the mid section broke while casting.  TFO was great with warranty but it gets old packing up a broken rod and going to the post office.  


Basically if the BVK did not break ( somewhere i read they may have fixed this problem?) it would be the better purchase


Another thing I dont like the BVK is the reel seat.  Its weak.  More like a trout rod reel seat.


If the Recon holds up and has good backbone the extra $125 may be worth it.



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