Orvis Answer Center
Welcome to the Orvis Answer Center for Fly Fishing Questions! You'll find the answers to our most frequently asked questions about fly fishing.
If you still can't find the answer, then contact our Customer Service department by email, live chat, or phone. Let them know you didn't find the answer in the Orvis Customer Service Center and we'll add your answer here.
What color fishing sunglasses should I buy?
The best color for all-around fly fishing sunglasses is amber. These glasses work well on both shallow saltwater flats and rocky trout streams, as well as for driving. The amber color, combined with the polarization in the lenses, removes glare and enhances contrast so you can see the edges of objects (like the fins of a fish or the edges of a rock) in better definition. Amber lenses are also great for everyday wear, and are good driving glasses; they will remove reflections from glass and from the road and actually cut through glare in fog.
Orange is also a good all-around lens color for fishing glasses, especially if you’ll be fishing in lower-light conditions (foggy, cloudy, or early morning and evening). It enhances contrast even more, so, where fish-spotting is especially difficult, orange can give you an edge. Orange is not as good for driving or for all-day wear, because this color can be more tiring on your eyes.
Gray lenses are not as good for fishing, except in open-ocean fishing where there is tremendous glare under a bright sun. Gray lenses, because they are neutral density, preserve true color relationships if that is important.
Do I order normal shoe size when buying waders?
Our wading shoes are designed to accommodate a pair of heavy wading socks plus the neoprene foot of a stocking-foot wader. It’s always better to have wading shoes that are slightly oversized rather than undersized, so if you wear a half-size street shoe, go to the next larger whole size in wading shoes (wading shoes are not made in half sizes).
Do I need to upgrade my fly rod to a new model?
In general, when you pay more for a rod, you get better technology, a lighter rod, a nicer rod case, better-looking hardware, and in some instances a better warranty. The performance you get from a better rod will be slightly improved, but if you fish in an area where you don’t need long casts, winds are light, and presentation is not critical, you may not feel the need to upgrade.
Do 'eBay' or reconditioned rods have a warranty?”
Rods marked with the letter "R" on the cork grip are reconditioned rods that are sold at discount events. When these rods are sold, the purchaser understands they do not carry the Orvis unconditional 25-Year Guarantee, nor do they carry the lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship.
The Orvis 25-Year Guarantee is valid only for the original owner of a rod. Rods sold on E-Bay or similar online auctions carry the guarantee as long as they are new rods sold by authorized Orvis dealers. Used rods sold on eBay or any other website do not carry this guarantee.
What is your rod warranty? Cost of repair?
All of our fly rods carry a lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship. However, our premium rods carry that guarantee even further.
Our 25-Year Unconditional Guarantee states if your rod breaks, for any reason, even if you slam it in a car door (and this would be beyond anyone’s expectations for a graphite fly rod), we will repair or replace it for 25 years. Rods that carry this special guarantee include our Helios, Hydros, Zero Gravity, T-3, TLS Power Matrix, Superfine, and Clearwater II fly rods.
For repairing or replacing rods covered under our 25-Year Guarantee, you pay only a $30 handling fee. For rods not covered under this guarantee (Frequent Flyer, Bamboo, Streamline), you will be contacted with a repair estimate before we proceed. Repair costs range from $50 for a Frequent Flyer rod to $300 for an Orvis Bamboo rod.
What weight line do I use for my rod?
Each Orvis fly rod is designed to cast a specific fly fishing line size, also called line weight. This is the fly line that will optimize the performance of your rod at the normal casting distances of 20 to 60 feet for trout rods and 30 to 80 feet for rods designed for saltwater, salmon, or steelhead fishing. Regardless of whether you purchase a floating, sinking, or sink-tip line, the correct line size is the one your rod is rated for.
In an Orvis rod designation, the first two numbers are the length in feet, the last number before the dash is the line size the rod is rated for, and the number after the dash is how many pieces the rod breaks down into. For example: 904-4 is a 4-piece, 9-foot rod for a 4-weight line; 865-2 is an 8 ½-foot rod for a 5-weight line that breaks down into two pieces.
How do I choose the right fly fishing line
First you need to find the correct size fly line (also called line weight) for your rod. Next you should decide how the line will be used. For freshwater fishing, 90 percent of the time people use floating lines.
Even when nymph or streamer fishing, most people use floating lines. However, if you’ll be trout fishing in deep lakes or in fast, deep rivers, a sink-tip line for most rivers or a full-sinking line for very large rivers might be helpful when fishing streamers.
In trout fishing, you also have to decide what taper to buy. Double-taper lines (DT) are great for casting under 50 feet, especially where you do a lot of roll casting or mending line. They can also be reversed when one end wears out, because the taper is the same at either end. Weight-forward lines (WF) are best for longer casts, especially in the wind, because they have a smaller-diameter running line, which shoots line better. A special Orvis Taper is the Long-Belly Weight Forward, which offers the distance capabilities of a weight forward with a slightly longer belly section for easier line mending. This line is best for long-distance dry-fly and nymph fishing in bigger rivers, as well as long-distance steelhead and salmon fishing.
For saltwater fishing, where you often encounter a riffled surface, many anglers use floating lines, especially for bonefish.
For tarpon and striped bass in shallow water, an even more popular line is the intermediate (I) line, which sinks just below the surface and gets you under the waves for better control of your fly. In addition, anyone who fishes saltwater from a boat or in heavy surf should have a sinking line on an extra spool, because saltwater fish aren’t always close to the surface.
Full-sinking lines are popular, but an especially useful line is our Depth Charge line, which has a very fast sinking tip combined with a small diameter intermediate running line for great distance casts, even in the wind.
What is the warranty on waders?
Orvis fly fishing waders are guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, or we will repair or replace your waders free of charge. The guarantee does not cover abuse, improper care, accidents, or the normal breakdown of materials over time.
No one expects fly fishing waders to last forever, any more than you should expect a pair of pants or shoes to last forever. Waders will wear out over time, and how long depends on how often and how hard you use them. In other words, if a seam on your waders gives out after a year, we will repair or replace them. If you tear your waders on barbed wire after two years, or if your waders leak after five years, we can repair most waders for a $30 repair charge.
How do I order the correct size in waders?
Although wader fit is not as critical as a pair of pants you’ll wear to a formal event, we have more wader sizes available than any other brand, so you’ll get an excellent fit. Fly fishing waders are designed to be worn over other clothing, but the sizes we build take that into account.
Once you’ve decided which style of waders you want, in the description box underneath the photograph of the waders, you'll see a "Size Chart" tab, which displays the sizes available in that style of waders. All measurements should be taken with clothes on. For inseam measurement, the best approach is to measure the inseam of a pair of pants that fit you comfortably. If for some reason you don’t fit exactly into the specs we offer, the most critical measurements are your inseam and foot size, as the upper part of the waders can be adjusted with your wader belt and suspenders.