Orvis Encounter Review in 2024 – Fly Rods

Orvis are a household name in the fly fishing industry. We think that the Orvis Encounter is a superb fly rod for beginners, and you’ll find out why in this in-depth review of the Encounter fly rod!
orvis encounter review

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All fly fisherman start off as beginners, unsure of what equipment to buy and where to begin. Eventually, after trial and error, they find out what is the best rod to buy for them as beginners. 

But we’d like to help you avoid that time-consuming (and costly) process! People have asked us what the best entry-level fly rod to learn fly fishing with is. We think that the Orvis Encounter is a superb fly rod for beginners, and you’ll find out why in this in-depth review of the Encounter fly rod!

I wish that someone had recommended this great fly rod to me when I first started fly fishing. I would have saved a lot of time and cash learning the essentials of fly fishing! So let’s find out exactly what the Orvis Encounter has to offer!

What is the Orvis Encounter Combo

Overall Score

Build Quality
Weight and Balance
Aesthetics and Design
Price to Value Ratio
Warranty and Brand Reputation
Customer Service
Innovation and Features

Orvis Encounter

Check Amazon US/UK Price

Available Sizes:

  • 7′ 0″ 5 WT
  • 8′ 0″ 5 WT
  • 8′ 6″ 5 WT
  • 9′ 0″ 5 WT
  • 9′ 0″ 6 WT
  • 9′ 6″ 6 WT
  • 10′ 0″ 7 WT
  • 9′ 0″ 8 WT

The Orvis Encounter can be described as an entry-level fly rod of high quality which is ideal for anglers starting to learn fly fishing. However, experienced fishers may prefer a more advanced rod for fishing on the fly.

This fly rod is another top-quality product from the renowned Orvis manufacturers  – well known for coming up with innovative and highly effective fly fishing gear.

The Encounter outfit is an inclusive fly fishing set that contains everything you need to get started. Buying a complete rod outfit is a great decision for a newbie angler, because you don’t have to purchase (and research) each of the products separately. This rod outfit includes the Encounter rod as well as an Encounter reel, line, and backing – so you really do get everything you need to get out on the water!

The Encounter is available in a range of sizes and line weights that represent the most popular choices. And most importantly for fly anglers on a budget, you can buy it for a low, affordable price that won’t break the bank! Buying an outfit is generally cheaper than buying each product individually.

The 4-piece, graphite rod is both lightweight and strong, and comes with a carrying case, preloaded reels with a line, leader and backing. 

Beginners will find casting the rod smooth, allowing them to cast anything from ultralight dry flies to streamers. And to ensure your comfort on the river, the durable cork handle is smooth and ergonomic for a perfect grip.


  • Low, affordable price for a top brand fly fishing combo
  • Durable construction
  • You get everything you need: rod reel, line, leader, and backing
  • Ideal combo outfit to teach novice anglers how to fly fish


  • The standard Orvis 25-year warranty doesn’t apply
  • No protective case for the reel
  • The plastic construction of the reel makes it less durable

Features & Benefits

In the following sections of the gear review, a number of the important benefits and features of the Orvis Encounter combo will be reviewed to give a decent overall review of the Encounter fly rod.

encounter weight


The Orvis Encounter fly rod outfits and their spin/ fly combo cater for ever need that the novice fly angler could have. You can take your pick from the current range of rods ranging from the 5-weight to the 8-weight and lengths from 7′ up to 10′.

The Encounter fly rod comes in 4 sections and is easily put together in just seconds. We found that this excellent rod is well balanced and lightweight, making it a joy to use on all your fly fishing trips.

The nice part of the Encounter combo for a beginner is that everything is already matched up to form a great unit suitable for your fly fishing needs. No more worrying about which fly line to go for or which reel will suit your rod – it’s all done for you! So you’re all set to get straight out there and start to cast!

encounter build quality

Build Quality

The Orvis Encounter is a well-constructed fly rod manufactured in Manchester, Vermont by the renowned Orvis manufacturing company. The veteran fly fishers at the Orvis company aim to ensure high quality and performance, even for their budget rod ranges. Even on their most affordable rods such as the Encounter, the construction and finishing is done to the highest standard. No shoddy or rushed work here!

This fly rod is superior to many other rods available on the market for beginners. Constructed from graphite material, it has plenty of flex in the tips and impressive sensitivity and feel when fishing. 

The composite plastic reel with its anodized seat is excellent quality and comes preloaded with fly line, leader and backing. The combo comes in a decent rod case that can be used to carry or store the entire Encounter combo, for easy travel or storage.

Just one small negative – you’ll need to take care to clean your reel after use in saltwater, as the drag isn’t sealed. Otherwise, you’ll risk your gear corroding long before it should do.

You can also take a look at our post here on vermont fly fishing to have a full guide on your next fly fishing trip.


The Encounter is a moderate or medium-action rod which ensures greater versatility. The flexible tip is balanced out with moderate stiffness in its lower half, allowing beginners to maintain good line control and accuracy in diverse fishing conditions.  

The medium action makes the Encounter fly rod ideal for casting powerfully into large water bodies, and when needed, into light or moderate wind conditions. You’ll find that the action is ideal for novice fly fisherman and won’t tire the angler out when fishing.

encounter versatility


In this part of the review, we look into just how versatile the Crosswater is. The wide range of fly rods available in the Encounter fly combo series lends versatility to this fly rod combo. It can be used effectively to fish in saltwater, freshwater, small rivers, large water bodies, and warm water conditions. 

The combo can be used to accurately place dry flies or heavy streamers when you fish for a range of species. You’ll have no trouble going after trout and the different bass like peacock, smallmouth, largemouth, and white bass, as well as redfish, catfish and grass carp.

The combo is ideal to play fish in shallow, fast-moving water and deep pools without letting large trout snap off.

You can also visit our article here for a full breakdown of the best fly rod combos available.


The standard Orvis 25-year guarantee is not applicable to the Orvis-Encounter series fly rods. However, they do offer a limited warranty against any defects that originate from the workmanship. Any rod that is judged to be defective will be replaced by the manufacturer. 

You can also buy replacements separately for broken segments, which saves you from having to replace the whole rod. A handy policy if something happens to your rod just after the 1 year warranty is up!

review by locals

Orvis Encounter Review (By Locals)

We scoured the internet and found a number of positive reviews that we would like to share with you:

I have moved to towards ultralight spin fishing more than fly fishing but I have never bought an inferior orvis product. My orvis – encounter combo served me well.

The orvis encounter offers great performance at an excellent price, I reviewed a lot of outfits but this is a fine fly rod.

I am a beginner in fly fishing and read many gear reviews, angling guides, and attended events before I bought my orvis encounter fly rod. I have enjoyed every trip and won’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.

Wrap Up

To sum up our Orvis Encounter review, it’s clear that this combo provides the perfect choice for any novice fisherman who wants to learn how to fly fish. You’ll have a great time learning to cast and catching your first trout, bass, or bluegill with the Encounter fly rod!

The Encounter fly combo outfit offers excellent value for money, faultless construction, and impressive performance. These factors combine to make this one of the best outfits that any novice fly fisher can wish for.

The range of line weights, from 5 weight up to 8 weight, ensures that there is a rod/fly fishing outfit that will suit everybody’s needs. Click below to check out this great beginner rod for yourself!

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4 thoughts on “Orvis Encounter Review in 2024 – Fly Rods”

  1. Just back from a day trip to the 10,000 Islands in SW Florida. First trip with my Encounter Combo. Picked up sea trout, reds and silvers. Rod and reel were just a delight. I bought the 8-wgt and LOVE IT!

  2. Sebastian Dodds

    I have switched my retrieve to right hand on this reel, what is the best way to take off and re spool the line and backing? It should be coming from the bottom to the first eyelet correct?

  3. Please correct the statement saying where these are made. Encounter and Clearwater are MADE IN CHINA. Vermont sounds lovely, but it was only designed there, not made there. For a site referring to itself as “pro” this is kind of a blatant failure, maybe intentional(?).

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