Orvis Recon vs. Big Y Boss - 8wt Comparison
Over the past two years, I have been lucky enough to be able to do some solid fishing trips. I have consistently fished both the Orvis Recon 8wt and the Big Y Boss 8wt on the same day over a variety of locations, conditions and situations. Here are my thoughts on our two best selling mid-price 8wt rods.
Orvis Recon> The Recon is a powerful rod. It really has a big powerful slingshot type of load. It is not as fast as I would have expected beforehand; it sits solidly in that mama-bear taper that is not too fast, not too slow. Super fast rods are easier to design. Budling a rod that has loads of power, but isn't too fast is an impressive feat.
I have used the Orvis Recon for two different bonefish trips, as well as Alaska salmon and rainbows, smallmouth bass, and steelhead locally in Oregon. It has a little bit of wobble when you unload a big cast... but it has that big cast potential, with a big recovery window so that you do not have to be a professional caster to enjoy those long, accurate casts.
I don't have really anything negative to say, but this being a review, I am going to find a thing or two that I think could be improved... I will say that there are lighter rods on the market, but I'm not complaining. That weight does help transfer the feel down the rod into the handle, but it does have a little bit of heft to it.
Casting the Recon is like driving a 1968 Chevelle. Tons of power, nice to look at, fun to drive, a little clunky on the handling, but really nice to take for a spin. But some rods are more like those little Japanese sports cars. There are other rods that are quicker, lighter and have laser-precision handling. That doesn't make the Recon any less, it just is what it is.
One more thing to improve: The Recon does lack a little bit of finishing power in the tip. What I mean by that is that there is not a very "crisp" finish to it. The rod unloads very powerfully, but getting that tip to stop just right to make the perfect loop is not as easy as getting the rod to load. I think most rods are like that. This one is
It is a very nice rod and I thoroughly enjoy fishing it. I do not regret this purchase, nor do I look back and wish I had bought a different rod. Still happy with it after three years.
Big Y Boss> This rod really is the boss. I have caught a pile of Bahamian bonefish and a few barracuda with this rod, as well as plenty of trout, bass, steelhead and coho salmon. I have both the 8wt and the 6wt Boss, because they are worth it... It does not quite have the depth of feel as the Recon, but it is faster and punchier. The power in this rod is focused more in the middle section into tip than in the Recon. The Recon has a wider sweet-spot, which slows it down and allows for that wider recovery window.
The Big Y Boss is faster and punchier with a smaller sweet-spot. I will say that the Boss does beat the Recon in high-wind conditions. The Recon has a lot of power, but its not moving as fast. I had more casts that tracked off-course with the Recon in high winds than I did with the Boss. It's not a huge difference overall between the two. The Recon can track off-course a little easier, but The Boss has so much power that you could "flood the engine" and end up with tailing loops or collapsed casts a little easier than with the Recon.
I have been very pleased with both of these rods, and do not regret buying either of them. My wife may not agree that I needed two (more) 8wt rods, but I feel that I have a solid rod lineup right now.
It's hard to recommend one over the other. I thought I might regret not upgrading to the Helios over the Recon, but its just not so. I feel good having two solid 8wt rods and have a lot of confidence in either if I had to do a trip with just one. However, I have two 8wt rods, so I can confidently travel the world to fish and have the peace of mind that I could break a rod and still be able to give it 100%.