Orvis Clearwater II 9 ft 6 wt 9.5 Tip Flex Review

Clearwater II
9 ft, 6 wt, 4 pc Reviewed

Imagine for a moment a fly rod that casts like a high priced rod, is light weight, has a nice line feel, is beautiful to look at and won’t break your wallet to purchase. Such is the Orvis Clearwater II fly rod 9 ft 5wt mid-flex 7.5 I have been using since 2007. The Clearwater II Series has been redesigned from the old Clearwater I series of 2007. Because I liked my current Clearwater rod so much, I wanted to try a Clearwater II 9 ft 6wt 9.5 tip flex rod to compare to the Orvis Helios 9 ft 5wt and the Orvis Hydros 9 ft 6wt I had previously grass cast.


  1. The rod is well constructed with oversized guides which I like. The blank is a beautiful blue color.
  2. Guide feet are securely wrapped and covered with well applied rod epoxy.
  3. The grip is a half wells with cutout for the top reel foot.
  4. Reel Seat is an uplocking style with double locking rings. For an uplocking reel seat, I like the double rings because you don’t have to overtighten the locking rings to secure the reel.
  5. The reel seat insert is woven graphite to reduce weight and the same blue color as the blank. The reel seat hardware is high quality anodized aluminum.
  6. The cork grip is premium grade but this particular rod had a few more pits than I would have preferred.
  7. The half wells grip is one of my favorites. I can use the smaller cigar part of the grip for most fishing which is less tiring for me. Then move farther back to the butt of the grip for long casts.
  8. The guides are the standard hard chrome snake guides with an oversized stripper guide lined with an insert to reduce line wear.
  9. The rod comes with a handsome cordura covered hard case with zipper closure and an internal divided sock.
  10. The Clearwater II Series ranges from 7 ft to 10 ft in length, line weights 3 through 9, flex ranges from 6.0 through 9.5 tip flex and come in both 4 and 2 piece models. Two piece models are limited to certain models.
  11. Priced between $169 and $219, the Clearwater II is a bargain at these prices.
  12. The Clearwater II series is covered by the 25 year Orvis 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Fishing Characteristics

Not Applicable

Casting Characteristics

I only grass cast this rod for comparison to the Helios and Hydos rods. This 9.5 tip flex action was smooth and crisp with plenty of power to throw 60 foot plus casts. Rod was quick loading with the rebound to a neutral position on the backcast and forward cast being quick and smooth. I did notice the Clearwater II tip flex is not quite as fast or powerful as the Helios or Hydros. But for a rod priced about $200, it was plenty fast and powerful.

Ask Yourself:

  • Do I need a $700 dollar fly rod to make me a better fly caster?
  • Will a $700 dollar fly rod help me catch more fish?
  • What is a reasonable price for a quality fly rod?
  • Will a $200 fly rod meet most of my fly fishing needs?

If the last answer is Yes — More Information — Orvis Clearwater II 9 ft 6 wt 4 pc

Tight Lines,

Marshall, Editor
Everything You Need for Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing for the beginner and Intermediate

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