Orvis Superfine Touch
- Full flex design allows to very soft presentation
- Stiffer near-grip lower butt section helps bring in larger, hard-fighting fish
- Easy to achieve accurate casts at mid-range (up to 35–40 feet)
- Made in the USA
- Not suitable for anything but shorter, gentle casts
- Lacks versatility
- Relatively expensive
The Orvis SuperFine Touch masters the art of presenting small dry flies to finicky surface feeding fish. The rod has the characteristics needed to throw out a perfect loop and gracefully turn over the fly before laying it gently on the water surface. Just don’t try using this rod for anything other than that precision dry fly work—its full-flex design and slow-action taper means it can’t handle heavier flies such as big grasshoppers or weighted nymph rigs.
The Superfine Touch earns its name with a deliberate, slow action that allows precise placement of small dry flies with a feather-like touch for ripple-free presentation to easy-to-spook fish. The rod’s supple taper allows for full flex from tip to grip, allowing you to feel the full loading action of the rod during the casting stroke. The result is controlled line placement within a somewhat limited range (under 40 feet). The control is quickly compromised, however, when you tie on a large, heavy dry, or a weighted nymph rig.
Casting Distance and Accuracy
When fishing for the very spooky trout of Oregon’s Metolius River, we could easily lay small midges 35–40 feet upstream without creating a ripple over the fish. Much beyond that range, our testers felt accuracy diminished (at least at our skill level) and presentation started to become a little heavier and less delicate.
General fit, finish, and feel
The rich burgundy wraps on the deep grey/green rod blanks offer a clean, dignified look suitable for the majesty of small mountain streams, or the historic nobility of English chalk streams. The 2.1-ounce rod and slim reverse half-wells grips feels light and comfortable in hand. With a small reel and a 4-wt line, this rod can be comfortably cast all day without tiring.
Though the Superfine Touch excels at casting small dries with accuracy and finesse, it tends to fling larger, heavier flies into the water with a thud and a splash. The Touch is a dry fly specialist and best reserved solely for that purpose. The one exception to that being that the Touch can be effective used to drift small unweighted nymphs under featherweight (yarn) indicators.
We tested the 8-foot, 4-weight version. It is also available in a 14 other sizes and lengths, from a 6-foot, 1-weight to a 9-foot, 6-weight.
How We Tested It
Fishing a variety of caddis, midge and mayfly hatches on waters ranging from spring creeks such as Washington Rocky Ford and Oregon’s Metolius, to wild freestone rivers like Kelly Creek in Idaho and Rock Creek in Montana. Testers included long time outdoor writers, game wardens, western fishing guides, and a few select blog readers.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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