Yeah… it’s all that. Worth the wait. Deserving of the hype. Honestly, it had to be, because Orvis is going all-in with this rebranded flagship rod. The Manchester marketing machine will no doubt drive sales, but at the end of the day, there is a substantive performance characteristic that serves as the unique selling proposition: accuracy. As we reported in the recent print issue of Angling Trade, the blank is constructed in a manner that affords easy loading (that the caster immediately feels), so it generates line speed without redundant false casts. More importantly, it tracks and stops with clean precision. There’s no wobble at the delivery. The tip action stops and sticks, and thus the fly goes where the angler wants to send it. What that really adds up to is a rod that negates the need for redundant (and fish-spooking) false casts. You don’t have to be a professional caster to feel the benefit, but in skilled hands, it’s eye-opening. We’ve been fishing it for two months now, and we like it more now than we did on day one. That’s not at all to say we didn’t like it at first. To the contrary, we’re gaining appreciation as we realize what the rod can do in various fishing situations. I’d rather love a rod after months (or years) of fishing, than be smitten at a casting pond but wonder where the magic went when I’m trying to drop a size #20 Trico pattern on a sipping brown trout. You really need to see it for yourself.