The Orvis Clearwater Large Arbor is a tremendous reel for the price. It is considered to be a low-price reel, but performs like a pro-grade reel. It is made from cast aluminum and features a large arbor. The stacked disc drag is also made from stainless—a feature you don’t see that often on reels in this price range.
The drag on this reel is very smooth and adjustable, with a knob that allows you to adjust the strength of the drag depending on how strong the fish fights. The large arbor can be very efficient when fighting larger fish because it is a lot quicker to reel the line back.
The CLA does not require a lot of maintenance, but it is always good to keep the disc drag lubricated and also cleared of sand and debris that could alter the performance of your reel.
You should know that this reel is not a simple budget reel and can compete with much higher priced reel on the market. The only reason, in my opinion, why the reel is less expensive is that it is made overseas.
Try it, beat it, make it your go-to reel or your spare: the Clearwater Large Arbor is a hard working reel for serious anglers that have a limited budget.
Gabriel Bizeau-Regis writes a blog called A Trout Ate My Homework. He lives in Toronto, Canada.