Nearing 1 year with this reel I decided it needed to get a bit of a review. I bought the Orion from Jamie at PMR after a bit of a discussion about what reel would suit my fishing best. I was originally looking to get a Penn fathom 15ld magged but decided against it after Jamie convinced me that the Orion would be the best choice. Now my Orion is not a regular Orion. I got hybrid ceramic bearings and a PMR bespoke custom super mag. Unfortunately with this mag I had to remove the ratchet for it to fit, but more on that later.
The Akios Orion is designed to be a boat reel. The reel has 5.2:1 retrieve and holds 370m of 0.33mm line. It is a CNC’d one piece cage and side plate. The gears are made from machined stainless steel and it has 6+1 stainless steel shielded ball bearings. I could continue advertising this reel but you know how to find the fine detail about it so I will stop boring you.
So after nearly a year later and catching small to large fish I think I’ve figured out the best of this reel.
The build quality of the reel is amazing. It feels so solid and indestructible. I bet you could throw this reel off a wall, at your own risk, and it would be fine. Pure quality.
The casting is ridiculous, with the hybrid ceramic bearings and super mag it is so easy to cast. With the mag fully in it is difficult to make a birds nest, you really need to try. With the mag being all the way out I dare you to cast it. It really is so controllable its amazing.
The lever drag system is so nice. It is perfect for the bigger fish I am looking for. I wanted the lever drag for the ability to quickly set the drag to a predetermined amount and be 100% confident Its going to be the same every time. The drag system is also so smooth. Putting this reel to the test on a halibut this year I could feel the line peeling off the spool like butter.
The handle of the reel is the nicest I have ever used. Its a EVA Ball grip and for extra perfection the bearings in the handle allow effortless rotation. The only reel I’ve used with a similar handle is the Diawa Saltist hsh.
After every session when I rinse my reels off I always find that some gunk is left around the reel seat. This I find is really annoying on many reels as you have to get a pipe cleaner or some other cleaning instrument to remove it. The Orions reel seat is fixed in place by 4 screws and just make maintaining the reel so much easier as I can take the reel seat off and give a good scrub.
Unfortunately I don’t have a ratchet. Now this is a decision I made but this definitely is a con of the reel. With this version of the Orion, a mag can not be fitted with the ratchet so I opted to remove the ratchet. When watching the rod this isn’t an issue but if its night and I’m baiting up I can get a take and sometimes I don’t know until I’m looking at the rod bouncing. If you decide to get an Orion but want a ratchet the MK1 Orions can be magged and the ratchet can be kept
The cage to spool distance is very small. I have found that if you fill the spool and then try to tie a leader the knot will get caught in the cage on the cast. This took multiple casts to figure out and a lot of bird nests. It was really stumping me until I noticed that the leader knot had been flattened on one of my casts. Once I stopped filling the spool to max this issue stopped but be aware if you are fishing an area with a lot of depth and you need a lot of line I would recommend looking at the Orion 120.
This probably isn’t an issue of the reel but when lifting the reel to start retrieving I find that If I’m wearing a jacket it sometimes gets caught and engages the free spool which causes me to curse the reel out due to having to fix the overrun of line. This is especially annoying when you have a fish on. I think the free spool should be a little bit more effort to engage to prevent this.
What is my opinion on this reel? This is a great rough ground reel or a reel for bigger fish that need to be winched in. If you are targeting Rays, Tope, Congers or Smooth Hounds from the shore the Orion is everything you need. If this reel is for your general clean to mixed ground marks for Bass and flounder etc then there are cheaper reels out their and no need to get such a beast of a reel.
Depending on your budget I highly recommend this reel. Its been bullet proof since purchasing and has not given me an ounce of trouble.
If you have any questions please send a message and I will try and help you.