Helios™ 3-weight 8'4" Fly Rod—Tip Flex

Use this fast action fly rod with all your dry flies on mid to large size streams. Made in USA.


2 oz. 8'4", 4-piece, Tip-Flex Freshwater Fly Rod for 3-wt. line.

We set out on an adventure to make the world's lightest fly fishing rod. Along the way, we also made the world's best.

The 8-foot 4-inch 3-weight is a classic dry fast action fly rod for medium to larger streams. The length offers both the casting control of a medium length rod, but is still long enough to allow excellent reach for mending line. The 3-weight handles any size dry fly and allows you to drop a fly with delicacy and precision in just the right place. The new patent pending Helios version of this fly rod takes this configuration to new heights of casting and control. It is by far the most remarkable advance in graphite technology, offering effortless casts, startling accuracy and presentations that are sure to improve your efficiency, yet this fly fishing rod has more than enough strength to handle big broad-shouldered trout. If dry flies are your passion, this rod will be the love of your life. Made in USA.

Rod outfit includes:

  • ZG Helios™ 843-4 Tip Flex 9.5 Fly Rod
  • Mirage I Reel - Gold
  • Hydros Trout Fly Line WF3 - Yellow
  • 50 yards of 20lb Dacron backing
  • Carbon fiber rod tube and cloth rod sack

-View more freshwater Helios fly rods here.
-Use our Fly Rod Selector to find the perfect rod.
-View all fly rod models here.

Learn more about personalizing this fly rod.
Allow 3 extra days for delivery.


Overall: 5.0/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 5 reviews

5 stars 5-star:
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5 of 5 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Excellent action. - 11/29/2012
    By: from Phoenix, AZ
    Top 250 Contributor

    I have used my Orvis Helios 3wt matched with a Orvis Mirage II reel on a number of small creeks in Arizona. The weight of the fly rod and action are unbelievable. By far one of the finest fly rod made today.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Excellent 3 wt. - 8/19/2011
    By: from CT
    Top 10 Contributor

    I received this as a free promotion for booking with Orvis for a Montana fly fishing excursion. I did not use it there but used it on my home waters in New England and it worked great! Great action, quality is superb. I like the fact that it's 8' 4", works great with a BBS reel for 2-4 wt.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Special rod! - 10/2/2010
    By: from Farmington River Valley, CT

    Love this 3 Wt Helios. The Tip flex model has the action and "feel" that is perfect for me. Have other major brand rods in my collection and this gets the nod most times when I'm out to fish. Thanks!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Sweet Rod!!!! - 9/26/2009
    By: from Texas

    Most 3wts are like noodles -- soft and messy. This rod is a plesant exception. Blending both a crisp and delicate action, this is a very fun tool to use on the stream and a dream to cast. It's light, beautifully finished and is capable of soft dry presentations and yet has the power to throw medium-size hopper-dropper setups. I've matched the rod with a CFO reel....a great setup that I couldn't be more happier. I highly recommend for those tip-flex fans.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Helios everything they say is true - 4/14/2008

    After catching 250+ fish in 3 weeks the rod performs almost perfect in every way . I love the rod after fishing for 21 years with a altra fine 2 wt , the helios out performs any thing i looked at and tryed , the only thing about the rod i don't like is the tip is a bit fast for fishing real small like 22 - 28 sizes wants to pull out on hook set a extra tip that would be a bit softer would make the helios the best all around rod ever !!!!


ZG Helios from Orvis: The World's Lightest Fly Rod Awaits Your Best Cast

Features of the Freshwater Helios Fly Rod

  • greatest feel of action for more accurate and longer casts
  • superior sensitivity and responsiveness
  • the strongest fly rod on the market
  • loads quickly, crisply, but nimbly
  • supremely-balanced feel
  • unmatched fish-fighting power
  • better tracking for dry flies and nymphing
  • smoother transition of power
  • reduced casting fatigue
  • exclusive first-ever thermoplastic, thermoset resins from tip to butt
  • Precision Power Taper™
  • woven graphite & gold-anodized aluminum reel seat
  • recoil guides
  • titanium frame stripping guide with NanoLite® ceramic insert
  • translucent-olive finish
  • highest grade cork handle
  • woven-graphite rod tube
  • made in Manchester, Vermont


ZG Helios from Orvis: The World's Lightest Fly Rod Awaits Your Best Cast

Tom Rosenbauer with a Helios Fly RodBy Tom Rosenbauer

Two years ago, we set out to make the lightest fly rod in the industry. Part of the problem was that graphite fiber technology, at least the fiber that can be used in a premium fly rod, just has not changed much in the past few years.

But we have a number of new rod designers in our rod shop, young guys who look at things differently than older, more traditional designers. They knew that all the action in composite design is not in fiber technology but in the prepreg and scrim technology—in other words, the stuff that holds the graphite fibers together and the material that gives a finished rod hoop strength, or resistance to crushing. If you can lessen the amount of graphite fiber you need by using improved resin systems, and if you can use a lighter scrim and less of it, you can design a fly rod with less weight.

And this is exactly what they did. Now scrim is pretty un-sexy stuff. All it does is to keep the hollow graphite tube used to construct a rod from collapsing under the pressure of a long cast or a big fish. Unidirectional graphite fiber can’t do that by itself. In ordinary graphite fly rods the scrim is made from fiberglass, which is heavier, less expensive, and not as stiff as graphite. In Zero Gravity fly rods, the fiberglass scrim was replaced by graphite scrim with an epoxy binder, which allowed us to use less material and thus make a much lighter rod.

New Technology from the Space Satellite Industry

Building upon our Zero Gravity’s exclusive thermoplastic resin technology, which is stronger and lighter than the epoxy resins used to make traditional fly rods, the designers found an exciting new scrim in the space satellite industry. This unidirectional graphite scrim with a thermoplastic binder gives us the same strength in our rods, but uses much less material. We reduced the weight on our new Heliosblanks by 25% less than our already lightweight Zero Gravity blanks. Then the rod team designed, from scratch, new reel seats that would keep the 25% weight reduction throughout the entire rod.

The New Zero Gravity and Helios Construction

So, they came up with the lightest rod we’ve ever designed. I was pretty excited. Lighter rods are more fun and less tiring, but could this really make someone cast better or put a fly someplace they never could before?

New Design Coupled with New Technology

Then I got a chance to cast one of these rods. “Whoa,” I thought. “This is an amazingly light rod and it wiggles nice, but this thing feels really different.” And it wasn’t just the weight. When I asked Andy Stone and Frank Hoard, the new designers, and Jim Logan, VP and head engineer in our rod shop, I found out why. The new material had given them the opportunity to take advantage of a new taper, a steeper and faster taper that was not stiffer, just more responsive and powerful.

Accuracy and Control for Freshwater Casting

So these Helios rods were fun on the casting pond. What would they feel like in real fishing conditions? I took a 4-weight to the Delaware River for trout fishing and tried it over some of the snottiest brown trout I’ve ever tangled with. That rod would put the fly just where I wanted it to go, almost like ESP. I took a 9-foot, 5-weight to Idaho’s South Fork, and the most amazing aspect of the rod’s performance was that I could switch from pounding the banks with size 8 Chernobyl Ants and then switch to tossing PMDs over finicky cutthroats on 6X with the same rod—and it still maintained the same control and accuracy in both cases.

Power for Casting Large Flies for Saltwater

Then I took a 10-weight striper fishing for big June fish on Cape Cod. It handled big stripers and big poppers in the wind like nothing I’d ever used, and after 10 hours of casting, my arm was not the slightest bit tired. The 10-weight then came along with me to Rhode Island in search of small bluefin tuna in August. The bluefins were not around, but the rod helped me make some quick, precise long casts into the wind for some nice bonito that were blowing up the surface but only gave you a few seconds to make a presentation before they steamed away.

Our testers have had the rods on trout all over the world, tarpon, snook, bonefish, redfish, and many other species. The universal reaction is that for hardcore anglers who fish on the edge and demand the most out of their equipment, Helios sets the standard for the next generation of graphite fly rods. Personally, I think they’ll make plain old backyard trout fishing a lot more fun as well.

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Select an item: SI9E19
  • ZG Helios™ 843-4 Tip Flex 9.5 Fly Rod (Not Available) $795.00 Sale: $634.00
  • Outfit - includes Mirage I reel, Hydros Trout line (Not Available) $1,210.00
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