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

Enjoy the feel and castability of our best 3 weight fly rod available. Made in USA.

Details

2 oz. 8'4", 4-piece, Mid-Flex 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.

This is the mid-flex version of the classic 8-foot 4-inch 3-weight dry fly rod. The simple difference is where the rod is designed to bend—the mid-flex offers a bit more of a traditional feel. The length offers 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. Helios 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.
The perfect fly rod for fishing small streams. Extreme accuracy. Lightest weight. Made in USA.

Rod outfit includes:

  • ZG Helios™ 843-4 Mid Flex 8.0 Fly Rod
  • Mirage I Reel - Gold
  • Hydros Trout line WF3 - Yellow
  • 50 yards of 20lb Dacron backing
  • Carbon fiber rod tube and cloth rod sack



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

Reviews

Overall: 5.0/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 12 reviews

5 stars 5-star:
12
4 stars 4-star:
0
3 stars 3-star:
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2 stars 2-star:
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1 star 1-star:
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12 of 12 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Rocky Mountain Favorite - 12/26/2012
    By: from Wyoming & Colorado

    This is one of my all time favorites and just a fabulous trout rod. It nestles nicely into the power vs. finesse curve of Rocky Mountain fly fishing: mosquitos, gnats, crustaceans, streamers, droppers, dinkers, hogs, you name it. It’s glued to my hand until the wind knocks my hat off. I fish this as a light 4wt and still think it's pretty fast with those lines. While no doubt the top of the three range would be fine, presentations under 25 feet are usually a priority. If you always fish 9’ rods you will be amazed at how much fun and precision you get from a little less length. I have owned quite a few 8’6” 4wts, including two of the top five rods in a recent prominent “4wt Shootout” article. This rod, which was not tested, should be at or near the top of that list.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    The best dry fly rod ever - 6/22/2012
    By: from Roros; Norway

    I purchased the rod on saturday 16 of June 2012, in Roros in Norway fished with it in a beautiful river called the Haaelven and caught 10 graylings and two trout on that very first day. The biggest trout was 3 pounds. The rod is by far the best rod ever, and i have about 70 flyrods and among them 5 Orvis rods. The rod casts absolutely pinpoint accurate, and it has the backbone to deliver the dry fly precisely at distances of 25 meters.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Hours of Enjoyment - 1/12/2011
    By: from Alpharetta, GA

    I bought this rod not knowing exactly what I was getting into, just that it was considered by many to be the best in fly fishing. The first time I took it out, I realized how much I enjoyed my new Helios. It threw everything from a size 10 bh wolly bugger, to a size 22 griffins gnat with ease. The line gets out faster than any other rod I own. I enjoy the rod best when throwing small dry flies, but it can be used for an entire day throwing small streamers, weighted nymphs, and dry flies.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    A Class of its Own - 8/10/2009
    By: from California
    Top 100 Contributor

    When I had a chance to cast a Helios at the 2008 Nor Cal fly fishing show, I thought it would be fun to try out one of those extremely expensive rods that I would never own. After ten years of fly fishing, it did not occur to me that one rod could make a huge difference in my casting. Three minutes later, I had added fifteen feet to my casting range while increasing accuracy. For the last eight years I had been fishing with a Sage LL three weight. I loved (and still love) the feel of that rod, but he Helios retained the feel of the soft LL while adding yards to my range. I still prefer the softness of the LL when it comes to small fish, but the Helios has the backbone to land trout over 20 inches. With the Helios line, Orvis has regained their place as a producer of first rate flyfishing gear. But now to the price. Yes I did manage to secure a not exactly brand new 9.0 mid flex 3 wt.. It is a long story, but through a series of fortunate circumstances, it ended up costing much less than retail for a new rod. My Helios is a wonderful rod, but unless you don't need to every worry about making your rent payment.... If I win the lottery, I will end up with three or four more Helioses. (Or is it Heliai.)

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Look No Further For A 3 WT - 3/18/2009
    By:

    This is simply the finest rod that I’ve ever owned! Our tackle was at our feet as we waited for the turntable to deliver our luggage inside the air terminal. A passing traveler looked at my rod tube, smiled and gave me a nod of recognition. While catching a late meal in a local restaurant, a medical doctor began to quiz me about the attributes of my Helios. “Is it really as good as they say?” My reply, “Want to hold it?” (Photo) A gentle roll cast places a BWO just upstream from a fallen cedar. Fishing the Holy Water just east of Grayling, Michigan can be a once in a lifetime experience. I find using this rod, complemented perfectly with a CFO II reel, makes casting as effortless as waving to a partner downstream. Maybe I should have attached a photo taken this past fall in the White Mountains of Arizona. It’s early morning and the mist is just beginning to clear on a “catch and release” lake they call Earl Park. I was told that my 3WT was probably too light for the fish in this lake. Having read the reviews, I just smiled in return. Moments later, the Blue Dunn Superfine reaches out twenty-five feet and the leader down an additional thirteen more. I am mesmerized by the stillness in the air and by elk whistling on a nearby mountain pasture. Suddenly my rod is bent nearly in half! Over the next five minutes my stick accurately communicates to me every move the trout makes deep underwater. The rest is history. For bass to brookies, I reach first for my Helios. Oh, and should the unthinkable happen to you as it did to me and someone destroys your prized possession – Orvis will be there as promised!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Simply the Finest! - 3/9/2009
    By:

    This is simply the finest rod that I’ve ever owned. Our tackle was at our feet as we waited for the turntable to deliver our luggage inside the air terminal. A passing traveler looked at my rod tube, smiled and gave me a nod of recognition. While catching a late meal in a local restaurant, a medical doctor began to quiz me about the attributes of my Helios. “Is it really as good as they say?” My reply, “Want to hold it?” (Photo) A gentle roll cast places a BWO just upstream from a fallen cedar. Fishing the Holy Water just east of Grayling, Michigan can be a once in a lifetime experience. I find using this rod, complemented perfectly with a CFO II reel, makes casting as effortless as waving to a partner downstream. Maybe I should have attached a photo taken this past fall in the White Mountains of Arizona. It’s early morning and the mist is just beginning to clear on a “catch and release” lake they call Earl Park. I was told that my 3WT was probably too light for the fish in this lake. Having read the reviews, I just smiled in return. Moments later, the Blue Dunn Superfine reaches out twenty-five feet and the leader down an additional thirteen more. I am mesmerized by the stillness in the air and by elk whistling on a nearby mountain pasture. Suddenly my rod is bent nearly in half! Over the next five minutes my stick accurately communicates to me every move the trout makes deep underwater. The rest is history. For bass to brookies, I reach first for my Helios. Oh, and should the unthinkable happen to you as it did to me and someone destroys your prized possession – Orvis will be there as promised!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    My Helios Journey Begins - 2/19/2009
    By:

    During my fifty years as an avid fly fisher I had never owned an Orvis rod. I have always desired the lightest rod possible, so after reading the Helios advertisements, I decided to check them out. When I picked up the 843-4 mid flex in an Orvis store I knew it was real light and when I cast it outside I knew it was really special. It only took one day of fishing it for me to see just how special this rod is. I spend most of my time fishing Midwestern Spring creeks. The trout are very shy and skittish. The best approach is to stay as far away as possible, keep the cast low, your line speed high and your accuracy on a dime. Prior to the Helios, I would try to get as close as possible and keep my profile very low,but it was very difficult to do a side arm cast to keep the line low. Consequently, more times than I care to admit, I would spook fish. I had to use this approach because I could not cast the distance needed. Now, I stay at the very back of a pool, fish the tail out, then the mid section, and the very head without having to move, thus decreasing my chance on spooking fish. I can generate enough line speed casting side arm over the water I already fished to achieve the distance I need to fish the pool completely from the tail to the head. I could not do this consistently with other comparable rods I owned. An added bonus, my accuracy with 16 foot leaders has improved so much that I tell my self, after all these years, I have finally turned out to be a pretty good caster. It is amazing how a really good rod can make you feel about your casting.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    AWESOME 3 WEIGHT ROD! - 8/14/2008
    By: from EVERETT, WASHINGTON
    Top 250 Contributor

    I HAVE TO FIRST SAY THAT I HAVE ALWAYS HAD SHORTER RODS FOR SMALL STREAMS (7 1/2') OR SHORTER. I PICKED THIS ROD UP AT THE DEALER AND CAST IT AND WAS VERY IMPRESSED BY THE CASTING DISTANCE WITH A 3 WT LINE. I BOUGHT IT AND THE 7' 4WT. I STILL WAS NOT COMFORTABLE WITH IT FOR AWHILE, UNTIL I STARTED CASTING IT MORE AND THEN REALIZED HOW SMOOTH AND HOW MUCH LINE CONTROL , DISTANCE, AND ACCURACY THE LONGER ROD OFFERED. I SOON UNDERSTOOD ALL THE ADVANTAGES OF A LONGER ROD WITH A LIGHT LINE ON A SMALL STREAM. I HAVE TO SAY THAT THIS IS NOW ONE OF MY FAVORITE SMALL STREAM RODS. THE HELIOS IS TRULY THE BEST FLY ROD IN THE WORLD.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    My new favourite rod - 7/27/2008
    By: from Oakville, ON
    Top 1 Contributor

    This rod is unbelievable. It is so light, yet so powerful and deadly accurate. The feel while casting is outstanding: with the rod loaded, the line in your hand ready to haul, your eyes locked several feet ahead of the last rise, everything meshes better than you would think possible. The rod balances perfectly when paired with the Battenkill Large Arbor 1. This 843-4 mid is my new favourite rod when targeting 8-14" trout in small streams. Even so, I've caught up to a 22" Brown, and it performed beyond what I would have expected a mid-flex 3 wt to be able to handle. If this is the type of fishing you do most often, get yourself one soon.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Helios 3wt - 7/7/2008
    By: from Buffalo
    Top 50 Contributor

    Anyone looking at the rod will see the quality of the finish right down to the beautiful cork in grip. You have to cast the rod a bit to go beyond the aesthetics to see what the technological advances in this rod have done. The rod is very axis specific, that is, power and flex are directly down the plane of the reel seat. It casts accurately, and with incredible power when you are disciplined in your technique and stay nicely on plane. The rewards for doing so, and keeping that thumb up and "on the button" are incedible power and improved accuracy. This rod will help you stay focused on your technique. This rod will cast a size 8 bead head Woolly Bugger or a size 20 midge pupae, and I have done both with this rod. I looked at this rod, picked it up in the store, and lusted for it for months. I finally took the plunge and bought it, and am very glad I did. The quality and innovation contained in this rod makes it easily worth the price. I went back and bought the 9 ft, 4 wt as well, and love it. Great range in these rods and there really is nothing else quite like the Helios right now.

Features

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

Technology

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.

Buy it now

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  • ZG Helios™ 843-4 Mid Flex 8.0 Fly Rod (Not Available) $795.00 Sale: $634.00
  • Outfit - includes Mirage I reel, HydrosTrout line (Not Available) $1,210.00
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