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Overall: 4.9 / 5 based on 48 reviews
46 of 48 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
The Only 5-wt. I Need... Ever! -
By: NNCC from San Jose, CA
Top 10 Contributor
This is the last 5-weight rod I will need. I won't be buying another 5-weight for a very long time, if ever again. This rod has improved my casting abilities greatly and makes fishing more fun. A few things to note: I'm almost certain that my toothbrush is heavier than this rod, the rod can read my mind... it will put the fly exactly where I want it and how I want it, the tip is very sensitive, it doesn't feel like I'm casting a tree branch but has as much power as a much stiffer rod, long-line nymphing is great, short-line nymphing is great, dry fly and streamer fishing is great. This rod is, dare I say, the perfect fly rod. Bravo, Orvis! You've done it again!
Very smooth -
By: hansthenewbie from Los Angeles, CA
This rod is very accurate, 1 1/2 month ago, I thought that the Access 905-4 Mid was accurate. Then, I bought this Helios. It is even MORE accurate. The rod weight is the same, but the lifting power and shooting ability is in a different class. If I were going to take the Access and the Helios together, I won't be hesitated to put a long sink tip on the Helios. One roll cast, a back cast and a haul on the forward cast. I will use the Access for dry presentation. Good tools are expensive.
Top 500 Contributor
I was in stunned and speechless the first time I broke this rod within of month of purchase. I was in disbelief after the second time it broke. I don't know how I feel now...it broke for the third time the very first time I took it out after getting it back from the previous repair. What was intended to be my "everyday" rod is quickly becoming one that I'm reluctant to take out very often. That being said, the rod is beautiful and absolutely amazing to cast! Too bad it's spending so much time in the repair department rather than on the river...
Great Rod! -
By: Scotman from Lake Alfred, FL
This is a terrific multi-purpose rod. Whether I'm high stick nymphing on Eastern trout streams, making short casts in tight cover on Florida rivers for bass and panfish, or punching Grass Flats Minnows through a stiff wind for shad on the St. Johns, this rod excels! It's light enough to fish all day and can easily handle tiny dries and mid sized bass bugs. I have an older model Clearwater 5wt and I can really feel the difference with the Helios. It loads and stops cleanly with no wasted energy which increases casting distance and accuracy. For almost 3 years it has easily been my favorite rod!
By: Chrisnotopher from Hopefully - Beaverkill River
I like to wade in deeper water and hold the rod/reel high sometimes. This rod is so light. It really helps prevent arm fatique for more time on the water. It also casts much further than my other rods to help reach the furthest rises.
Fantastic All Around Trout Rod -
This is an all around outstanding rod with power and precision. It is unbelievably light. It will be your favorite rod after only a few casts.
Add it to your arsenal -
By: Cardo from Shendoah Valley, Virginia
Top 250 Contributor
Local shop recommended this mid flex for all around fishing (I also have a 9' 7wt and a 7' 4wt). This is a fantastic rod—lightweight with tons of power. I balanced it with a SAGE 4250 and together they are wonderful. I expect this rod to last for years.
Features of the Freshwater Helios Fly Rod
By 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.
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.