The new patent pending Helios saltwater 6 weight is so far ahead of all others it skips generations in how a fly rod should feel, cast, and fish. It is so sublimely light, incredibly responsive, deadly accurate, and just plain easy and enjoyable to cast that to compare it to other graphite rods is like comparing graphite to bamboo. There is no comparison. The Helios is that good. And everyone is noticing. Designed specifically for the salt, this Helios fly rod is great for steelhead water as well.Quick-loading rod feels like a 4-weight. Light duty bonefish, warmwater bass, schoolie stripers and small steelhead. Ice cleans out of Recoil guides quickly and easily. A real plus when steelheading or trout fishing in cold conditions. Made in USA.
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Overall: 5.0 / 5 based on 11 reviews
11 of 11 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
two rods in one -
I used to carry two rods with me- an 8wt to throw heavy streamers on a sinking line and a 5wt to throw tiny dry flies. Not anymore. This rod is so powerful yet so light and sensitive that I can throw big meaty flies yet switch to throwing size 20 bwo's if a hatch occurs. Best rod I have ever owned by far
Great rod -
By: kjjrfghueh from Jackson, Wyoming
This rod has them all beat. Easy to cast, sensitive, and has the power to punch through the wind. I use it as one of my streamer rods and it can throw heavy flies into the wind without a problem. In the rare occasion that I throw a dry fly, this rod has the power to cast across the large rivers of the west. You won't be disapointed with this rod.
Jack of all trades! -
By: indiantrout from Cornwall Bridge, CT
I purchased this rod just a few weeks ago and I am already in love with it. Since picking up the rod, I have fished the white fly hatch on the Housatonic in Connecticut, caught smallmouth bass on clear lakes in Maine, and even caught 8 inch brookies on small streams. The rod handled each task with grace. Small dries hit the water as nicely as big double bunny streamers with this amazing tool. Conventional wisdom might make people hesitate about fishing a 6 weight for trout but, as I have found, this rod refutes such wisdom and can tackle a wide variety of fishing adventures. Small fish are easy to feel and the rod doesn't force you to overpower them. At the same time, big fish are easier to land with the rod's impressive backbone and fighting power. Overall, this is the best rod I have ever casted or fished.
Helios keeps the disabled fishing -
I was introduced to the new Helios by my husband whom had a new 6wt SW, as we were out fishing in the Reservoir near our home, and I was trying unsuccesfully to push my heavy deer hair frogs with my ZG 5 Wt tip flex, and having a horible time, he brought the Helios over and told me to try it. I tried it and it was like the difference between night and day, not only could I cast those flies, I could cast them where I wanted, and had a great success in catching fish that day. You see I have had 2 failed shoulder surgeries which left me with a neuroma in my right shoulder and that in part left me unable to cast the fly rod the way most people do, I was tuaght to use the lower forearm method as where you loose some of the speed from the loading of the rod. With the Helios I have been able to cast large flies with a wonderful presentation, and fly fish as long into the day as I used to without any exertion. In short the Helios has put me back into the fly fishing holly grail of fisherman, those of us whom love the simple joy of catching a fish seeing its beauty and releasing it back into the wild. Thank you Helios, and thank you Orvis for developing this wonderful rod. I will be sure to buy another 6wt Sw for our rod collection as well as 2 more lighter weight rods for small streams and pan fish.
My 3rd Helios -
By: Qualey99 from Shreveport, LA
I was introduced to the Helios series rods by guide Rob Woodruff while fishing for largemouth bass on Lake Fork. I was using my 8 wt Sage, which is a great rod. Rob asked if I wanted to try the Helios 8 wt, so I tried it and was very impressed with the ability it had to push the large epoxy head bunny flies into the wind with minimal effort. Then he said "Try the 6 wt Helios". That rod was even lighter, and I could cast just as well with it as the 8 wt, even with the large bass bugs we were using. I subsequently bought a 4 wt and 8 wt Helios and have loved them. I have recently purchased the 6 wt salt water Helios and found that for speckled trout and redfish in the marsh in south Louisiana, this rod is absolutely great, with enough backbone to handle reds up to 27 inches, and all the speckled trout I have caught. The weight difference between the 6 and 8 wt is not huge, but after 7 or 8 hours of casting, the difference shows up. The 6 wt Helios is the rod I would now buy if I could only have one rod for panfish, trout, speckled trout, redfish, and large and smallmouth bass. It truly can handle all of these jobs. I am fortunate to not have to settle for just one Helios, and look forward to many years of service from these great rods.
The Best -
This rod is simply one of the best there is. I have had a lot of rods in various line weights and made by different companies, but I always find myself returing to Orvis. This rod, now my fifth Orvis rod, is in my opinion the pinnacle of rod building and design. The castin stroke is crisp, clean and very responsive, as if the rod reads your mind and then begins executing the task with very little direction. The light weight and overal "feel" ensure that you can use it all day without undo fatigue, and begin the next day as if it was your first. It's also forgiving, which is very important to most casters I'm sure. If you are looking for an excelent over all heaavy trou, light bass, and light saltwater rod. This is it! I highly recomend the zg Helios 906-4(s) tip flex 9.5!
By: BKill from Upstate NY
Top 25 Contributor
This is the only rod manufactured by any company, which is coveted by anglers and crab people alike (see pic).
Dream Rod -
By: kayakangler from Central VA
The wife and I fish from our sit on top kayaks and I often take a lot of guff for buying quality gear from the gang in our fishing circle. Imagine the stir when they found I had upgraded from my high end Orvis Zero G to the new Zero G Helios. I thought I would never hear the end of it, but then they started to see my casts with the new Helios. To snap a cast that sucks up all the line stripped back in your lap from the last cast is a sweet feeling. Casting from a sitting postiion into low cover, especially against the wind is challenge enough, but placing those flies just where you want them cast after cast is work. With the new Orvis Helios Rod it's made so much easier. The rod is an extention of my arm, I feel the rod load on the backcast and the transfer of power is nearly automatic. Cast after cast with so much less effort involved means that at the end of the day I am less fatigued from the casting and instead I am pleasantly tired from the fish I have brought to the boat. This past May the wife and I spent an afternoon working a dam in a local reservoir, throwing poppers along the rip rap, and suddenly it looked as though Jaws himself was coming up from the deep. He broke the water next to the fly and missed... just plain missed, rolled sideways and was gone. My jaw dropped to my chest and I nearly fell out the other side of my yak in shock. Not to be defeated, I performed a modified roll cast to break the adhesion of the line on the water, and then neatly flicked the popper in the last direction I saw him roll and laid the fly perfectly in front of his path. This was probably the best cast of my short flyfishing experience. On the second pop, the water exploded and it was fish on! The rod bent double and the fight was on, and back and forth we went. The drag sang and the rod bent double... my heart rate was up and the rod tip was nearly in the water, it was a perfect cap to a long day. A bass like this is a nice fish for anyone, but in a kayak, they pull the boat around. It is a rush you really want to try at least once. Last but not least, my wife has a shoulder injury and I have taught her to cast with a unique motion protecting the shoulder by tucking the elbow... She has been tying our flies since I started flyfishing and I thought it was time for her to reap the benefits. I am sure the light weight of the Helios will benefit her as well. I have never regretted my decisions to buy quality, be it Orvis rods, reels or quality clothing and tying materials. The upgrade to the Helios was another smart move on my part, and this is my favorite rod for large bodies of fresh water and Salt water alike. You can't go wrong.
I can't believe the weight -
When I first picked up the 9 foot six weight Heios, I could not believe the weight or the lack of weight. Swishing a rod back and forth in a fly shop doesn't really tell you much about how it casts so when I took it outside and cast a line with the rod I was amazed. Tight loops, great line speed and distance with ease, all on a 9 foot 6 weight that feels like a 4 weight when you first pick it up.
Features of the Saltwater 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.