Helios™ 9-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex

The Helios 9' 9-weight fast-action fly rod is perfect for big bones and stripers. Made in USA.


3 1/4 oz. 9', 4-piece, Tip-Flex fly rod for 9-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 new patent pending Helios fly rod is so far ahead of all other fly rods 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 travel rods is like comparing graphite to bamboo. There is no comparison. The Helios travel rod is that good. And everyone is noticing.

Salt species: 5-30 lbs. Best travel rod for big bones and big stripers. Beats the wind with incredible butt strength. Ice cleans out of Recoil guides quickly and easily. A real plus when steelheading or trout fishing in cold conditions. Made in USA.

Rod outfit includes:

  • ZG Helios™ 909-4 Tip Flex 9.5 Fly Rod
  • Mirage V Reel - Gold
  • Hydros Saltwater WF8 - Horizon Blue
  • 250 yards of 30lb Dacron backing
  • Carbon fiber rod tube and cloth rod sack

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


Overall: 4.6/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 4.6 / 5 based on 23 reviews

5 stars 5-star:
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21 of 23 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Awesome - 4/2/2012
    By: from Ct

    I recently had a clearwater pole and the tip broke.. Called Orvis and I was able to upgrade to the Helios what a great pole.. I would definitely recommend this pole to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Helios Nine Tipper - 1/31/2012

    It seems today when companies create fly rods designed for the salt, this marketing trend of "faster is better" has in a lot of ways, hindered fly rod design. Many companies saltwater fly rods are so stiff the average angler has to over-line them by one or two line weights to be able to cast them. They make an angler work twice as hard as one really should have to and simply put, they are not great fishing tools, they are just a product of bad marketing. Fortunately, that is NOT the case with the Orvis Helios series of fly rods, the Helios 909-4 Tip-Flex fly rod is without a doubt the finest 9 weight fly rod I have ever had the pleasure of fishing. It actually casts well with a 9 weight line, it's not too soft and not too stiff, the taper allows one to fish effectively at 20' or 100'and can lay down a fly delicately in flat calm conditions just as well as it can punch one into a 25 knot wind. If I could own one fly rod for Bull Reds, it would be this fly rod matched with a Hydros 9 weight Redfish taper line. The Helios technology allows one to fish all day without getting wore out due to the rods extreme light weight. Don't let that fool you though, it is one powerful rod and more durable than anything else I have seen in a long time. The only problem I can foresee with it is, now I want another one!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    What a rod - 5/12/2011
    Top 1000 Contributor

    This rod is a cannon. From stripers and blues on the cape to kings in the salmon river, this rod has got you covered. Very light in hand and plenty of backbone when you need it. Awesome product

  • 2/5 stars 2/5

    Great Rod...While it stayed together - 5/3/2011

    I purchased this rod in late 2009 from my local Orvis store. It worked very well the first season, offering many good days of Fishing for stripers on the Eats End of Long island. Unfortunately when I went to take it out for the first time in 2010, I went to attach my reel and saw that the butt end of the rod was separating from the rest of the rod. It looks to me like the glue attaching the butt end had dried up and rendered the rod useless. I would have hoped that an 800 dollar rod would have been better built.

  • 1/5 stars 1/5

    By: from Bermuda

    I was very excited to get my new 909-4 Helios and the appearance and feel of the rod was great, everything i had expected. However after snapping the top section of the rod three times in less than a year, once on a steelhead, once on bonefish and once while pulling line through I decided I'd had enough. The rod was returned to Orvis and I got a credit. Even though I'm not a great fan of this particular rod, and feel let down by it, the Orvis customer service department has to commended for there excellence service and commitment to looking after the customer. I've been a life long fan of Orvis and I've never been let down by anything before. Will i purchase from Orvis again?? Absolutely.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Incredible rod ... with a glitch. - 2/25/2011

    This rod casts like nothing else, and it's beautiful. The problem is that the reel seat is sticky and fragile. I have gotten the reel seat stuck twice, which can add a frustrating component to an otherwise perfect day of casting and fishing. Twice I have had to bring the rod home and work on it with WD40 to get the reel free. Otherwise, this is a beauty.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Quantum leap - 6/24/2010

    I purchased a 9wt Tip Flex Helios about 6 months ago and was initially blown away by the finnish, the quality of the cork and the recoil eyes and the incredibly light weight. I didn't have an opportunity to fish the rod at all until last week when I visited the remote Barotse area of northern Zambia to fish for trophy Tiger Fish. 5 days of fishing roughly 11 hours a day and I am now 100% convinced that there is no other fly rod on the market that is even vaguely comparable to the Helios. The ease of casting a full line, the seemingly illogical blend of line feel and serious backbone on full casts puts this rod into its own very special category. I had taken along an Orvis T3 and previous model Helios, as well as 2 other premium 'competitor' 9 wt's. Well, they are no longer competitors and I didn't even bother fishing with them! Absolutely brilliant and the best part was possibly the look on my fishing buddies face when I finally let him have a few casts with the Helios - he is ordering one this week!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    A rod that meets my expectation - 8/24/2009
    By: from Boston

    I started off saltwater fly-fishing with Clear water II and BBS V reel. After spending much time in the water fighting and playing with big Stripers, I decided to upgrade to Helios 9wt with a large arbor reel. The fishing experience is priceless. Now, I find myself casting with significant accuracy and distance. The rod is so sensitive that I can feel the tip during casting which is good for night casting. Of course a large arbor reel allows me to reel in big fighters without having to burn my biceps. Indeed, a great rod that meets my expectation!!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    outstanding rod - 6/21/2009
    By: from missouri
    Top 1000 Contributor

    amazing is the only way i can describe this rod- it is not only beautiful but performs beyond what i thought- i have tried most high end rods and own several- bought this rod with mixed expectations- WOW- 1 false cast 70 foot and accurate- it performs like no other rod i have had or do currently own- no doubt i will get more in other weights- you need to try this one-

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Great Striper Rod - 6/3/2009
    By: from Southern Vermont

    I used this rod in a recent striper strip where it got use from a boat as well as pounding the beach. I am mostly used to freshwater rods and was worried how my arms would feel after 3 days of casting 12 hours a day. I ended up having no arm fatigue as in the dark I could swear I was throwing my 5 weight for trout. I know you're thinking I am full of it, but just try it and you'll be amazed at how light this rod is in the hand. The rod performs perfectly and I would recommend it to anyone who needs a great all-around salt water rod.


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

Features of the Saltwater 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™
  • corrosion-resistant woven graphite & gold-anodized aluminum reel seat
  • flexible 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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  • ZG Helios™ 909-4 Tip Flex 9.5 Fly Rod (Not Available) $825.00 Sale: $659.00
  • Outfit - includes Mirage V reel, Hydros Saltwater Fly Line (Not Available) $1,295.00
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