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Overall: 5.0 / 5 based on 14 reviews
14 of 14 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Favorite Big River Helios -
By: UpNorthFlyCastings from Aroostook County, Maine
So after years of hesitation I finally made the move of a lifetime and purchased my first Helios. A family member and well respected Maine guide suggested I opt for the 5wt 10ft tip flex, and I couldn't be more happy that he made the suggestion. I paired it with the new 5wt Hydros 3D trout line, and simply can't get over how much line this rod throws using so little effort. With the wind, against the wind, in the absence of wind, it really doesn't matter--this Helios is a rocket launcher. The extra foot makes mending a breeze, and coming from someone who has very little experience casting heavy sink tips, it employs more than enough power to turn over heavy streamer rigs at great distances. My first fish using this helios was a landlocked salmon of nearly 4lbs, and this rod gave me the power and leverage needed to get the fish to the boat and released quickly. This will be my primary rod fishing the big rivers of northern Maine for years to come. It can go the distance and reach out to fish at distances I never would have even attempted to reach previously. I've even done some substantial trolling and the Helios impressed me with how solid it felt dragging multiple streamers in and out of heavy currents. I fish 100+ days a year, and this Helios will be my go-to rod for my than 95+ of those days. Truly an amazing fly rod, worth every penny.
Best all-around rod -
When fishing water in the Northwest like the Yakima River, you need a versatile, "go-anywhere" rod for changing conditions—big wind, big flies, and big water. The Helios 10-foot 5-weight Tip Flex is my go-to rod in the west. From roll-casting long leaders with large stonefly nymphs to perfect tight loops, accurate delivery of foamy dries, and swinging wet flies, this is the one rod that you need. The additional foot in length and the fast action make picking up line an easy task—also key when high-sticking through narrow slots as well as performing a reach cast. If you fish the Northwest and need one rod for the changing conditions, this is my professional recommendation. -Derek Young Professional Guide, 2011 Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide of the Year, Emerging River Guide Services, Washington
One of My Prize Possessions -
By: GreenbackCuthroats from NYC
Really love this rod. Casts great. Weighs nothing. Very sensitive. Lets even me deliver a dry perfectly. Not sure any rod is worth $800 but if anyone is this is the one. Broke the rod last year and Orvis promptly replaced. Love their customer service. If the rod is in your budget its a no brainer decision.
The best nymphing rod ever -
By: Donn from I fish all over but love to trout fish in Utah.
I bought my ZG Helios 105-4 Tip Flex shortly after they were introduced and I have used it for years for tail water nymp fishing. Absolutely fantastic for distance and presentation. This rod can throw dry flys and heavily weighted nymphs. Full disclosure: when the hatch is on I go to my 3-wt. But for nymphing this is the rod for me! Unfortunately, I broke this rod this last summer doing something stupid trying to dislodge a snag. Orvis replaced it within a week! Talk about service.
THE Big Stream Rod -
By: Thom from Buffalo
Top 50 Contributor
I began to fish a larger stream this year in a different part of the state, my recent retirement freeing me for more travels and adventures. The fish in this stream are all wild, and notoriously picky fish. The currents are complex and reach and line mends are important. After a couple of trips, I felt I needed a longer rod, and bought the 10 ft 5 wt Helios. I instantly noticed the difference in distance and ability to mend line and get better and longer floats. You will not believe the distance that the 10 ft adds to your casting if you are used to a 9 ft. I was very impressed with the rod. After a couple of trips I went into the local fly shop at this stream that carries EVERYTHING. You name the line of rod, whether it be U.S. or England, and they have it. I was discussing rods with them and they voluntarily said, "the 10 ft. 5 wt. Helios is the rod for this stream." Later, I booked a float trip on this stream and noticed that my guide had a 10 ft. Helios in the boat. I asked him about it, and he had the same glowing recommendation. For a bigger rod, I was impressed that I could use it all day, and not have shoulder aches. I will be 60 in a few weeks, and it was nice to be able to use the big rod, with no issues whatsoever. Great stick folks.
Perfect nymph Rod -
Top 1000 Contributor
I love everything about this rod. The extra length allows for long drag free drifts. Roll casting indicator rigs is a breeze. This rod is simply amazing it weighs next to nothing in hand and has all the backbone you could ever need for large trout and big smallmouth on the river.
By: Babmm from Michigan
I just fished this rod on the Pere Marquette in Michigan and it was fabulous. Indicator rigs cast like a dream and long, drag free floats helped me to hook four and land three. I can't wait to try conventional casting when the weather breaks (if ever).
Great Nymph Rod -
Top 250 Contributor
After fishing with a good friend of mine who was using the 10’ 5wt rod and watching how easy he made it look I decided to buy one for my recent trip to the San Juan with Fishheads. What a great decision. I spent two days in a drift boat with some high winds in the afternoon. The 10’ rod vs. my 8’6” rod made a big difference in getting long drifts by being able to mend in a strong wind. An unexpected advantage of this rod is that when you get a strike with a slight movement you can lift a lot of line very quickly to set the hook.
Dream Come True -
By: flyfishingmack from The Mountains, NC
Top 250 Contributor
I recieved this rod as a gift for my Birthday recently and since i have been lusting over this rod since their release it is truly a dream come true. Not only does it cast and carry a long line really well, what ever line you cast out you can mend. A great rod for super long drifts and it is crazy light. I can't wait to hook into a carp or a steelie this winter just to see if it has as much back bone as it feels like it does. Kudos to Orvis this rod is amazing.
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.