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Orvis Helios 2: “A Great Rod at Nearly All Distances”
Orvis maintain that this rod is “lighter in hand and 20% stronger than any rod we’ve ever developed”.
Independent reviewers tend to agree, saying that although it is very light (a 5-weight), it is a great rod at nearly all distances, and while it is perhaps not quite as good as its competitors at long distances, it should find particular favor with dry-fly anglers.
The rod is hand-built and has won a number of awards:
Best in Class, as judged by the Gear Institute, 2012; Recipient of an Editor’s Choice Award from Fly Fusion magazine, 2012; Winner of Fly Fisherman magazine’s Best New Rod Series award, 2013; Winner of Men’s Journal Gear of the Year Award, 2012; Winner of American Angler’s Gear of the Year Award as one of the best new fly-fishing products chosen by the magazine’s editorial staff.
Here is an extract from a review by Fishwest, who compared it with a number of other 5-weight rods on offer.
Orvis Helios 2
The Helios 2 is the flagship of the Orvis line with good reason. Building off of the 2007 release of the original Helios, the H2 is 20% lighter and stronger than its predecessor the Helios.
If the performance of the rod doesn’t speak for itself the ascetics of the rod most certainly will. The deep blue blank and the Machined aluminum reel seat with beautiful wood insert take this rod over the top.
As always in order to maintain fairness within the test we utilized the same reel and line combination with each rod. For this test we have decided to use the Clearwater Fly Reel from Orvis and that is paired with the Gold Taper fly line from Rio.
30ft: Paired with the Rio Gold Line I feel like this rod did okay loading up within this distance. The presentation qualities of this rod would suffer in my opinion due to the tip being a little on the stiffer side when paired with this line.
I honestly believe that if an angler overlined this rod it would definitely perform much better in what I would consider “typical” trout range.
50ft: This is where the rod really started to shine. This is where the rod became more accurate and a lot easier to cast. Flies landed like a whisper.
The extremely lightweight nature of the rod itself made it both easy and highly enjoyable to cast at this distance.
70ft: Again long distance casts were smooth as silk and as easy as 1st grade level math homework. Again the rod handled the casts with grace and precision.
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