Orvis Helios 2 Fly Rods
The new Orvis Helios 2 rods are as light in hand as the original Helios (the lightest fly rods in the world), but with greatly improved tapers that reduce the swing weight. Precision casting has been improved with refined tapers and increased damping. The rods are stronger than the original Helios, and also have double the impact strength in the tips. Helios 2 rods are still 100% made in USA in the Orvis Rod Shop in Manchester, Vermont.
Orvis testers (which included me, Dave Hise) have been raving about how smooth these rods are in casting, and how accurate they are. That’s the name of the game— if a rod is a delight to cast and it gets your fly exactly where you want it, fly fishing is just plain fun.
Is it comprised of a hot new material? Not really. Orvis is using a secret ultra-light additive (not carbon fiber) in its tip sections to increase tip impact strength in addition to the graphite/resin system used in the first generation of Helios rods. The real secret to the amazing light feel and much smoother casting characteristics lies in how the fibers and resin systems are combined to create the taper, which utilizes Orvis’ patented thermoplastic technology.
The same kind of technological shift is happening in other high-tech sporting products such as performance road bikes, where a recent article in Men’s Journal stated, “The bike’s tech revolution is as much about the methods used in their design as their materials”.
According to Shawn Combs, Orvis rod developer, “We’ve increased the impact strength in the tips of these rods by 100%, and made the tips lighter at the same time, giving you less fatigue when casting and more sensitivity. But what’s even more important to the angler is the additional horsepower you get from your casting stroke. A fly rod can be viewed as an infinite series of springs that transition from stiff at the cork to very flexible at the tip. We’ve virtually tuned each spring to work perfectly within the system to give you the smoothest possible power curve during casting. It’s a whole new construction for us.”
No BS, damn thing is like casting with a laser pointer.
Bubba Smith, Fisheads of the San Juan
Power - yes! Great, effortless casting with a 14' leader, double leech set up hung under indicator, even into stiff headwinds this week. Amazing backbone to fight these fish, especially to pull them out of the reeds where we were hooking up.
Dave Jensen, Fly Fish Alberta
Loving the 9 and 10wt H2s. Been handling tuna, trevally, queenfish and an array of other species. All good so far, super light, super strong, great castability and fighting sticks. Jono Shales, Australia The 966 is vastly more sensitive than the Helios version and much easier to load for the inexperienced angler.
Toby Swank, Montana Fins & Feathers
That is the finest casting tool I have ever used. It is just unreal how the tip doesn't jump no matter how much line or how hard I threw it. It dampens superbly. Loads effortlessly.
Chuck Hawkins, Hawkins Outfitters, Michigan
INSANE! These rods might as well have a remote control.
Dave Hise, Casters Fly Shop, North Carolina
Helios 2 reel seats feature nickel-plated aluminum, which is harder and more abrasion-resistant than anodized aluminum. The freshwater configuration uses a gorgeous California buckeye burl insert and the saltwater versions have a woven carbon insert. All rods utilize Recoil guides for reduced weight and better line shooting.