Orvis Helios 2 Rod Review

Orvis Helios 2 Rod Review

January 20, 2013 6:34 pm Published by 3 Comments
Orvis Helios 2

Orvis Helios 2

We first got our hands on the the Helios 2 rods this summer, during the peak of last years epic dry fly fishing. The first thing we noticed was the stunning good looks of not only the rod, but also the rod tube.  The precedent setting good looks of the Helios 2 starts with a rich, deep blue blank, complimented by a black anodized skeleton reel seat with a California burl insert. While we had a great  first impression casting these rods in the parking lot, the real test was about to come on the water.

Power and accuracy were the first two things to come to mind after fishing the 9′ 5 weight tip flex Helios 2.  Saying that the Helios 2 provided UN-paralleled power and accuracy as we fished double caddis dry fly rigs from a moving drift boat would not be an over statement in the least.  We fished the 9′ 5 weight in a wide variety of fishing situations from tricos, to hoppers and even tandem nymph rigs.  The rod excelled in each instance.  The tip flex version of the Helios 2 is a power house and can easily handle any situation the Bighorn could throw at you during the course of a fishing day.

If you are a fan of slower action fly rods, have a slower casting stroke or looking to play the small fly game with long leaders and a delicate presentation, the mid-flex Helios 2 rods may be a better option for you.  The 9’ 4 weight mid flex that we were able to fish during a morning trico emergence provided the perfect balance of finesse and power for delicate dry fly fishing.

While we were unable fish the new 10 foot Helios 2 rods, we are really excited about applying these longer rods to nymph fishing situations on the Bighorn.  We are huge fans of 10’ rods on the ‘Horn because of the line control and mending capabilities when fishing with indicator nymph rigs.  We have thrown a lot of the new 10’ and 9’9” rods on the market and the biggest thing that gets me is the heavy handed feel of many of these longer rods.  The Helios 2 was the lightest and most well balanced 10’ I have cast yet.  If you haven’t tried a 10′ rod, do it. They will make you a better nymph fisherman.

While each of the Helios 2 models were impressive in their own way, the one thing that was synonymous with all of them was the accuracy of each rod. All the rods tracked beautifully and put the fly right on the money with laser-like accuracy.  All in all, the 5 & 6 weight tip-flex models are the all around get it done Bighorn rods.  The mid-flex 4 & 5 weight rods would be hard to beat for your dry fly fishing needs.  For those of you that love to nymph, the 10’ rods would be a game changing rod to add to your arsenal.  We are excited to get out and test the 7 & 8 weight rods in the near future, expecting them to be impressive streamer rods.

We have a selection of Helios 2 rods in the shop this  season.  Please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions about them or stop in the shop to put one in your hand and experience them for yourself.

Orvis Helios 2

Orvis Helios 2

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This post was written by Bighornangler


  • Tom Kuieck says:

    Thanks for the thorough review; best available! Very helpful.

    I guide on Michigan’s Muskegon where our casts vary from close-in to far-out. For nymphing and dry fly work, I fish Sage One 4 wts. and love them, but am wondering how the 10′ H2 mid-flex would perform. The extra foot of length helps clients mend with the heavier rods we fish for steelhead. We fish both from jet sleds and wade so the extra foot of length is appealing.

    What do you think of the mid-flex 10′ 4 wt when compared to the Sage One 9′ 4 wt. as a client rod?
    Thanks much!

    • mtangler says:


      The Orvis Helios 2 does come in a 10′ 4wt tip flex. I feel that they made this 10′ rod in a tip flex so the rod didn’t get too soft with the extra length. It is a stiff rod for a 10 footer but would be able to handle long casts and presentations at any distance. But for beginners and in close fishing I think the 10′ 4 wt Hardy Zenith that we also carry, would be a better all around 10 footer. I think these rods have a lower swing weight and have a softer tip, creating more feel especially for beginners. I think it would be a better rod for in close fishing, line control, feeding slack and mending.

      Both are great sticks, we are splitting hairs here. If you need an all around cannon I would go with the Orvis if you want a rod for pure line control and presentation I would go with the Hardy.

      Great Question!



  • Tom Kuieck says:

    Wow, talk about getting lines tangled! You undoubtedly were left scratching your heads over my asking a question about a rod that doesn’t exist! Guess my fascination with 10′ rods took over. Let’s try this again, then.

    How does the 9′ mid-flex H2 compare with the Sage One 9′? Does the mid-flex action make the H2 more competitive with the Sage One for close-in work and nymphing?

    Sorry for the confusing earlier question!

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