February 07, 2024
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The Orvis Company has launched the fourth-generation Helios fly rod (called simply the Helios rather than H4), touting the rod’s vastly improved accuracy and durability from the lauded H3 (third-generation Helios). The company claims that, compared to the H3, the new Helios is:
- 4X more accurate
- 25% more durable in extreme breakage testing
- 10% lighter swing weight
From Orvis: “Your best is now 4x better with unprecedented accuracy and the backbone to deliver when you need it most. Designed and rigorously tested to perform in the most demanding conditions, the all-new Helios™ fly rod is the go-everywhere, fish-anything option for anglers demanding power and precision. From tight-quarter trout streams to double hauling on salt flats, the versatility is a game-changer. With the world’s most accurate and powerful fly rod in your hands, anything is possible.” Read more about it here.
I had a chance to fish a 10-foot 6-weight fourth-gen Helios D on Montana’s Depuy Spring Creek (one of the few places you can legitimately fish streamers for trout around here in February) with an Orvis Pro Depth Charge 150-grain fly line and Mirage LT III reel. The swing weight improvements were obvious when I effortlessly lobbed large streamers in the stiff Paradise Valley breeze. Roll casting the sinking line was smooth and simple. I'm excited to see how it performs when high-sticking large nymphs and fishing lakes, as well. I do kind of miss that hook keeper, though.
The previous generations of the Helios rods are highly regarded by most who picked them up. Durability was an issue for some, so it's nice to hear that that has been addressed without adding weight. The original Helios, which came out in 2007 (called the ZG Helios, built off the Zero Gravity series), was a revelation in lightweight high-end fly rods. The H2 was released in 2012 to widespread acclaim, and 2017's H3 saw improvements upon that. Twenty-nine models are available for the new line, offering versions that are suitable for everything from small Eastern brook-trout streams to large Western drift-boat fishing to warmwater fishing to big-game saltwater angling. The D series offers increased line speed, lifting power, and a deep reserve of stored energy, while the Helios F series offers increased sensitivity, optimized for delicate presentations and tippet protection. The sky’s the limit for this fourth go-round.
Check out our full review in the April/May 2024 issue.
The MSRP for the new Helios rods is $1,098 for the freshwater rods and $1,198 for the big game rods (anything with a fighting butt).
Josh Bergan is Fly Fisherman’s digital editor.