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Fly fishing has come a long way since the beginning of Orvis back in 1856, but like most pieces of gear, they evolve and improve over time. The Orvis Helios 4, or Helios, is out, so here are some first impressions of the new fly rod.
Sure, you can still fish with old equipment and catch fish, but the technological improvements of the fourth Helios fly rod are slated to make this fly rod the best, most accurate fly rod on the market.
What makes the Helios great?
Previous versions of the Helios fly rod were always one of the top fly rods in the market, but plenty of new brands have come along within the price point that has offered anglers some options and created friendly competition. Sage, Winston, Scott Fly Rods, and Thomas & Thomas, are all top competitors in the industry.
Orvis is banking on this latest Helios as being the best fly rod available based on three core elements; accuracy, swing weight, and durability.
Those three things are key to a great fly rod because it will help with catching more fish and being on the water longer without worry of a huge fish, or a gentle car door, breaking your rod.
Why is an accurate fly rod important?
Not everyone blind casts into the water just hoping to catch a fish. When you want to start catching fish you’re dropping your fly in very specific locations. If you’re looking for a new trophy Rainbow Trout, or large Redfish, you need to be able to put the fly EXACTLY where you want it to go.
The better you’ll be able to do that, the more fish you’ll catch. Period. And the new Helios fly rod is marketed as being 4X more accurate than the Helios 3.
The accuracy in the previous generations of fly rods was measured by use-case and eyeballs, but now Orvis has the science and data to back it up.
The impressive Vermont rod shop now has a state-of-the-art research & development department that was built to be able to put the fly rods to the test but to also measure those results.
What you have now are multiple data points showing the path of the fly rod, and the line measured like you’d see the spin rate of a baseball.
The results are fascinating.
By measuring verticle and horizontal tip displacement, rod engineers are now able to ensure the Helios rod creates a linear path that is more accurate for the angler and will ensure precision to place that fly exactly where it needs to go. Competitors, and even the previous version, have more sway within the line, and that vibration from the rod to line creates a path outside of the intended line.
But of course, until someone has this rod in hand will they ultimately decide if those claims translate to real-world use.
“Less swing weight without compromise”
Two reel seats are available in the Orvis Helios 4 fly rod: A black aluminum reel seat for big game rods, and a burled hardwood reel seat for small game models. These reel seats are made with Type III anodized aluminum in New Hampshire.
The anodizing will help with scratches, and durability for those harsher water environments, but more importantly, the aluminum also helps bring the weight of the rod down.
A 10% reduction in swing weight is what was attained with the new materials, but this only translates after long hours on the water.
The stripping guides are Titanium, the corks have been reimagined for additional comfort, and the snake guides still feature REC recoil titanium.
Durable rods mean fishing again and again
The engineers managed to make the new Helios fly rod 25% more stronger than its previous generation by taking a look at stress points and reinforcing those areas without adding to the weight of the rod.
According to information from Orvis, the rods were bent repeatedly to see where they break, and how far each model bends, and used that data to see where improvements could be made.
Knowing you have a stronger fly rod in hand will ensure confidence on the water to reel in those bigger fish and get into the net with an improved feel.
Orvis Helios Pricing & Warranty
There are still two models of the Helios Fly Rod, but both Helio D & Helios F range from $1098-$1198 depending on the weight of rod.
There are also a larger variety rod lengths and weights, so you’ll be able to grab a rod that’s perfect for your style of fishing.
Orvis Helios is backed back the 25 year warranty, so even though they’re slated as being more durable, accidents happen, so it’s good to know that these rods can be fixed or replaced and have you back on the water.
The following are first looks at the rod tube and reel seat: