Toggle Mobile
Orvis Heilos 2 9'#6

Orvis Helios 2

George’s Comments:

The Orvis Helios 2 has always been one of my favorite 6-weight rods.   This rod has a very nice fast action, feels great in my hand and is very light, and along with the Recon, these are the lightest overall weight rods in our Shootout.  The Helios 2 is also one of the lightest in swing weight, which is so important in a rod that you will be doing a lot of false casting with all day long, fishing dries like hoppers.   In performance this rod does everything well, from shorter distances to long.  Not quite as good as the very best rods at specific distances but a very solid performance overall.    The one thing that I love is the looks of this rod in a sparkling dark blue with matching blue wraps.   And the craftsmanship is extremely good – something we have found to be very consistent year after year.   We have had many satisfied customers buy this rod over the past few years.   

The handle is a western style grip, just the right size, and the cork that they use is as good or better than you will see on any rod.    The reel seat is an elegant slotted uplocking seat with a bluish burl wood that complements the color of the rod.  A single uplocking ring is used.

The guide set up is one fairly large SiC stripper with the rest our favorite nickel/titanium snake guides that flex and won’t break, and are also very light – one of the reasons this rod has such a light swing weight.   

George’s casting notes:    The perfect line-  S.A. MPX in WF-6-F

Performance at 30 feet:  19 points out of 20

Nice feel and good accuracy.  Not quite as good as the Air, Sky, or Radian but certainly equal to the Zephrus.

Performance at 50 feet:   19 points out of 20

Again matches the Zephrus and a good performance here but I felt that the Sky and the Cross SX threw tighter loops with better accuracy.

Performance at 75 feet:   19 points out of 20

Nice loop control with little effort.  Almost as good as the Cross SX and definitely better than the Zephrus.

Orvis Helios 2

James’ Comments:

The Helios 2 is a fantastic casting and fishing tool.  It’s a tremendous blend of power and feel, all bundled in a lightweight package.  While some may prefer the full flexing mid-flex version, I like the tip flex better as I feel it has more power for setting the hook, playing fish, and casting in the wind, casting further, or casting larger flies or nymph rigs with more weight.  It does all this at no risk of tippet breakage or loss of feel in close.  For me, no question the tip-flex is the uncompromised, better all around version. 

Take a good look at the tip-flex H2’s deflection compared to some of the other rods and you’ll notice where the power comes from.  This rod has a lot of backbone and clearly has the guts to get things done when it matters most – whether that means pulling a big brown away from the underwater log jam it came from, or not giving up on a great cloudy streamer day just because the wind picked up.  The H2 is a rod you can trust to have your back in all circumstances. 

Cosmetically the Helios 2 is a role model for all rods.  No corners were cut here, with great cork, a classy looking reel seat, and immaculate epoxy work.  The blue color shines in the sun and looks great matched to the gray reel seat and gray tinted wood insert.  Like the Radian, each insert is different and gives each rod a unique feel.  It would be cool to see Orvis do some hand written work on their rods, but the way that they have added their logo to the rod (and extra information) still looks balanced and appropriate. 

If you haven’t had the chance to cast one of these rods, include it in your own mini-shootout while deciding which rod to purchase.  I think you will be surprised.  Of all the H2s I think the 9’ 6-weight is my personal cherry pick of the lot.  Great design, great execution, great looks, great rod.

Performance at 30 feet:  19 points out of 20

This rod certainly feels light but it also feels a little too stiff for a perfect score in close.  Accuracy was spot on and the light swing weight made it a winner. 

Performance at 50 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

Crisp, effortless loops.  I’m impressed by the H2s feel and power.  Only the Douglas Sky, Loop Cross SX, and NRX felt better at this distance.  This is a fun rod to cast. Even in a stiff headwind it held its own.

Performance at 75 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

Not bad!  At this distance the H2 feels like it has more reserve power than the NRX, but not nearly as much power as the Sky, Cross SX, or Asquith.  That being said, I’d still put the H2 up there as one of the best 6-weight rods to use in windy conditions, or when throwing long.  It also has some serious backbone to keep that big brown from going underneath the undercut bank once he’s hooked.

Orvis Helios 2 9'#6

Logan’s Comments:

The Orvis Helios 2 has always been one of my favorite rods.  Year after year the Helios 2 impresses me.  Orvis found a real winner with this rod and “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”  If you own this rod you already know it, but if you don’t, you need to try this thing already!!

Logan’s Casting Notes: 

Performance at 30 feet: 19.5 points out of 20

This is where the Helios 2 really shines.  This rod would be a great hopper rod and would be the perfect drift boat rod.

Performance at 50 feet: 19 points out of 20

At 50 feet the Helios 2 is still great.  This rod has an excellent balance of power and feel.

Performance at 75 feet: 18 points out of 20

At 75 feet the Orvis was still doing it.  It was easy for me to find my timing and I was able to make consistent casts at distance.

Orvis H2

 JG’s Comments: 

Light, powerful, and accurate, the Helios by Orvis is still a top rod in the 6 wt. category despite being a few years old.  Its light-weight and crisp action give it a great feel that makes you want to keep your hands on this rod.

30 Feet:  20 points out of 20

I liked this rod a lot for in close work and was surprised by how proficient it was at casting to short-range targets.  The “wiggle test” would lead you to believe that it would perform much like many other very fast action rods.  Accurate in close but lacking in delicacy, the Helios is a well-designed rod though, and made accurate delicate casts with ease. 

50 Feet:  20 points out of 20

The mid range result left nothing to be desired, no matter the wind, I found the Helios to be accurate giving lots of feed back and sensitivity to the angler and promoting accuracy.  This is a great mix of power and delicacy making a great mid range tool for anything you’d care to do with a 6 wt.

75 Feet:   20 points out of 20

This rod scored highly for me because of its action.  I like very smooth rods and a powerful butt section that tapers smoothly to a tip that is just soft enough and this is just what the Helios delivers.  The Tip makes great short casts, the taper’s blend helps at mid range and the power in the butt makes this a great rod for distance work as well.  I found the bulls-eye with ease and the super lightweight of the Helios would make it easy to cast all day long.

Orvis Helios 2
Orvis Helios 2
Orvis Helios 2
Orvis Helios 2
Orvis Helios 2
Orvis Helios 2
Orvis Helios 2
Orvis Helios 2