Orvis Helios 2… Is It Really “The Second Coming?”


The New Helios

There’s already plenty of buzz surrounding Orvis and its launch of a new high-end rod line, dubbed “Helios 2.”  Truth be told, I got a prototype 5-weight to play around with several weeks ago, and I noticed it had “The Second Coming” playfully inscribed just above the reel seat.

So let’s call it like it is.  The last five years have seen greater advances in fly rod design, among many manufacturers, than we’ve seen in the past 30 years.   A lot of that has to do with space age materials, nano-silica polymers, and so forth.  Rod companies are using better components  to make better rods, no doubt.  And it seems that every company has its own twist on creating a value pitch.

I will say, for the record, that Orvis changed the paradigm with the introduction of Helios.  Lighter, faster, stronger, purer… it lived up to its billing.  Helios changed the way we all thought about fly rods.

So after a number of companies caught up (or exceeded) Helios with their own designs (a very good thing for the average consumer), I had to wonder if “H2” was a reaction or an action.  I was a cynic.  Then I took the prototype to the lake by my house, unfurled a full fly line, and met my backing knot for the first time in years.  Does that distance translate to good fishing?  Of course not.  The real appeal is accuracy and control in that vital 25-45-foot range.

I then found a handful of guides and shop owners who aren’t affiliated with Orvis, had them cast the rod, and listened to what they had to say.  The consensus was, “Wow, I’ve never cast a rod quite like this.”

In other words, yes, Helios 2 is all it’s cracked up to be.  I’ve fished it with dries, streamers and nymph rigs, and it’s easily one of the best pure-casting (and fish fighting) all-around, do anything rods I’ve ever handled.

While some of you non-Orvis dealers might think that’s bad news, I think it’s good news, because the bar just got lifted that much higher.  To me, Orvis had the taper all along, at least from the original Helios.  And now the company has plowed all the latest technology into enhancing that taper. Retail is $725.




  1. I fished with an Orvis guide in the spring that had one of the “Second Coming” rods strung up. If I recall it was a six weight and we slung streamers with it. It cast well and lived up to the Helios name. As you suggest, Helios changed the game. At the same price point, H2 should continue the legacy. Just glad they didn’t double the price.

  2. BULL, Orvis did not start this trend. It was called the Loomis Streamdance. Wow the Helios is ultralight. Big Deal. Listen to you hype up this rod. Id take the ONE or NRX anyday. Orvis was behind the mark in developing a quality fast action rod. I cant believe how crazy people are about this rod. The first generation Hydros was a better rod. Why did they get rid of it,?because people who are just focused on buying the highest end rod and aren’t on the company pro hand out ticket were buying that instead. Yes I loath Orvis and their yuppie clothing catalogs, and tweed,but this rod, which I have cast, isn’t anything special. You are also right, who cares if it casts far. Is it acturate in tight conditions at 25ft. Nope.

Leave A Reply