Orvis Helios 3 – IFTD 2017

This is a first look review of the all new Helios fly rod with Tom Rosenbauer of Orvis at the International Fly Tackle Dealer show 2017.

Orvis has introduced its Helios 3 rod to the world and is billing the rod as “the most accurate rod on the planet.”

Building on the lightness and strength of the Helios 2 rods, the Orvis rod designers spent 5 years and looked at over 60 combinations of graphite and resin systems before finding the perfect match. But it is not just about materials. Using new construction methods they greatly improved the tracking (horizontal vibration reduction) and damping (vertical oscillation reduction) of the rod tip after the cast is completed, leading to fewer waves in the line and a fly that goes exactly where the angler points. The rod was designed from the ground up to be the most accurate fly rod ever built because fly fishing is often a game of inches. The superbly controlled energy transfer in the rods makes anglers of all abilities more accurate.

The new material and fabrication also achieved a 17% increase in tensile strength and a 40% in-crease in hoop strength, along with a 77% increase in impact strength. With this added strength comes a lighter swing weight, so the rods feel even lighter in hand than the Helios 2. The rods will be available in two configurations in line weights 8 and below—Helios 3F (moderate action) for pinpoint accuracy and more delicacy at typical distances, and Helios 3-D for accuracy on longer casts, with bigger flies, and in tough winds. (Above 8 weight, all rods are in the D configuration).

Helios 3 rods are made from start to finish in the Orvis rod shop in Manchester, Vermont. The type 3 anodized reel seats are also made in Vermont, in the same machine shop that crafts the Mirage reel. Finish on the rods is a non-glare, UV-resistant coating for greater stealth.

Helios 3 rods will be available in mid-September 2017. Four models (5 and 8-weight, both action types) will be released initially, with an additional four models (6, 7, and 9) in November. By March 2018 all 25 models will be in stock, in line sizes 3 through 12.