Orvis Helios 3 Fly Rod

Light and accurate from anywhere

by Saturday, 16 December 2017

There are a lot of interesting claims made in fly rod marketing at times, often with limited translation into a noticeable benefit for the fly fisher. Orvis’s aim in developing the Helios 3 was to increase accuracy, and they have delivered.
First impression on picking up the Helios 3 is its lightness in the hand — even in an 8-weight you barely notice you’re holding it. After casting the rod all day on the flats this is a big factor, dramatically reducing fatigue in your hand, arm, shoulder and back.
The Helios 3 comes in two models: the 3D (Distance) and the 3F (Finesse). While you can reasonably translate these to fast and medium-fast actions, or tip and mid-flex, Orvis is changing the paradigm here to get people thinking more about the rod’s application.
When fishing both models the difference is noticeable. The 3D carries plenty of line speed and punches heavier flies into strong head-winds without compromising feel and accuracy, whereas the 3F with its deeper flex provides even more feel and accuracy at short to mid-range, ensuring careful presentations.
In both models the increased stability in the rod really does translate into more accurate tracking. The effective damping makes the rod feel very stable in hand, allowing you to focus your attention on delivery to a target. The feel and recovery of the rod are extremely responsive, and even in the 3D it is easy to feel your loading cues, improving the timing of your casting strokes.
The reduced weight and increased accuracy does not come at the expense of power, speed or strength. This is the strongest rod in the Helios family yet, at 85" of deflection to break (increased from 72" in the H2). When hooked up to a fish the same stable dynamics allow you to control the fish and get things on your terms while translating a high degree of feel for what the fish is doing at the other end.
The Helios 3 is currently coming hot off the mandrels. The best selling 5- and 8-weights were released in September, with the remaining range being released progressively over the coming months.