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Why Orvis? And Helios 2 Gear Review

January 10, 2014
Author: Will Rice

All photos and video courtesy of Alex Landeen

Back in June of 2013 Trouts Fly Fishing announced that we were bringing a new brand and rod manufacturer under our roof here at 1303 East 6th Avenue.  The news caught a lot of people’s attention.  Why?  Because the brand was Orvis.

Since then we’ve had a great time introducing Orvis to a lot of new customers. But we still get a lot of questions.  The #1 question: Why?

The answer is threefold.  Orvis has been in the fly fishing business for generations, they do a lot of great research and development work and are constantly bringing new products to the table, and Orvis has consistently done a great job in community outreach and they have introduced a lot of new people to the sport of fly fishing.  Introducing new people to fly fishing is something we do here everyday at the shop.  We’re proud of that.  When new anglers are introduced to the sport we believe that will equate to new and more people caring about the natural resources and rivers that enable us to enjoy fly fishing here in Colorado an beyond.

All photos and video courtesy of Alex Landeen

There was a really interesting post over at Gink & Gasoline blog about their take on Orvis that we wanted to share.  The article makes a lot of great points but the follow up conversation is worth reading as well. 

As we kick off the new year we’re looking forward to talking to a lot of new people and sharing what we know best: fly fishing.  And without any further ado, here is a quick gear review on the Orvis Helios 2. Next up will be a review on the Orvis Mirage Reel. Rick Mikesell has spent over a year fishing different H2s, most notably on a saltwater trip with mako-madman Conway Bowman.

All photos and video courtesy of Alex Landeen

The Orvis Helios 2 – What We Say

"Over the past year, I have had the privilege to fish different models of the Helios 2 extensively in 6, 12 & 14wts, from big trout to big sharks, and have been impressed across the board. The H2’s strength seems questionable as it is, by far, the lightest rod we carry in all classes, but after wrapping it around the hull of a bay boat, with a rather unhappy, 100+ lb shark at the opposite end, all concerns were extinguished.

The 9ft 6wt model is also my go to carp rod, and has seen it fair share of backing runs, and hard holds to avoid impending shopping cart /car tire disasters, all while maintaining enough tip feel to still have fun fighting fish, never seeming “broomsticky”. The H2 casts as an $800 +/- rod should, nothing groundbreaking, but definitely on par with its peers including the Sage ONE and the Scott Radian.

The real highlight of this rod is its fish-ability, it is consistent, reliable, and very fun to fish. My only qualm with the H2 are its awkward grip styles, with trout sized featuring a much too narrow cigar grip, and saltwater sizes utilized an awkwardly placed integrated fore-grip. Orvis would have been better advised to follow its competitors, and move to the now popular mini wells style grip.

The H2 is a fun, burly, very fishable rod, and backed by the best warranty in the industry, and I look forward to every day I get to spend on the water with it in hand."

- Rick Mikesell, Trouts Fly Fishing

What They Say

"The Helios 2 is a featherlight war club that defies the laws of physics and has the backbone of an I-beam. Lighter in hand and 20% stronger than any rod we’ve ever developed, it transitions energy directly from your brain to the fly and casts with the precision of a laser pointer. Made by hand in our Vermont rod shop, it’s a fly rod built by anglers who fish their way home from work, anglers with sunglasses-shaped tan lines, anglers who tie blood knots in their sleep.Why would we take the world's best fly rod and change it? The answer is simple. We're driven by constant improvement. Put this rod in your hands and feel the rush. You'll completely understand. You'll like what you discover. Proudly made in Manchester, Vermont:

  • 20% stronger than the original Helios
  • 20% lighter in hand
  • 100% increase in tip-impact strength
  • Fine-tuned tapers for unrivaled tracking, accuracy, and lifting power"

- The Orvis Company

Do you want to see an Orvis H2 and a mako shark in action?  Enjoy. 

All photos and video courtesy of Alex Landeen

If you have any questions about the Orvis H2, feel free to give us a call here at the shop at 303.733.1434 or check out the H2 at our online store. For more on Alex Landeen who shot this video and provided all of the images CLICK HERE.

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