Orvis recently announced the September 2017 launch of their newest fly rod, the Helios 3. Last week I had the privilege of casting the new line up of Helios 3 fly rods. While it is titled a “Helios 3″, this rod is really in a different class than the two previous “Helios” models.
The Helios 3 is a different design than the Helios 2. The Helios 3 is not only lighter in terms of swing weight, but it’s also stronger than the Helios 2. How light the Helios 3 felt in hand was one of the first things I noticed when I picked up the 9ft 5wt 3D for the first time.
The Helios 3 will be available in two different actions, 3D and 3F. The 3D stands for distance, and the 3F is for feel. In more traditional rod terminology, I think of the 3D as a tip flex and the 3F as a mid flex. Whether you will prefer a 3D or 3F will depend on personal casting preferences, and how you wish to use the rod.
The appearance of the Helios 3 is bold. The large white label stands out against the matte midnight blank and hardware. The Helios 3 will be easy to identify and hard to mistake. Some anglers are throwing a fit over this new, nontraditional look from Orvis. Personally, I like it. Maybe it’s my youth, but I appreciate the more modern, sharp design. Setting the controversy over the appearance aside, it’s hard to argue with how the Helios 3 performs.
Orvis is staking the claim for the Helios 3 based on “unmatched accuracy”. Instead of just saying that the H3 is more accurate than over fly rods, Orvis is using the science to back up the claim. If you read what they explain when discussing an increased hoop strength in the Helios 3, it makes sense. From a rod in hand perspective, I think it’s easy to see feel how effortlessly and true the H3 casts.
Another feature of the Helios 3 that I was impressed with was the reel seat. It’s also a sleek matte finish, but it was functionally built out of type III aluminum with a carbon insert. The piece that slides onto the reel foot is built on a groove that makes it super easy to attach. It does not look like reels will come and loose fall off the H3.
Regardless of how you felt about the Helios 2, you need give the Helios 3 a chance. It’s safe to say that I 100% favor the Helios 3 over the Helios 2. The hype with this new rod from Orvis is real. Go cast a Helios 3 when you get the chance this fall.
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Visit Orvis.com for more information about the new Helios 3 fly rods.