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Orvis Helios And Hydros

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I have no idea if they are worth the price or not. But here is something I read on Fly Rod + Reel Online this week.

New from Orvis for 2012

Recognizing the realities of this economy, Orvis decided to focus on updating their value-based products, and they did it in a really innovative way. Many fly rod companies have gone overseas for production of their budget rods in recent years. The technique for many overseas manufacturers is very similar to how bamboo makers used to steal each others' tapers in the golden era of the 1920s-1940s: basically, you just cut the rod up into many tiny sections and take precise measurements, then copy the internal taper (which gives you both the mandrel shape as well as the approximate number of turns of graphite needed to reach the external diameter).

Orvis's Steve Hemkens explained that for their updated Clearwater series, they instructed their overseas partners to do the same thing... to the Helios. "Basically," Hemkens said, "we knocked off our own rods!" The results are excellent: a modern fast action taper made with budget conscious componentry for $198 (freshwater) and $225 (saltwater). In keeping with the theme, Orvis also used the same drag design from its high-end reels to design an all new composite plastic (and also formed aluminum) Clearwater Reel, starting at only $49. Combo packages with line will be available for under $300.



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any one use any of these rods? are they worth the price?

I bought a new Hydros 4 piece 8.5 ft. 5 weight mid-flex earlier this year. I have owned several Orvis rods through the years and I can honestly say this is the best yet! It is incredibly light and I love the action. My fishing outings tend to be marathon sessions, so a light weight rod that casts easily all day is a priority. The Hydros is very easy on the arm even after a full day of fishing. I paired my Hydros with a Ross Evolution LT reel which is one of the lightest in its class. I am extremely pleased how well this combination works for me.

As for whether they are worth the price, my vote is a resounding yes!!

As a side note, I also purchased the new Orvis Access rod in a 6 weight and have been very satisfied with it's performance. You may also want to look at this model if money is a consideration.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Please check my recent post on equipment we took to Alaska under general Angling discussion. Without a doubt the Hydros was our prefered rod Helios included. We had a 4 piece 6wt. tipflex. It is a cannon and is great for fish up to 10 pounds. We paired it with the new Hydros large arbor and the combination of sealed drag system was perfect for the sandy beaches we fished in Alaska. Its preformance was excellent.

That particular rod is very, very similar to the new Temple Fork Outfitter BVD. Almost the same weight and action. The Hydros does load a bit better and will in the right hands outpreform the BVD by an experienced caster. 90 percent of us will find no difference to speak of in the two rods.

The Helios is so light it is a bit scary. The rod does not load as well as the Hydros and this is mostly due to the weight of the rod. Just feather light. I used the 7 wt. all day in Alaska last year and it is like you have not fished. Absolute no strain on your shoulder, wrist or elbow.

Experenced fly casters that are willing to load the tip of this rod as they should can cast it a mile. For the inexperenced caster or occausional fisherman, this may not be the right choice. When casting the Helios you need to put prussure on the top of your grip and tighten your loop. This will let the tip section of the rod load properly and it is magnificent. If your tenique is in need of some work and you don't get it loaded the light weight of the rod will cause your loop to expand and you will be unhappy.

The Hydros or the BVD or even an Access or a Clearwater is much more forgiving with a bit more weight.

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