Awesome news from Orvis, with the announcement that a new Helios rod is imminent. The current 9 foot 5 weight Helios is already my favourite rod. The current Helios is a great allround taper, which is slow enough for spinner sippers on Brumbys Creek, but fast enough for long shots into a Western Lakes headwind. It also perfectly matches a true five weight line, including my favourite Orvis Hydros 3D textured line. With this in mind, I’m pretty excited about the new rod, and here’s why (from Orvis):
“We’re so excited about the new Helios 2 fly rod that we couldn’t wait to spring the preview video on the world. The video will be released to the public today, and it doesn’t tell you much about specifics on the rods, so we thought we’d fill you in on some of the details.
The new Orvis Helios 2 rods are as light in hand as the original Helios (the lightest fly rods in the world), but with greatly improved tapers that reduce the swing weight. Precision casting has been improved with refined tapers and increased damping. The rods are stronger that the original Helios, and also have double the impact strength in the tips. Helios 2 rods are still 100% made in USA in the Orvis Rod Shop in Manchester, Vermont.
Was it a hot new material? Not really. Orvis is using a secret ultra-light additive (not carbon fiber) in its tip sections to increase tip impact strength in addition to the graphite/resin system used in the first generation of Helios rods. But the real secret to the amazing light feel and much smoother casting characteristics lies in how the fibers and resin systems are combined to create the taper, using Orvis’ patented thermoplastic technology.
The same kind of technological shift is happening in other high-tech sports products such as performance road bikes, where a recent article in Men’s Journal stated, “The bike’s tech revolution is as much about the methods used in their design as their materials”.
According to Shawn Combs, Orvis rod developer, “We’ve increased the impact strength in the tips of these rods by 100%, and made the tips lighter at the same time, giving you less fatigue when casting and more sensitivity. But what’s even more important to the angler is the additional horsepower you get from your casting stroke. A fly rod can be viewed as an infinite series of springs that transition from stiff at the cork to very flexible at the tip. We’ve virtually tuned each spring to work perfectly within the system to give you the smoothest possible power curve during casting. It’s a whole new construction for us.”
Helios 2 reel seats feature nickel-plated aluminum, which is harder and more abrasion-resistant than anodized aluminum. The freshwater configuration uses a gorgeous California buckeye burl insert and the saltwater versions have a woven carbon insert. All rods utilize Recoil guides for reduced weight and better line shooting. Four models will be available in November, 2012; followed by another 12 models in January of 2013; and then 16 more models in April 2013.”
FlyShop 1864 will be receiving it’s first shipment of Helios 2 rods during November. If there is a specific model you are after, let us know!