I usually try not to pay too much attention to the hype of premium rods touting their superiority. After all, how much better can they get? But, recently my curiosity got the best of me and I had a chance to demo the Orvis Helios 3 freshwater rods. The Helios 3 comes in both a Finesse taper with a softer tip and a Distance taper for a little more punch.
I gravitated to a 9’ 4wt Finesse tip. I cast this rod with 2 different lines. The first being a RIO single hand Spey line. This line is possibly one of the finest dry fly lines I have ever cast and doubles nicely for single hand Spey casts as well. The rod loaded deeply into the blank and had a feel that very few rods can give. On the forward cast I was amazed at how well the rod tracked and the accuracy well, let’s say it made me look good. The fine tip felt soft to protect tippets but somehow gave you a confidence that you could lean into that fish a little harder.
Next, I lined it up with a 175gr OPST Commando head and a 7.5’ Run tip. I have to admit I was skeptical about throwing that heavy of a sink tip not to mention my weighted fly, but it was what I had with me. This rod refused to let me down. It performed all the casts I asked of it and then some. It was able to dig the tip and fly out of the water effortlessly. The more moderate action of the finesse series is perfect for single hand skagit casts.
I spent a few days using both lines and casting both dries and streamers. Normally I would say a 4 wt is a little outgunned on the Bow especially as a streamer rod but this little gem didn’t disappoint. I wouldn’t recommend it as a go to rod but as a dry fly Bow rod this one definitely fits the bill.
If you are in the market for a premium rod the Orvis Helios 3 series will not disappoint. Come by the shop, we’ll line one up and you can give it a cast.