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Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex

2 1/8 oz. 8'6", 4-piece, Mid-Flex fly rod for 5-wt. line.We set out on an adventure to make the world's lightest fly fishing rod. Along the way, we also made the world's best.For years the 8-foot 6-inch 5-weight was the best-selling fly rod model in the Orvis line and the new Helios version is no different. The simple combination of medium length and medium weight makes it the most versatile all around fly rod ever built. From small streams, to large rivers, from trout to bass, this fly rod can handle it all. Helios's new, patented graphite technology only adds to the versatility of this rod giving it greater power to present larger flies and wonderful lightweight sensitivity to fight smaller quarry. Recommended by our schools as the perfect first fly rod, the 865-4 remains the single best all around fly rod on the market today. The best, and the lightest, all-around trout rod made for the widest range of fly fishing conditions and techniques. Made in USA.
Average Customer Rating:
5 out of 5
5
 out of 
5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (26 reviews)
5 stars
26
4 stars
0
3 stars
0
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26 of 26(100%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Review 1 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best rod in the industry,
March 6, 2012
By: BrandonBoedecker
from PRO Outfitters in Montana
"By far the lightest, most powerful rod I have ever held in my hands. I've heard many people say "You'll be fine if you buy the top-of-the-line rod from any of the major rod manufacturers." If "fine" is what you want, go ahead. If you want the best, I'd go with a Helios.
- Brandon Boedecker, PRO Outfitters, Montana"
Review 2 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best all-around trout rod ever,
February 21, 2012
By: JohnH0802
"This rod has worked great in all types of fishing. From casting dries to specks in tight quarters to casting large streamers for distance on large rivers, it will do everything. With its extreme light weight, even putting in 10 hours of casting you will feel the difference."
Review 3 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
THE BEST,
November 8, 2011
By: Carrera911
from Maine
"Best fly rod I've ever owned!!!!!!Beats all of the other "bests""
Review 4 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Number One,
February 20, 2011
By: JASTrout
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"First I will honestly claim to be a rod junkie, and favor custom glass, and old school Superfine series, Winston IM6/WT, with a few current medium action graphite rods from companies starting with S!. However, this Helios mid-flex 8'6" 5 wt is the finest casting rod in my hands bar none. I believe that Orvis nailed these rods and rarely if ever I have seen them listed on secondary market."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 5 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great rod,
October 10, 2010
By: GregS
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
"This is a wonderful rod, the weight allows you to easily fish 8-10 hour days. It has some great backbone for pulling brownies up from the deep. Mine is paired up with the new Mirage reel. My only complaint is the cheesey sticker that has the rod info on the rod tube. Its obvious that Orvis over-engineered that tube and it is great, but why not laser engrave the rod info into the brass cap? It probably wouldn't cost more then a few bucks and would not only add the final touch of class to a great rod, but last for a lifetime."
Review 6 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
crazy rod!,
September 24, 2010
By: Brian546d
from Boston, MA
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"This rod puts all my other rods to shame. This rod is now my go-to rod and everything else will gather dust. The looks.. .the feel .. just all around.. this rod is a machine"
Review 7 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Proven fly rod,
July 30, 2010
By: Linkster
"While snow skiing in Big Sky, Montana this year a few of us took a day off to fly fish the Gallatin River with Lone Peak outfitters. I was provided an Orvis Helios 8'6" mid flex rod and found it to be the best rod I've ever used. I own several fly rods, including Orvis rods, but the Helios is a cut above. When I returned home from the trip I ordered one for myself. It is now my "go to" fly rod."
Review 8 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
One amazing rod!!,
July 5, 2009
By: Enevoldsen
from Oslo, Norway
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"This is the best flyfishing rod ever built!! there is no doubt in my mind, the feel of the rod and the superior sensitivity is great. It cast like no other rod, and is the best investment in fishing gear iv ever dun. I am sure this rod will give me many god years, and plenty of fish. Its just great!!!! if you are considering other rods, there is no more considering to do, this rod is it!!"
Review 9 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
My First Helios,
May 19, 2009
By: goldenbadgeofpride
from Paso Robles, CA
Good Value: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"I purchased my first Helios Fly Rod last year, an 8'6" mid flex, and was able to give it a good workout before writing my review.
First off it's an awesome rod, beyond debate. It's light in the hand to cast and I have never felt any shoulder/arm fatigue like I have with my older rods. It is very sensitive, you can feel the slightest strike and it casts very accurate. Whiat really impressed me was how strong the rod was. I broke her in on the Sacramento River near Mt. Shasta and caught several 18" rainbows that caused the rod to bend like crazy, but never felt like it was going to break. Throughout the year I used this rod on Hat Creek and the Pit River in California. I spent two great days on the Salmon River in Idaho, including a 32 fish day with several 18" + fish.
While the rod is very accurate in the wind, I spent a windy day on the Owens River where I caught over a dozen beautiful fish and my ear and my neck. I think a 9' would have done better with the windy weather. But I still had a blast.
Overall this is the best rod I have ever had...except for the other five Helios' I've bought over the past year! I did put a couple of skuffs on the rod when I took a good spill on the rocks, the horror."
Review 10 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Why I Love My Helios,
April 1, 2009
By: squire4hire
from Long Island, New York
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"WHY I LOVE MY HELIOS
Why do I love my Helios (865-4 Mid-flex)? Let me count the why’s? (Ouch! My apologies to Shakespeare; or Shelley; or Keats; or Yates; or Byron; or Browning). I have never had a rod like this one—and I have had my share of rods, including a custom-made split cane, other bamboos and some top-of-the-line graphites manufactured by the industry’s leading rod makers. In fact, I thought nothing could top my custom rod for pure pleasure, but my very versatile Helios has done the “impossible.” It is now, for good reason, my favorite rod!
I can fish it all day and not become arm-weary. More importantly, my Helios keeps me in constant and complete “communication” with my fly line and, therefore, the stream, and, unless I get a little too lazy, I am in control. As a bonus, I get an average of thirteen feet more to distance casts, when such casts become necessary, and accuracy and delicacy are never sacrificed.
I have been fly fishing for trout since 1974, in rivers and streams large and small, and I have seen the evolution of fly rods as instruments of sport and art. It is unimaginable to me that technology could produce something that goes beyond the heights of my Helios, unless a way can be found somehow to harness a fly line to a laser beam—and that would be less fun and less satisfying.
To me, the proof is in the casting. I enjoy experimenting with casts, many of which I never would have thought of attempting before. Now, the resultant casts are, in themselves, rewards because, in my view, fly fishing is more about casting, not catching. The stream can be a canvas for creativity. It is almost unnecessary, actually, to catch fish—almost!"
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 11 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
No More Pain,
March 28, 2009
By: freetime
from New Hampshire
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"I took up fly fishing with a fly rod not produced by Orvis, and nearly gave up on it after my first painful season. Arthritis in my casting shoulder, made it too painful to continue casting. My wife knew how disappointed I was in not being able to have time to myself down on the river. We decided that it was time to purchase the rod I should have the first time. The Helios 865-4 has been awesome. With the Battenkill Mid Arbor reel, it is so light weight and evenly balanced that it barely feels like there is anything in my hand. I have been able to cast for hours on end with minimal impact on my shoulder. Thank you Orvis for making such a great rod, and thank you to my wife for suggesting I get the best rod out there."
Review 12 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Perfection,
March 15, 2009
By: greenbug
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Reviewer Images
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
"Hi All,
I purchased The Helios 865 mid flex about 3 months ago, I finally put it thru a true test. I fished it once before in a stream that only had smaller fish. The rod performed flawlessly, great feel, plenty of power, and very acurrate. The rod felt like it casted itself, it's very forgiving. This was great, but can it handle bigger flys and bigger fish. The answer is YES! I was pitching a heavily weighted Stone Fly Nymph with a Caddis Pupa dropper, a split shot, and a ballon indicator. The rod had no trouble flinging this rig. As far fish....Well I caught a relatively large trout ( about 4lbs ). The Helios had plenty of backbone to land this fish. This fish swam into the fast water, but I was still able to haul it out. Mending line was a breeze also. I fished for over 10hrs without arm fatique. The Helios / Battenkill LA combo is incredibly light.
You just can't go wrong with this Rod. It is simply Awesome
"
Review 13 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
More Fun that I thought possible!,
March 14, 2009
By: aguy
from Orange County, CA.
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"I had the chance to try out the 81/2 foot 5 weight Helios rod about 6 months ago at a dealer's show. I was amazed at how well this rod cast! I consider myself someone who enjoys fly fishing and have been at it a couple of decades. But only get to fish about 6-10 days a year due to family commitments. Well, this rod just made me a better caster in a matter of a few minutes. I felt like I was just casting the line! My casts were at least 15 to 20 feet further. And I felt like I had total control of the line and exactly where it was going!
Well I sold my other 3 freshwater rods, saved some money and bought the same Helios rod.
I have never been more excited to go fishing in my life! I got the chance about a week ago. I went to a local stream that is about an hour from where I live. It is stocked with rainbow trout. On the second cast with a small nymph I hooked into a nice 11 inch fish. The rod was great and I could feel the fight completely. I caught 5 more fish that morning. I usually fish with a small spring creek rod(7 foot 3 weight), but the Helios is actually lighter, has better feel, and I loved it! It was a lot of fun casting with such ease and precision. The Helios made this stream work easy.
I then decided to head back to a local lake near my house to see how the rod performed with streamers for bass. I rent a boat when I go to this lake. It is pre-spawn right now and the bass were active. I normally use an 8 weight rod to cast with but I was enjoying the Helios so much I decided to try it instead. The Helios did a great job of casting the size 1 and 2 streamers because I could feel the whole line and rod loading! I was casting in a cove by a private dock and BAM! hook up and I had about a 14 inch bass on! The fight was great and the Helios handled the fish so well! I was amazed again at this rod.
It was about 1:30 p.m. and I had an idea to try this rod in one of the local Ocean Harbors. There are Bonito that hold up by the oil well islands. I called my brother who works at one of the local sports landings and met him there. He told me he would take me out if I let him try this new rod I was raving about. I agreed. We went out with a scoop of live bait and about 2 hours of light. My brother scooped some anchovies for chum in the area he thought held some bigger fish. Immediately we saw Bonito charging after the bait. I quickly cast the Helios with a Bonito Candy fly(size 2). I was amazed that I was able to do one false cast and then cast the fly about 60 feet! I had put on a sink tip line so I let the fly sink for a couple seconds and started stripping. Wham! I had a fish on and the bonito took quite a bit of line! About 3 minutes later I had the 3 lb Bonito at hand! My brother and I were both amazed that a 5 weight rod could handle this kind of fishing! The next 2 hours we fished and my brother and I had a blast catching these hard fighting fish. The Helios did a great job and made it that much more fun! I got back to the dock, rinsed off the rod and reels very good. I dried the Helios off well and the rod looked like new! What a great quality rod!!! Orvis has done it this time! Now I just need that 8 weight so i can use it for those really big prey!
Thanks Orvis for my making my precious time on the water so memorable! Buy a Helios, you will not be disappointed!
"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 14 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!,
February 11, 2009
By: CatskillFlyfisher
from Pine Bush, NY
Good Value: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"Zero G Helios 843-4 rod. I can honestly say it is the greatest thing i have ever used on a fishing trip. It was not my own rod but a good friend of mine that is the lucky owner. I used this rod over the summer on the Beaverkill in the Catskill Mountains of New York. It was around 7:00 a.m. and there were a few BWO flying around the waters surface. I was sitting on the bank of a large pool. It was starting to warm up from a colder summer night so there was fog floating on top of the water making it hard for me to see. Out of the corner of of my left eye i noticed a decent sized rise. Now i had already asked my buddy to see his rod, so it was in hand and all i had to do was tie on a size 18 parachute olive and toss it up stream of the rise and see if anything would come from it. The second cast was the magic one! the rod handled the line beautifully! Some people say it's not the rod its the pearson casting it, but for this i say having such a well made rod in hand can most definently improve even a skilled pearsons cast. It was the smoothest most accurate 40 foot cast i have ever made. It drifted down about a foot and then an amazing rise plucked my fly off the surface and into the water. From the second the hook set into that browns mouth i knew i was holding an amazingly advanced peice of equipment. The trout ran upstream a way then darted back about 4 feet below the area i was standing. The rods sensitivity allowed me to feel every second of this amazing battle. Beacause of this rods strenght i was able to land that 19 inch brown trout in only around a minuet! Of course i did not have a camera that day only a friend that would tell everyone "o it wasn't that big." This is somthing i most likley would have not come close to doing with my own rod. I used this rod for another half hour and landed two more fish. The rod was so accurate i could actually get the fly were i wanted it to land, and the delacacy of it was just as great. I could cast almost on top of a fish and not scare it. This 40 minuets on the river was most definently one of the greatest times i have ever had while fishing. To sum the rod up I have to say it performs superbley in every aspect that a rod applies to in the art of fly fishing. KEEP UP THE AMAZING WORK ORVIS!!!! I am currently trying to save every dollar i can to get my own rod so i dont have to bug my friend until he gives in and lets me use his :)"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 15 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
On The Fly,
February 9, 2009
By: Southpaw
from Atlanta, Georgia
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Reviewer Images
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
"Leaving on a trip in 3 hours- I've been dreaming about a Helios ever since I cast one 2 months before at Orvis Days. Called Greg at the Norcross store and said, 'If you can have one rigged in 1 hour I'll take it.' He did and I did.
Here is the rest of the story-100 lbs. of fish in 4 days. I'll tell you how after you hear my relief of knowing when my travel companion 'helped' me put the rod away after fishing the San Juan. The REC guides and the warranty let me breath easier as I watched Him (Father in law so I couldn't yell at him) take it in to the hotel room.
The rod is an art piece. It is a fine instrument, and being a FFF casting instructor I know the 'Helios' is able to preform better than any human can. The Helios makes a day (100 lb days) easier on the casting arm because it is so light weight. The taper amplifys the energy from your hand as it loads storing the energy, and then when the line unloads it feels like the line is getting sucked out of the rod tip. The art, science and the sport of the Helios is 'Top of the Line-first class'. You can enjoy the beauty of the Rod and even the Tube! Casting it is the joy for me.
Okay, 100lb of fish in 4 days on a six weight-
8 rainbows on San Juan-@2lb ea. Day one
2 rainbow @2lb ea. on Chama River Day two
flew home
Day 3; 35lb grass carp (Pics )
15lb carp
10lb carp
10lb carp
Random bass @ 4lb total
Day 4; 15+ half lb bass
Day 5; Sore arm and time for chores, but great memories.
"
Review 16 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great rod,
February 6, 2009
By: cutty42
from WY
Good Value: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Reviewer Images
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
"Love this rod!! The pmd hatch on the South Fork of the Snake in Idaho is a great hatch, with big yellowstone cutts and browns sliding up into the shallow riffles late morning to start feeding. You can often spot and target the best fish in the group, but you better be ready to give him the perfect, delicate presentation. That's where the Helios comes in. A light, strong rod that can handle itself if there's a breeze in the canyon, but soft enough to deliver your size 18 pmd cripple on 5x just right for that big, fat cutty. It is a fantastic rod in many situations, but when on the riffles, the Helios is the ultimate weapon."
Video Review:
a smaller cutt, from cast to hookset and landing
Review 17 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
February 6, 2009
By: browntrout22
Reviewer Images
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
This customer did not provide a text review.
Review 18 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
From A Long-Time Skeptic,
November 9, 2008
By: Mac1081
from Fairbanks, AK
"There was a time that I only enjoyed Orvis reels, loved their apparel and gadgets, but had no interest in owning an Orvis rod. So, when I came to ordering the 865-4 I was skeptical, naturally. I had many questions before it arrived. Does it really cast so well? Could it be so responsive? In short; Is the Helios really that good? I formed these questions against other rods I own and love and I began to wonder if I'd made a mistake when ordering the Helios.
The rod arrived (quickly as well - and that is saying a lot because I live near Fairbanks, AK) and I decided to take it everywhere to test it. I fished the Kenai for monster rainbows (30"+) and Jims Creek for silver salmon. I brought the Helios with me to the mighty Russian river and to large lakes where long casts come in handy. I fished all over for arctic grayling on tight streams where accuracy and control are needed. I put the Helios through a gauntlet of challenges that spring/summer and what I discovered surprised me.
To answer my question; Is the Helios that good? No, it is not. It IS far better. I have not since (nor do I suspect I ever will) taken a fishing trip without my Helios. It truly has taken one skeptics passion and turned it into a beautiful addiction.
"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 19 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Another outstanding rod,
September 10, 2008
By: Muskrat
from Oakville, ON
Reviewer Images
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
"For mid-sized rivers this may be my favourite ZG Helios of all. It doesn't overpower the 10-12" trout, and it has enough backbone to handle the occassional BIG fish. I can't say enough about how fine these rods feel in your hand; how well they cast, how very accurate they are. In tight or out there, they deliver the fly right where you want it to be. Get yourself one soon!"
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Review 20 for Helios™ 5-weight 8'6" Fly Rod—Mid Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
ONE ROD FOR ALL TROUT CONDITIONS,
August 14, 2008
By: ALLABOUTTROUT
from EVERETT, WASHINGTON
"THIS IS MY 4TH HELIOS AND IT MAY BE MY FAVORITE. THIS ROD IS THE BEST AND LIGHTEST TROUT ROD MADE FOR THE WIDEST RANGE OF TECHNIQUES AND CONDITIONS, AS THE ORVIS DESCRIPTION SAYS. THIS ROD CAN DO IT ALL FOR TROUT. IT IS EXTREMELY POWERFUL WITH HEAVY, WEIGHTED BIG FLIES AND STREAMERS AND SINK TIP LINES FOR BIG FISH, BUT CAN BE DAINTY WITH TINY DRIES ON SMALL STREAMS. THE MID-FLEX IS GREAT FOR TIPPET PROTECTION AND FEEL. I TOOK THIS ROD TO THE YAKIMA RIVER HERE IN WASHINGTON STATE AND EVEN THOUGH I DIDN'T CATCH ANY FISH, IT PERFORMED BEAUTIFULLY WITH EVERYTHING I TRIED. I PLAN TO TRY IT THERE AGAIN! IT IS SO LIGHT AND SO POWERFUL, WITH SO MUCH FEEL, PLUS THE FACT THAT IT PACKS NICE AND SHORT. WHAT MORE COULD ANY FLY FISHERMAN ASK FOR. I RECOMMEND THIS ROD VERY HIGHLY. THIS MIGHT BE ORVIS' BEST WORK. NOW IF ORVIS WILL MAKE A 1 WEIGHT HELIOS WITH A CORK AND RING REEL SEAT I'D BE IN HEAVEN. I'M ASKING NICELY!"