Orvis Ratings and Reviews

Top Rated Product
This product is no longer available. Continue shopping at Orvis.

Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex

2 7/8 oz. 9', 4-piece, Tip-Flex fly rod for 8-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.The new patent pending Helios saltwater fly rod is so far ahead of all others it skips generations in how a fly rod should feel, cast, and fish. It is so sublimely light, incredibly responsive, deadly accurate, and just plain easy and enjoyable to cast that to compare it to other graphite saltwater fly rods is like comparing graphite to bamboo. There is no comparison. The Helios fly rod is that good. And everyone is noticing. Our best-selling saltwater flex profile for bones, reds, stripers, and larger freshwater species. Ice cleans out of Recoil guides quickly and easily. A real plus when steelheading or trout fishing in cold conditions. Made in USA.
Average Customer Rating:
4.909 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (33 reviews)
5 stars
31
4 stars
1
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0
32 of 33(97%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Review 1 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Bone fishing with the best.,
November 29, 2012
By: TLSchiavone
from Phoenix, AZ
"I used my Orvis Helios 8wt with my Orvis Mirage IV reel and fly line on an Orvis Travel Bone fishing trip to the Grand Bahamas in June 2010.
One of the best 8 wt fly rod I ever fished with. The Orvis Helios is light weight, easy to cast, and has a wondeful action too.
I really enjoy my flyfishing trip more because I was fishing with the finest 8wt fly rod made.
Thanks Orvis for designing the Helios Fly Rod for us fly fishers and for putting on a great flyfishing adventure in the Grand Bahamas."
Review 2 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best 9', 8 weight ever,
September 3, 2012
By: Solosalmon
from Corner Brook, NL. Canada
"I've used a lot of 8 weights for Atlantic salmon over my 40 year fishing career but this is the best I've ever used. True tracking, tight loops, and light swing weight make this rod a pure pleasure to use. While guiding in Labrador this past season, I had a chance to use all the new offerings that the other major manufacturers have put out recently and the Helios topped them all, easily!"
Review 3 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Fragile,
February 13, 2012
By: Scotman
from Lake Alfred, FL
"First let me say that every review which talks about the wonderful characteristics of the Helios—lightweight, loads well, pleasure to cast—are all right on the mark. Orvis customer service is top notch too! I bought two Helios rods about 3 years ago, a 5wt and an 8wt. Both rods are a pleasure to cast. This review is specifically about the 8wt. I'd like to give the rod a 5 star rating but I think it falls down on durability. Twice now the rod has simply broke while in the act of casting. I'm not sure why. My dealer suggested it could be caused by a clouser minnow clipping the rod on a back cast (which did happen a few minutes before it broke the second time). However, I wasn't casting any clousers the first time. At this point I'm afraid to tie on a weighted fly or hard bodied bass bug. That's a shame for a premium rod. It certainly punches above its weight but it has a glass jaw. Orvis was very good at expediting the repairs so I wouldn't miss an important fishing trip. I really appreciate that. But when you figure priority shipping, tracking, insurance and the repair fee it's about $50 a pop if it goes pop. I hope my experience is just a fluke and the third times a charm. The 5wt has certainly been a great rod."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 4 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Second to none,
January 28, 2012
By: FeatherFly
from Northern California
"This is the best heavy freshwater and/or light saltwater rod available in my opinion. Whether you're hunting coastal Steelhead, Stripers or hitting the flats for Bonefish this 8 wt is perfect. With larger rods weight becomes a factor and the Helios is the lightest out there. When you combine the weight with a wonderful casting action it is really sweet. Thanks Orvis."
Review 5 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
its the gun,
August 11, 2011
By: nunia
"monday I am off to wave this 8wt at big monsters on the west coat of cape york Australia(stick it in google maps) and dodge crocs.
So far I have had it practiced and have noted how quickly this rod loads at any distance and the tip flex allows pin point accuracy needed for Barramundi. It behaves very much like my 906 that proves its self time and time again across australia and new zealand. I would hope that there was a 3 wt then my arsenal would be perfected in 3 rods
if I don't get eaten by a croc, though they prefer foreigners I will post photos."
Review 6 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Great Rod- Skip the personalization,
November 7, 2010
By: greif
from Cranberry Twp, Pa
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
3 / 5
3 / 5
"I have to agree with most on here, great rod. I've had it up on the Erie tribs and it's performance is wonderul.
However, stay away fromt he personalization. The first time, my name was upside down. I spoke with a customer rep who was very helpful and offered to redo the personalization. The second time, the name was written on the top side of the rod with part of my name in the Orvis block.
I can't say I'm as happy with the customer service the second time as when I said, "If I had to pick one, I pick the first one." Resolution, send the second one back and keep the first one... that I wasn't happy with in the first place?
I'd rather put my name on myself.
"
Review 7 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Even better up-lined,
September 20, 2010
By: zerog
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"I have had this rod for a year. There is nothing I can add to the existing 5/5 ratings other than I am even more impressed with the performance of this rod (908 tip flex) after loading it with a 9 wt. line! The feel and action is even more amazing. I have never thrown prettier loops than I have with it loaded with a heavier line. This rod now performs better than my technical rods from other manufacturers yet it has the amazing lightness and flawless workmanship that has made this rod a legend."
Review 8 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great bonefish rod,
September 9, 2010
By: Teflon
from Colorado
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
"I bought one of these for a bonefishing trip to the Bahamas and it performed amazingly well. It's so light that you don't even notice any weight at all. I paired it with the lightest reel in the world and the overall package feels as light as my 4 wt trout rods.
It had zero issues casting 80' into a stiff Bahamas wind, and I could propel it out to 100' if the wind died a little. One of the best rods I've used in over 25 years of fly fishing."
Review 9 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best Service Ever,
August 20, 2010
By: Caladonia
from Waco, Tx
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
"Incredible service!!! I owned a Zero Gravity and it broke while fighting a fish. I sent the rod back to Orvis for a repair and they gave me a brand new Helios!!! If you are looking for a company that takes good care of you and does what their warranty says it will do, then trust Orvis. I will forever be loyal to Orvis and come to them for all my fly fishing needs. I also want to say that my Zero Gravity was a great rod as well. The first ferrule snapped off only because I didn't fit it snug enough to the female end. Make the right decision and get the Helios. You won't regret it!!"
Review 10 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
This rod is amazing!,
July 28, 2010
By: Bobs
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"I just purchased my second rod. I have fly fished my whole life and am amazed with this rod. It is perfect."
Review 11 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
AWESOME!!!!!!,
May 2, 2010
By: joeyd
Good Value: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"I purchased a 9ft 8wt helios to fish for steelhead. All I can say, is that its the best darn rod that I have ever casted in my 17 yrs of flyfishing. My steelhead trip this year was very successful due to this rod. I landed alot more fish than previous years with other big name rods. I also fished for blue fish off the beach and it handled perfect. I highly recommend this rod!!!!"
Review 12 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
50 pound Tarpon on 8 wt. Helio,
February 15, 2010
By: Glider
from NYC, New York
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
"Purchased the 908-4 Helios a couple years ago primarily for bone fishing on my semi-annual trip to Belize. On my last trip to Belize fishing for bones, a pod of tarpon where working the edge of a channel, just off the flats. I never purchased the 8 wt. Helios for anything other than smaller fish,but said what the heck and quickly tied on a 2/0 Malzone Tarpon Fly. One cast, and Tarpon on. I'm still amazed to this day that the combination of my Helios and Battenkill Reel handled the hour fight of this Tarpon. WHAT A ROD!"
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 13 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Beats them all,
January 10, 2010
By: Salmonaddict
"I have fished small and large salmon rivers in New Brunswick, Canada with Sage, G Loomis, St Croix, and other Orvis rods. Last summer, I fished one day with my Sage rpl rod and the next day pulled out the Helios 8 wt 9.5 loaded with a 9 wf line. The difference was amazing. It felt like I was casting with a 6 wt rod but the power and feel of the rod were superb. I was able to cast another 20 yards with far less effort. My arm was a bit sore after casting almost continuously in heavy wind for about 8 hours the day before. Using the Helios under the same conditions was effortless. I felt I could lighten up on the effort with the same casting distance. The balance and feeling of much lighter weight made casting all day a breeze. I picked up my sage 4 piece 8 wt again for comparison and felt like I was casting with a baseball bat. I handed it to my fishing companion who uses the same sage gear as me and he was really impressed with the difference. The helios will now be my primary rod for both big and small water."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 14 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best of the best,
September 13, 2009
By: Kevin2
from Michigan
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"I bought this rig because I needed another 8 weight for fishing salmon and bones for my kid. Being only 11, I just didn't think he could cast a 8 weight for any amount of time OR even cast it. So, anyways, I bought him a 6 weight Clearwater rig THINKING that this might give him the best chance on the flats. OK, cool. BUT then I was reading about some fancy new pole on another forum & was amazed at the comments I was reading all over the internet. So, off to the Orvis store I went to test this Helios out for myself. Wasn't hard to return the 6 wt I bought just a few days earlier TOO drop some more coin on what I think is the finest rod I've ever used.
The salesmen asked me "who is this pole really for?" and I had to be honest, "my 11 year old, WHEN it's his turn to cast on the boat. If we are on the flats, it is going to be hard to give it up to him!"
Took the helios the next day, fished 4 days with it over the holiday weekend. My kid loved it. And, it casts like a canon IF you need the quick distance. Really was great for short delicate casts as well.
If you've got the scratch in your pocket, then buy it, if you don't, charge it!
Kevin"
Review 15 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Endorsed by experienced guide,
September 8, 2009
By: Wildweed
Good Value: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"My best friend booked a trip for us to Florida's Ponce Inlet as he had just moved there and wanted to discover salt water fly fishing. Knowing this was coming I purchased a Helios salt water 8 wt. and Gen 3 line.
While we are reasonably good freshwater folks, this was our first real saltwater excursion. Obviously I would know little about how the rod would perform vis a vis others. I learned our guide was significantly more experienced.
First , a little background:
A. the guide did not know the rod, let alone the model.
B. he represents another well known manufacturer.
C. he has been guiding Florida for 13 years and before that the NY area for 17 years.
I asked him to demonstrate a couple of things to help my cast. He picked up the rod, cast it once, and asked what kind of rod this was.
He kept casting. All the while he was telling me this was the best loading and most forgiving rod (apparently I needed it) he had used, and it would make a good caster great and a great caster a legend.
Lastly, he did not comment on my best friend's 8wt rod (& he was the main customer) which was made by another well known manufacturer.
That is it. You decide.
PS - He also noted the line and said - "this is a good line, with this rod and line you have everything you need."
Also, my friend is now purchasing Helios."
Review 16 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
One Time Addiction,
March 19, 2009
By: FlyFishingAddict
from Essex Jct., VT
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
"Recently, I had the opportunity to do some saltwater flats fishing in Florida's beautiful Biscayne National Park. I was a little nervous as this was my fist guided trip AND the first saltwater fly-fishing I'd ever done. My guide set me up with an 9', 9.5 Tip-Flex Helios rod for 8-wt. line with a Battenkill Large Arbor reel. I had never used or, for that matter, even seen a Helios rod in person. When I first held the rod, I was surprised at how light the entire outfit was. Thanks to the thermoplastic, thermoset resin construction, it felt lighter and, yet, more responsive than the 8'6", Mid-Flex, 5-wt. rod that I normally use for trout fishing back home. On my first cast, the Helios loaded gracefully, but with enough backbone for the accuracy and distance I needed. Whether it was making short casts to little snappers and jacks, shooting 80' of line to reach spooky bonefish, or fighting a 60lb. tarpon, the Helios had the strength, delicacy, and accuracy I needed to do it all. It was an experience I'll not soon forget."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Review 17 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Helios Contest,
March 19, 2009
By: HeliosSlinger
from Atlanta
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
"I was given my Helios as a wedding gift, and I have fished it from Hawaii, for bonefish, to South Carolina, for Reds.
I cannot say enough good things about it. I can cast it all day long, with out getting tired and feeling no negative effects the next day.
The 8wt feels like my Orvis 4wt and the feel of the rod is unbelievable. This rod is so sensative I feel like I could nymph a small stream, but there is enough backbone to fight the hard fighting fish I hunt, snook, bones, reds, stripers.
I love to pick up my carbon fiber case and put it in the SUV, because I know regardless of the fish biting or not I am going to have a great day on the water because I have the greatest fly rod in the World, in my hand!
"
Review 18 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Six for Six With My Helios,
March 2, 2009
By: flyfishermon
from San Mateo, CA
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
"When the guide saw me prepping my new 8 wt. Helios for our day of Steelheading on the Trinity River in No. CA this January he did his best to discourage me. Apparently his prior client used a competitive 8 wt the day before and went 0 for 3 with three break offs. He was of the definite opinion that 8 wts were typically too stiff and had lacked flex and sensitivity. In addition we were using fine tippets with size 14 and 16 Pheasant Tails and Copper John's so we needed a light touch.
Despite his push back I loaded up my Helios with the 8wt. Wonderline and set out. I went 6 for 6 with my 9' 8wt. and NOT ONE breakoff. Several of the fish took me down to backing but the rod handled it well - I found the key is letting the rod do the work. I was able to apply steady pressure by simply keeping the rod tip up.
At the end of the trip the guide admitted he had never seen a rod handle so well and the Tip Flex was perfect. He was a Helios believer and so was I.
I landed this 36"+ 15lb buck to bring the perfect end to the perfect day (photo enclosed).
I can't wait to take it out for Striped Bass in September in the Delta. Thanks ORVIS, awesome technology!"
Review 19 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
120 bonefish in 6 days,
March 2, 2009
By: jdmac
from Modesto, California
Good Value: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Features: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Appearance: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
"Being relatively new to fly fishing with no experience in saltwater, I ventured down to Turneffe Flats in Belize to try my hand at bone fishing. In my bag was a brand new Helios 8 wt. saltwater rod with an Orvis large arbor reel.
With some expert coaching from a knowledgeable guide I was able to catch 120 bonefish in my six days of fishing. The rod was an absolute pleasure to use and my normally desk bound arm never got sore or tired, even on the day that I land 43 bones. The wind effect was minimized by the great casting attributes of the Helios rod.
I am sure that the Helios rod had a lot more to do with my success than my novice level fishing skills. Thanks Orvis and Helios for making this one of my most memorable vacations ever."
Review 20 for Helios™ 8-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Steelheading with My Helios,
March 1, 2009
By: FlyFish4Fun
from San Mateo, CA
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
"When the guide saw me prepping my new 8 wt. Helios for our day of Steelheading on the Trinity River in No. CA this January he did his best to discourage me. Apparently his prior client used a competitive 8 wt the day before and went 0 for 3 with three break offs. He was of the definite opinion that 8 wts were typically too stiff and had lacked flex and sensitivity.
Despite his push back I loaded up my Helios with the 8wt. Wonderline and set out. I went 6 for 6 with my 9' 8wt. and NOT ONE breakoff. At the end of the trip the guide admitted he had never seen a rod handle so well and the Tip Flex was perfect. I landed this 36"+ 15lb buck to bring an end to the perfect day (photo enclosed). I can't wait to take it out for Striped Bass in September. Thanks ORVIS, awesome technology!"