Orvis Ratings and Reviews

Top Rated Product

Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex

2½ oz. 9', 4-piece, Tip-Flex fly rod for 5-wt. line. There may not be many truths in fly fishing, but here is one: you can't catch a fish if you can't get a fly in front of it. Thanks to the most accurate and versatile 5-weight we've ever created, that problem will disappear forever. Whether you're slinging lead toward an undercut bank or dropping tricos in a glass-calm tailout from 50 feet away, the 905-4 Helios 2 will perform with precision, sensitivity, and brute force when necessary. Lighter in hand and stronger than the original Helios, you'll be able to fish longer, fish harder, and feel the difference a superior rod makes. Proudly made in Manchester, Vermont, USA. Why would we take the world's best fly rod and change it? The answer is simple. We're driven by constant improvement. Put this rod in your hands and feel the rush. You'll completely understand.
Average Customer Rating:
4.87 out of 5
4.9
 out of 
5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (23 reviews)
5 stars
21
4 stars
1
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0
21 of 23(91%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Review 1 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex,
July 16, 2014
By: Mcp8181
from tucson, az.
"I spend a lot of time researching before picking the 905-4 Helios 2 and I was not disappointed. It is the first high end rod that I have own and one of the best looking rods too. Forgot about the looks the first time out with it because of the way it feels and the accurate is unreal. Just stated getting into casting streamers and this rod handle them just as good as smallest dry or nymphs. I fish from a float tube a lot and being lower to the water and shoulder replacement that only give 50% uses of the shoulder, it makes it a little hard to cast for me. With this rod it’s not a problem at all. I will be taking a motorcycle trip from Az. to the upper part of Michigan and planning on fly fishing all the way there very soon and this rod will be going with me. Also the Orvis App. help me get a license in any state I am in. Thanks Orvis"
Review 2 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Love the "touch",
June 13, 2014
By: QKSLVR
from Newfoundland, Canada
"I've just retired after 39 years as a dental surgeon.. My new Helios2 gives me tactile feedback like I've grown to expect from my favourite instruments. It's so much fun to drop that dry fly in front of Mr. Trout, effortlessly.
Thank you Orvis."
Review 3 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
super rod,
May 29, 2014
By: todfer
"Great action and can even take a bit heaver line, if needed."
Review 4 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Outstanding Upgrade,
April 28, 2014
By: DCG9
from Tolland, CT
"I recently upgraded to a Helios 2 after using a mid-level Orvis Rocky Mountain 5wt mid-flex rod for about 15 years. Although I love my old rod, the difference between this rod and my previous are night and day. The Helios 2 was very fun to cast behind the Orivs store, but there are a few things in particular that stood out once I got it on the water:
Precision - I was able to place the fly EXACTLY where I wanted. In fact, I didn't realize how imprecise my old rod was until I fished with the new Helios 2.
Tighter loops - I suspect this is partially due to the difference between a mid- and tip-flex rod, but my loops are much tighter, allowing my to get into and under tighter lies.
Mending - My mending skills seemed to improve ten-fold. Not only was I able to mend more accurately, but I was able to throw the entire line above the fly, then perform a second mend closer to me to account for slower current, all without disturbing the fly.
Backbone - The new Helios 2 is significantly stiffer than my old rod, which has allowed me to more easily bring fish to net, especially with a long leader.
I highly recommend casting this rod when you get a chance. You won't be disappointed."
Review 5 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Smartest purchase ever,
April 23, 2014
By: CodyPerson
from Memphis, TN
"Well, i purchased my 9ft 5wt Helios 2 to fish for trout all over the Ozarks, paired it up with a Mirage Reel and im golden, couldn't be happier with it, the rod shoots line beautifully and with amazing accuracy, never have i had so much confidence in a rod until now. Casting is a dream. Its everything that you would expect from a wonderful company like orvis. Great warranty aswell"
Review 6 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
one great rod,
April 9, 2014
By: gonfishn
from Western Pa.
"I bought this rod because I have never owned a rod that was a flex tip. All the rods I own are either a full flex a mid flex. So I thought it was time to try a tip flex. I received this rod with two feet of snow on the ground but I couldn't wait so out in the back yard I went. I was really impressed but I wanted to see what it would on the stream. Well I finally got to try it and was even more impressed. I have never cast a pair of nymphs with a couple of split shot on with the accuracy the this rod gave me. The feel of the strike was instant and hook set was just as fast. I can't wait to see what it will do with a size 16 dry or even smaller. So far one great rod period."
Review 7 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Amazing Difference,
December 31, 2013
By: idahoflygirl
"Just purchased and used my new Helios 2 fly rod (9' 5wt.)
Amazing power and sensitivity. In the East I fish mostly small streams and rod has performed with extreme deftness.
Will take West in the fall to fish the Henry's Fork and Madison. No doubt that it will exceed my wishes on the bigger waters."
Review 8 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best mousin rod out there,
December 27, 2013
By: Otch
from Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
"I bought this rod to fish for big brouwns at night with a mouse. It is perfect for the task. It is light enough to cast all night, and strong enough to strip in a 25" brown with no problem."
Review 9 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Unbelievable,
December 25, 2013
By: Jhagee
from Colorado
"My new favorite rod...so light and cast effortlessly...I love it."
Review 10 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Amazing, but a reason for 4 star,
October 8, 2013
By: polarfly
"I write this review as someone who has somewhat sold my soul to "another" rod company which I do enjoy. The first time i gave this rod a whip/wiggle, I knew it was special and immediately starting gloating my profound and positive opinion in review of it. My friend (owner of the new rod) and close fishing buddy had just picked out the Orvis H2 9' 5wt. tip flex. I had an opportunity to fish it a mere hour into our float after my initial handling of the rod. Words are difficult to find, to describe the casting, presentation/accuracy, line control and fish fighting abilities of this rod. (I was very fortunate to be presenting and sometimes skipping sofa pillows to attuned browns during a pretty amazing salmon fly hatch). Later I bought one of my own and was as blissful as the first time. This rod has all the attributes in its own right of the ultimate do-it-all fly rod. Accurate, smooth. It's unbelievable in every way (except looks which mean nothing to me), in all but one component. It is not as durable as you may be lead to believe. Orvis is currently rebuilding a tip section for my rod and so far the customer service has been on point. It's been one month and I'll be checking in with them tomorrow to check progress. I don't know the status of the rod yet. In conclusion, this is an absolutely all around amazingly high performance rod, but not in 10 years of my preferred brand of choice or any other has a tip broke in my hand during dis-assembly. My advise is, buy that H2, just treat it as gingerly as a baby and do not twist on, and twist off in the opposite direction the ferrules like other rod companies may suggest. Torsional strength is not something this rod excels at, and to be honest, that's not what the rod is designed to do. (especially for how light it is by design). Slide the ferule on straight, pull it off straight, mind the pressure and I think life will remain great. Buy one, you most likely will not regret it."
Review 11 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Its hard to believe,
July 10, 2013
By: Pulse
from Alberta Canada
"Its hard to believe that something can cast as great as it looks. As soon as the Helios 2 came to my doorstep I put on the reel and strung my line through the guides. I headed out the same night to give it a test, a place in Alberta with fabled large trout feeding on small flies. When I arrived at my destination I was all ready to go so I start off getting a feel for the rod. First off I pull out about 25feet of line and start casting from their. You start to notice how accurate this rod right off from the first cast then everything else starts to come into play like how the rod will be able to cast softly and extremely smooth at the same time, then I start pulling out more line and more line seeing how far one can cast with this rod before it tappers off. Id be lying to you if I said I couldn't cast my whole WT floating line out. It may not have been as smooth at 55 feet but it has the muscle to do so if the task requires. After putting the Helios2 through my own little test for accuracy, distance and subtle presentations I make my way up the river looking for snouts. "This is it" I said to myself looking at my first fish I came across. I pull out the line needed and gently present the brown drake in his feeding lane and with no doubt he grabbed it first cast! When I set that hook you can tell it stands out from the other fly rods, Its something you cant explain through words but you can tell it was designed to do so. I used the full taper to my advantage and brought in one of my biggest browns iv seen from their in years. I stayed and fished till dark and landed many fish on the rod that night but the real treat was doing so with a H2.
The Helios2 hands down is one of the best rods you will ever cast. The ability to cast at short distances with accuracy and a supple presentation go hand in hand with the long accurate casts iv made that day but my favorite part of the rod isn't the way it casts its the way it sets the hook you can really feel that rod do its job and it gives you the "feel" everyone wants to experience. The blue blank and the reel seat take this rod to a new level giving it a clean modern look and you cant go wrong with that.
If you want to really test this rod go out with an extra rod one day and take turns fishing with them and at the end of the day compare notes and without a doubt you will have a clear winner.
"
Review 12 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Hard to Explain...how good this rod really is!,
July 4, 2013
By: Rugby10
from Upstate NY
Reviewer Images
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
"Let me first state that the vast majority of my fly rods are made by Orvis. That being said, I was amazed at the performance of the H2. My primary trout rod was a Hydros 4wt, which is a fantastic rod in it's own right. But with Spring/Summer trips to the West Branch of the Ausable and Rapid Riv er, I was told the 4wt might be a bit overmatched. What a great excuse to grab the H2! Fat Browns on the Ausable; Landlocked salmon and Brookies on the Rapid. The H2 handled them without any problem, while still being sensitive enough to enjoy the fight. The current on the Rapid River was a concern, especially with 20" Land locks and 12-14" Brookies, but I never felt the H2 was pushed beyond it's limits. I did learn quickly that compared to the Hydros, I needed to slow down my casting stroke. Once I did, I was astounded at the effortless distance achieved in my cast. I have it paired with the 3D line, which seems like a perfect match. Pricey, absolutely. But you do get what you pay for. A complimentary H2 hat or t-shirt would have been a nice perk, but once you cast, and land your first fish with the H2, you forget about the hit your bank account took, or what your wife is going to say when she finds out!"
Review 13 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
WOW,
June 14, 2013
By: Timbles
from Vermont
"This rod is a dream to cast. I have a 9' 4wt Hydros tip flex which I used to think was a great rod (it still is) but this raises the bar to a new level. WOW does not quite sum it up.
My only quibbles are with the rod tube that looks cheap and has a rather unattractive logo design on it. Then there is the little bit of wood on the handle that seems somewhat out of place on such a sleek rod.
I stil can't get over how great this rod is to cast regardless of the conditions
"
Review 14 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
AWESOME!!!,
June 14, 2013
By: Seabass
from Northern California
"The construction and quality of the rod is top notch. Accuracy is spot on. Definitely lives up to the hype! My only criticism is not on the rod, rather the lines. For me, the 5wt line tapers are not aggressive enough for such a high performance rod. I would recommend purchasing the power taper line or going up to a 6wt... especially if you nymph fish or deal with wind on a regular basis.
Other than that, much better improvement of the OG Helios... buy the H2!!!
"
Review 15 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
best fly rod ever!,
May 8, 2013
By: backpack
from Missoula,MT
"I was the owner of an access fly rod and I was very happy with it, but in the back of my mind I really wanted the Orvis helios 2 rod. Just when it looked like I would never get my hands on one, the dealer where I originally bought my access rod called me at home and I got my hands on the fly rod of a life time. I am so happy with my helios 2. It does everything they advertise and then some. Loads fast,accurate and effortless to cast! I looked at other fly rods but none compare to this rod. GREAT JOB ORVIS YOUR THE BEST, BAR NONE!"
Review 16 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
oH my gusH!,
April 3, 2013
By: flymarcy
from broken bow oklahoma
"Simply amazing, I used hardy zenith, sage one, I have boron IImx and boron IIIx, but this rod, its incredible...Awesome.
You can cast where you want how you want, easy...easy!
The best fly rod I ever had and tested.
"
Review 17 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Solid Stick!,
February 7, 2013
By: FlybumMedia
from Cleveland, OH
Reviewer Images
(click to see full-size image)
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
"A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to take the new Helios 2 5wt with me to Alaska. I always like a 5 or 6 for the smaller stream bows, but am always a little worried that I might be undergunned in the event I hook that monster in some fast current. This rod not only throws line like a dream but I can tell you that it never even whimpered while under the strain of a wild Alaskan Rainbow. It didn't matter the circumstance or size of fish...the fly went where I wanted and how I wanted and so did the fish after a hook up. This is a casting, fish fighting stick that everyone needs the chance to throw. I couldn't be happier with the improvements that Orvis has made to this line up of rods. It didn't matter if I was throwing dry flies or swinging 5 inch streamers...this rod got it done!"
Review 18 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
3 / 5
3 / 5
Shoddy Craftsmanship,
December 10, 2012
By: Altazor
"If you are looking for a rod with a beautiful blue blank, great casting ability and one of the nicest reel spacers and reel seats on the market, not to mention some of the most beautiful and often overlooked high end components available, then look no further than the Helios 2.
I recently purchased a Helios 2 and can attest to its fishing prowess and overall great looks. The rod tube alone is in a class by itself. The rod casts on par with the hyperbole generated by Orvis; the rod, in my opinion is a step up from the original Helios in fishability and looks. However, the original Helios seems to take a higher place on the podium in terms of workmanship/craftsmanship, which I found to be impeccable on the original Helios.
The Helios 2 arrived and, of course, the first thing I did was rig up. Immediately, upon close inspection, I noted that the wraps on the rod were a bit crooked, but more than that the thread (a nice silver that offsets beautifully against the midnight blue blank) had frayed ends with obvious tails which were somewhat magnified by their placement on the top of the rod blank. This same fraying was evident on every section of the rod. Disappointed, but feeling like a few errant threads were not a big deal I proceeded to place my Orvis Hydros reel on the aforementioned reel seat. The fit was snug and the balance was spot on. As I started to put the line through the stripping guide (again, a wonderful high end component) I noticed that something was way off, namely the reel seat sat approximately 1/2 inch left of the alignment dots (another nice feature present on the Helios 2). By the time the guides reached the tip top component of the rod the misalignment was even more pronounced. Not one to be deterred by such “minor” non-fishing problems, I simply eyeballed the guides and the reel and went out to fish the San Juan River in New Mexico. The rod held up against some fine fish, two of which were over 20 inches, and the rod never lacked for power or sensitivity (i.e. all the fish were landed relatively quickly and returned to the water in excellent shape, and I never broke off despite using 6x).
While none of the aforementioned problems affected fishability or overall looks from afar, the obvious rush or oversight in putting the rod together is not on par with what Orvis clearly states is their flagship fly rod model. In that vein, similarly priced, high end rods, would/should not have similar defects in workmanship. Put another way, your top of the line model should be impeccable and this particular rod was not in that category.
I struggled with whether or not to recommend the rod, but two lukewarm interactions with Orvis customer service left me frustrated in my attempts to return the rod; one of the drawbacks of living in a rural setting is that it is difficult to return the rod to the Orvis retailer where you purchased it because, as rural life would suggest, it is a 250 mile drive. Alas, a helpful customer service agent did his utmost to make things right and let me return the rod to Orvis, directly. As the saying goes, third time is the charm. Despite the efforts of this helpful gentleman I was firmly in the non-recommendation camp by that point.
Overall, I was disappointed with the craftsmanship and the customer service I received. As for the fishing portion of the equation, the 9' 5 wt. tip flex model handled nymph rigs and an indicator with aplomb and mended effortlessly; I am not a world class caster by any means, but my casts were easily 10-20 feet longer than usual and with no obvious drop off in the rod's ability or power at longer distances. From a fishing standpoint, the Helios 2 is a lightweight wonder with heavyweight power.
In closing, if you want a top flight rod in craftsmanship and in fishing prowess I believe you have to look somewhere else.
If, however, you are willing to spend a high dollar amount on a rod that fishes with the best of them, and you are not 100% committed to the idea that workmanship/craftsmanship must also be part of the high end price tag, then this is quite the rod and it will not disappoint."
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Response from Orvis:By Orvis Customer Service TeamDecember 20, 2012
Thank you for the feedback regarding this product. We certainly appreciate you bringing these cosmetic issues to our attention and assure you that this will help us pay closer attention to every rod going out our doors. We take pride in crafting each and every Helios 2 right here in Vermont, and to have even one not meet the standards of our customers is unacceptable. We received the rod in question from the customer and are in the process of replacing it. We apologize for the customer service frustrations and will do our best to make this issue right. As always, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our products.
Review 19 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best fly rod,
December 6, 2012
By: Rick516
from Raleigh NC
"The first time I tried the rod I could not believe how accurate and far I could cast. I have several rods including Helios 1 but this Helios 2 is a different rod! If you have not tried it yet, go to your nearest dealer and try it out. I think you will agree."
Review 20 for Helios 2 5-weight 9' Fly Rod—Tip Flex
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
The BEST of the BEST is here!,
November 30, 2012
By: TLSchiavone
from Phoenix, AZ
"My Orvis dealer, STILLWATER FLY SHOP in Sunriver, Oregon put me on the top of their list for the New HELIOS 2 fly rod. I got mine yesterday. Thanks Tim.
I was really finding it hard to believe that ORVIS could improve on such a master piece of a fly rod. I own eight ORVIS HELIOS fly rods in different weights. This is number three in the 5 weights.
As soon as I had it unpack it was mated up with my ORVIS MIRAGE III reel and in my truck. I took it out on the water to see if what I was reading was true. I found the new HELIOS 2 to feel awesome in my hands, casts like a dream and very nice to look at too.
The reviews your reading are all true, but you need to put this magical fly rod into your hands and cast it yourself to be a true believer.
I'm heading to the San Juan River in New Mexico next month to test driver my new ORVIS HELIOS 2 fly rod before my flyfishing trip to South America with Orvis Travel in January 2013. I got a feeling its going to be another awesome flyfishing adventure with the help of my new HELIOS 2 fly rod.
Thanks again ORVIS for moving the bar even higher with this outstanding fly rod.
P.S. I have the new BLACK NICKLE ORVIS MIRAGE REEL on order to match up with my new HELIOS 2 fly rod. I can't wait till Janaruy 11, 2013 for the new reel and January 17, 2013 for my flyfishing adventure with ORVIS."