Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Orvis Helios 3F and 3D Fly Fishing Rods- Brief Review, Technical Data, Plus Differences from the Helios 2

Ive seen a ton of positive and negative remarks on the NEW Orvis Helios 3 Fly Rods. It happens with every new fly rod and for good reason. Through the years, consumers may have been duped into believing that a new rod is different from the last by overexuberant marketing campaigns. I've fallen victim to it and it has happened, at some point, with every major rod manufacturer. Skeptics will be skeptics but please dont make judgements until you do a touchy feely. The internets is full of armchair critics and it will only get worse as the years go by. Social media is the new nicotine. If you dont like it, then you dont have to. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion(s). My critique of this rod........ OH MY! Its like a laser pointer on 'roids. Great work Shawn Combs and the Orvis design team. You've cracked the nut this time.

Orvis Helios 3 Fly Rods- The H3 offers a fundamental shift from flex profiles to a new frontier in accuracy and purpose driven design. 3F offers mid-range accuracy with finesse; a dry fly angler's dream. 3D is accuracy with power at distance; even with larger flies. The difference is taper and stiffness, but the design foundation of accuracy remains constant throughout the entire series. Many more models will be available by Spring 2018.

No cast ever thrown is identical to any other cast ever thrown. The variables of the caster, rod, and conditions are too great. Helios 3F and 3D were designed to significantly reduce the variables at the point of release focusing the energy of the cast to the intended target. No matter what happens behind you, the energy of the forward cast is crisply released through a tight window created by the most significant reduction in horizontal and vertical tip frequency ever conceived. It is a rifle in a world of muskets and it autocorrects the variables of the cast to the target with incomparable precision. (see figure 1A/1B). This was accomplished with a strategically reinforced blank that is stronger, yet has a remarkably lighter swing weight than the previous Helios rods. This increased hoop strength prevents the blank from "ovalizing" when flexed, (see figure 2A/2B) damping the vibration as the rod unloads and the line is released forward with significantly reduced sine waves (see figure 1A/1B) taking a truer path to the target. This increased strength also makes the Helios 3 stronger and more durable with an 85" deflection distance to breakage as compared to 54" for Helios and 72" for Helios 2. (see figure 3)

“How are these rods different from Helios 2?”
  • The only fly rod designed with the primary purpose of transferring casting energy into accuracy.
  • They are more accurate because of new materials and new construction techniques that greatly reduce oscillations in the rod after the cast is made.
  • They have a lower levered weight so they feel lighter in the hand.
  • They are 17% stronger in tensile strength, 40% stronger in hoop strength, and 77% stronger in impact strength.
  • They have a low-reflection matte finish to prevent spooking fish.
  • They have an exclusive Orvis-designed reel seat made in the same US machine shop as the Mirage reels.
How did they make them so accurate?
  • New graphite fiber is denser and has a quicker recovery rate.
  • Increased hoop strength for improved tracking and quicker recovery rate.
  • Each section of every rod is hand-tuned to maximize energy transfer.
  • New progressive tapers that deliver improved energy transfer while increasing the tip sensitivity and offering reserve power in the butt section.
  • Two new Helios rod families are available:  Helios 3F for accuracy and finesse at short to mid-range distance; Helios 3D for accuracy at distance even in the wind.
Orvis Fly Rods
  • With the exception of two price-point rods, all Orvis fly rods are made from start to finish in the Vermont rod shop.
  • Orvis designs and produces graphite, bamboo, and fiberglass rods all under one roof.
  • The Orvis rod shop employs over 50 craftspeople.
  • Orvis has been making fly rods in Manchester, Vermont since 1856. “Ahead of their time since the beginning.”

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