[Editor’s Note: John Arnold and Mark Raislerof Headhunters Fly Shop, in Craig, Montanahave produced the first in-depth look at the new Helios 2 and how it performs on the water. They didn’t just wiggle the rods in the shop; instead, they actually spent a whole day with them, using different fishing methods in different situations. This is how such independent reviews need to be done, and they really nailed it. Below is their introduction; click the link at the end for the full review on their blog, “The Headhunter.”]
NOTE: Before reading our Sage ONE v. Orvis Helios 2 | 5 weight Fly Rod Review, it should be noted that we were using the Orvis Helios 2 Tip-Flex model. This rod also comes in a Mid-Flex version, and we can assume that the results would be far different. We lean towards the fastest action rods here on the Missouri River, so we are testing what we would use.
The battle between two great rods developed from a need to know!
One could argue that a majority of the trout, and maybe even saltwater, rods purchased in the next couple years will be one of these two rods. We could all agree that the Sage ONE and the Orvis Helios 2 are the two hottest rods on the market. Both have a lot of traction, strong sales, and a buzz can be heard in discussions regarding these two coveted rods. Evidenced by the frequency of the Sage ONE on the Missouri and beyond I can only speculate that it will be matched in popularity by the Orvis Helios 2.
This past year many have cast and fished the Sage ONE rods specifically for the Missouri and your local stream, lake or pond. It was introduced Fall 2011 and has quickly become an industry favorite. Since the introduction of the Helios 2 from Orvis many guests, friends, and clients have been asking us about it and how does it rate against the Sage ONE? Have you cast it? What does it feel like? It is super light!
Now that we have both rods living side by side on the shelf…the new question has become “OK, I hear they are both great rods. But what is the differences between the two? What should I get for my trip to ‘River X’? I like to dry fly fish, but I enjoy nymphing when the bugs aren’t popping.” Or, “I like to streamer fish first and foremost, but I still love to throw tiny flies at sipping trout? What should I do?”
John and Mark decided to take the two rods in question on the famous Missouri River and give them a head to head real world river examination. They would fish them with dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. A true test to see what each rod was designed for and the limits of which each could handle.