Helios 2 8-weight 11' Fly Rod—Tip Flex

This 8 weight is the ideal all around switch rod for steelhead.


5⅛ oz. 11', 4-piece, Tip Flex fly rod for 8-wt. line.

You stand on the brink of madness, shooting cast after cast through the driving snow in sub-zero temperatures. They say steelhead are the fish of 1,000 casts and, even though you're not counting, you swear you're approaching 5,000. Sometimes, you're not sure why you do it. But in those moments of doubt, visions of wild hens covered in sea lice—living sculptures made of pure sterling silver—scream through your mind, their dazzling pink cheeks and humble beginnings in the very water in which you stand trigger your reflexes. Cast, step, repeat; cast, step, repeat. Then you think to yourself, who's counting anyway? Get 11 feet closer to your next affirmation with the Helios 2. Proudly made in Manchester, Vermont.

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.

  • 20% stronger than the original Helios
  • 20% lighter in hand
  • 100% increase in tip-impact strength
  • Fine-tuned tapers for unrivaled tracking, accuracy, and lifting power

  • Reviews

    Overall: Show Rating Distribution 4.5 / 5 based on 4 reviews


    4 of 4 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

    • 3/5

      A very mixed bag - 1/10/2015
      By: from Dublin, Ireland

      I bought this rod (11' 8 weight Helios 2 switch) as a major treat to myself. I saw them being made in Vermont a while ago when I was in the US on a fishing trip, and I knew that when it came to investing in a switch rod the Helios 2 would be the one to get. One reason is that most 8 weight switch rods aren't really switch rods at all, as they're simply too heavy to be used with one hand for any length of time. That's one thing that sets the H2 apart; it's virtually the only genuine 8 weight switch rod out there (compare it with the Sage One 8 weight switch, for instance, and you'll see what i mean. That rod is a small Spey rod, nothing more, nothing less). When I first took it out of its sleeve I was half-impressed, half-disappointed. It's a beautiful rod – there can be no argument about that. The blank is a deep rich colour, but without being too flashy; the guides are crush proof; the handle is superbly crafted and shaped. But on closer inspection I discovered two big areas of filler in the cork handle. To put it in context, I own two of the original Orvis Frequent Flyer rods, which are a fraction of the price of the H2 and are made in Asia, and their handles don't have any big areas of filler like that. I also discovered little holes in the varnish where the feet of the guides meet the blank – nothing more than imperfections, but imperfections nonetheless (and areas where salt water and dirt could presumably penetrate over time). I ended up returning the rod to an Orvis store in the UK. The fishing guy was in complete agreement with me that the rod's finish was not up to scratch, and he sent it back to the UK Orvis HQ in Hampshire. Great customer service, as usual with Orvis; a replacement rod arrived a couple of weeks later, no questions asked. But imagine my surprise when I took it out and discovered a handle with THREE big areas of filler, and the same problem with the holes in the varnish around a couple of the guide feet. I did not have time to take it back again. I took it to fish on the North Tyne in October 2014 and caught two Atlantic salmon with it in two days, of 15 and 17lbs. The rod fishes superbly. It's absurdly light for its length and power and casting ability, and it handled both of those fish with ease – better than I thought it would, especially as it was in fairly heavy water. But because I've been fishing a long time and over the years I've owned many rods, I know that not very long from now I'm going to have three big holes in the handle, once the filler has got wet a few times and worked its way out. And who knows what will happen with the gaps in the varnish on the guides. Maybe not much, maybe some discolouration or something, we'll see. I wish the guy in Hampshire had checked the replacement rod before sending it out to me – especially given the reasons the first one was returned. It wouldn't have taken much effort to do that, yet whoever it was clearly didn't bother. And it's not as if every rod suffers from these problems: last time I was in London I dropped in at the Orvis store on Regent Street and had a look at the ones they had there, and they were completely fine: no big areas of filler and no problems with the varnish around the guide feet. Right now I'm thinking I'll just live with it; after all, I really don't want to have to send another rod back just to receive another that might be much the same. Maybe I'll just get the handle repaired when the time comes. And maybe I can fill in those holes in the varnish on the guide feet myself. Because it's a great rod and I feel kind of attached to it now after those fish, and I know it's superficial stuff I'm complaining about, that in the end these things won't really affect how the rod fishes. But for the money I've spent, I wish I didn't have any complaints at all. I'd still recommend this rod. But if you are planning to get one, don't buy blind. Go to a store and pick one out yourself. As for you guys at the factory in Vermont: you're m

    • 5/5

      Great Performance - 9/18/2014

      I recently took the new switch rod and reel to Mongolia for Taimen and it performed magnificently. I cast the rod all day for 7 days with little fatigue. I caught many Taimen with it including one 45". It cast effortlessly for good distance and was extremely reliable on many Taiman fights. It is a very good length and handled better than the Spey rods that I was given to try. I love this rod!!

    • 5/5

      The best rod for steelhead - 1/29/2014
      By: from Brooklyn ,ny

      Having this rod has made me able to fish longer and harded for steelhead in the winter months .

    • 5/5

      Glad to see outfit uses Mirage V - 1/23/2014

      I am glad to see that you are recommending the Mirage V reel with this outfit. I bought the same outfit at one of your stores and the salesman suggested the Mirage IV and it wasn't really large enough to hold a Skagit head. I was new to spey casting and really didn't know any better so I went along with him. After a while it dawned on me that maybe I should have bought a bigger diameter reel. He replaced it for a Mirage V but was just a little bit chippy about it. I had some difficulties with my H2 8 wt switch too (it broke in the same place twice), and he kind of insinuated that maybe I didn't know what I was doing and that he has sold a lot of these outfits and none of his customers have had trouble except me. Although he replaced the products he made it seem like he was doing me a big favor when he did it. I like Orvis products but now will do business with my local fly shop. They are just so much easier to do business with, seem so much more grateful when I spend money with them, and are so much more knowledgeable than the factory store employee in question.

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    • Helios 2 8-weight 11' Fly Rod—Tip Flex £825.00
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