The snarky part of me wants to write a seven word review and be done with it. I am not a pro angler, just a weekend hack so I can't speak to swing weight with any degree of accuracy, and I didn't mark off distances to test the rod at different line lengths. I did, however, take this rod fishing. I cast to and caught some winter carp on a shallow flat, including one 18 lber. With that in mind, I can sum up the H2 nicely in 7 words.
The best flyrod I have ever cast.
Full disclosure here, Orvis sent me this rod for free. I didn't solicit it for a review, nor did they ask me to write one. My guess...Orvis knows they have a winner here and figured I would end up singing the praises of the Helios 2. They were correct. Over the years and miles I have logged on various rivers I have accumulated a lot of gear, in particular fly rods. My primary carp rod has been a G Loomis Native Run GLX, backed up by a recently purchased Sage One. Those are both fantastic rods in their own rights, so I don't say this lightly:
They will gather some dust this season.
Why? In a word...accuracy. My type of fishing puts a premium on accuracy, and I am not talking about getting the fly in a general area. Most carp guys talk about the dinner plate; on the Big C we talk about hitting a coffee cup. Our fish just don't move far, so you need to feed them. I don't know why, or what Orvis did to make it happen, but that Helios 2 is a laser pointer. You adjust the length of line, point at your target and the fly lands there. Honestly...it was a little freaky.
So I have had one day on the carp flats and many afternoons on the lawn with this rod. As a non professional angler, I feel obliged to ignore the buzz words and lay it out there as simply as I can...so here goes. This rod is fun to cast. You can easily throw a long line (I tried, and it was fun, but I rarely fish more than 30-40 ft of fly line), and you can easily throw short 15 foot casts to the tailers I was spotting through the cloud cover. Most importantly...the Helios 2 is the most accurate rod I have ever cast.
I am going to lay the smack down on carp with this rod this spring.