When the notification on my phone told me that the package I ordered from Orvis was delivered, I couldn’t get home fast enough. There’s no mistaking what rod or rod tube you have in your hand. Even the rod tube is just plain cool…and this is coming from a traditionalist.
Once you remove the four piece rod from the sock, everything oozes with quality craftsmanship, science, and the quality that Orvis continually produces. There has been much ado about the new labeling and quite honestly, when you’re on the water, if the label bothers you, you’re bound to catch far less fish than if you were looking at your surroundings and the water. One thing I did notice, however, was the matte finish of the rod. Orvis Helios 2 Covert customers will understand what I mean. The rod has a beautiful understated appeal to it. In my opinion, it’s also easier on the eyes when fishing because there isn’t a glare off of the rod. And trust me, the old H2 blue rods are my favorite color and I didn’t think I’d like the matte finish….but I really do.
I know there will be anglers out there that pick up the rod and think it’s a great tool but may wonder, ‘what is all the fuss about?’. Until you pick up this rod and cast a line to a specific target….lets say 30-40 feet in front of you and pick the smallest target, you won’t fully get it. This rod is sneaky accurate and just does what you want it to do without question. And I highly recommend you visit an Orvis retail store or Orvis dealer to cast one of these rods.
My test were the salty flats fishing to redfish and speckled seatrout some days and then heading inland for some large pond largemouth bass. The flies ranged in sizes as did the different fishing conditions and I couldn’t find a situation where the rod didn’t exceed my expectations. For the entire trip, I spooled up with Scientific Anglers Mastery Redfish Warm fly line and since it’s built 1/2 size heavy, it loaded the rod so sweetly from casts 30 to 60 feet. It definitely has the power to cast the entire line but for this type of fishing, it’s just not necessary to do so.
However, I am looking forward to some steelhead and salmon fishing in the upcoming season. After using an Orvis Recon for steelhead and salmon use on the Great Lakes tributaries, it stood up to the test and I’m sure the H3 will be, too. More on that later.
Is this review starting to sound like all of the others you read? Believe it. And yeah, it’s that good.