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Helios 1 Or 2?

977 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  SERE Nate
I am thinking about picking up a 6 or 7 weight switch rod. I am intrigued by the lighter weight Helios. I have never cast one though. I really like the look of the 2, but is the slight reduction in weight worth the price difference? Anything else that I should be looking at in the $3-450 range?

For reference, I have a 9"6 SAGE one 6 weight that I can cast well, but it just feels like a broomstick compared to my other rods. I love my 3 weight redington CT and my 5 weight Scott G2.

I also have a Echo Dec Hogan 2 7 weight spey that I just cant get a good feel for. I get a good cast maybe 1 on 4 casts. I can cast it maybe 60 ft? Feel like I can cast my Sage further, as long as I have casting room.
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I should add that there is a high probability that I will be leaving the Seattle area in a year and moving to MT. Seems like a switch would still have some use there, as a Spey probably wouldn't.

I mostly fish the Sky, Sno, OP, beaches and SW WA rivers. My goal is to catch a Steelhead and the majority of the Salmon species before I leave to MT and lose the opportunity that we have here in the PNW.
The 2 has better durability...which the 1 had some issues with.
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Orvis Helios is great for a moderate action rod - very light in the hand but just not for me. I sold my Orvis Helios rods when I found out that the action is not what I can cast. According to my spey instructor, I am not the calm, slow to create a D loop, moderate action rod type of person. I am more of a fast, touch and go caster....

I just returned from Vancouver Island and caught pink salmon on a 7wt switch rod.
I prefer a fast action and light rod.
I love my Redington Chromer 7wt 11'6" switch rod casting either a scandi, skagit or rage (scandit) head.
For $300 the Chromer is a steal!

You should try different rods out first before buying - amazing how different they are all!
Give some thought to Winston if you like light physical weight rods. I'm familiar with all (but the 15' 10wt) of the original BIIx and own both BII MX that were offered.

The original BIIx 11' 7wt (actually a 5wt spey / 7wt single hand) is a decent little wand, soft action with plenty of power in the butt. Easily cast single handed by anyone still in modest physical shape. I've watched my 68 year old friend do it day after day.. and land multiple Atlantic Salmon to upper teens class.

On the other hand the BII MX 11'6" 6wt is actually a 7/8 in disguise. As a rule I like light heads and still need about 400+ grains to spey cast a minimal touch anchor. Doubting this rod is suited to your specifications and only list it so you'll have an idea of what it's about should you see one.

Have not been to the annual Clave in 3 seasons now so no hands on intel what the current BIII TH 11' 6wt acts like, but with a grain window of 330 - 390 grains it's in the arena. I've always thought Winston grain ratings ran a bit fat in comparison to where many people zero in.

"You should try different rods out first before buying - amazing how different they are all!"

This advice from 4sallypat should be on a disclaimer tag hanging from all new rods.
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... but it just feels like a broomstick compared to my other rods ...
The Sage One 6116 is anything but a broomstick. It's a sweet rod to cast. No comparison to the single handed One. If you can find one online, consider it. Orvis makes fine rods but IMHO they don't specialize in spey like Sage does.
I just bought a Helios 2 11' 7wt. It is a fast rod. But you can calm it down with a heavier line. It has a big grain window. You can cast 380gr switch lines to 510 gr skagit or scandi. I prefer my 480 gr Airflo FIST with a 10' sinktip. The rod is extremely light!

The St. Croix Imperial switches are sleepers in my opinion. They are a great rod for an American made rod. I own the 6 wt and it is great!

I live in Bellevue, WA. Pm me if you want give the Helios 2 a try.
I am puzzled...the Helios, Sage, and Winston rods being discussed are at least twice the price range you mentioned, without line or reel. Whatever you do get with someone experienced that lives near you and rely on their advice.

It is very much about matching the line to the rod.....not easy for a beginner. If you search the archives, I have a post about an LSI my buddy got new for 1/2 price and the line that matched it, maybe that would help if you have no one to help.
I picked up a used sage tcx 8 weight switch
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I picked up a used sage tcx 8 weight switch
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I picked up a used sage tcx 8 weight switch
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