IFTD 2019: Orvis Fly Rods and Reels
Helios 3 Artist Series
If you're looking for something seriously special, the Limited Edition Helios 3 "Artist Series" might just be your thing. Available in 9-foot 5F and 8D models, both rods each feature hand-burned custom cork grips done by famed artist Tim Johnson. The 5-weight model sports a trout and mayfly, while the 8-weight grip features a feeding bonefish. In addition, no two grips will be exactly the same as they are all individually handcrafted by Tim and each also incorporates subtle changes in design.
Other differences over a standard Helios 3 includes a California buckeye burl wood reel seat insert on the 5F model, either olive (5F model) or blue (8D model) label band and line identifier, and a matte black rod tube with gloss black logo.
These rods are available to order right now with a cost of $1,149 for the 5F and $1,198 for the 8D models.
NEW Recon Fly Rods
The popular Orvis Recon fly rods have been totally updated for the 2020 year. Using Helios 3 construction technology, these rods have improved hoop strength and overall performance. Freshwater rods have matte olive blanks with charcoal and "spring" accents and pewter Type III anodized seats with burled hardwood spacers, all at a price of $498. Big Game series rods have matte-blue blanks with charcoal and light blue accents along with pewter Type III anodized solid aluminum reel seats at a price of $549. Available March 2020.
NEW Hydros Fly Reels
Same name, new design and look. The Hydros reels return for the 2020 year, but Orvis has redesigned them with several key upgrades. Still fully-machined and featuring a large arbor, each new Hydros boasts improvements like updated drag seals, a radiused (rounded off) reel foot to prevent leader kinking, a new drag knob design, a machined Delrin handle with tighter tolerances, and lighter overall weight. The heart of the reel features a stack of 16 carbon/stainless drag surfaces for smooth performance, and minimum-to-maximum pressure is achieved in 1 1/4 turns of the drag knob. Available March 2020, the Hydros will come in a matte black w/ matte silver drag knob or matte silver w/ matte black drag knob. Expect a price of $198–$279 depending on model.
NEW Mission Fly Rods
For you two-handed aficionados, Orvis now offers the Mission series of fly rods. Built using Helios 3 design advancements, these rods are said to offer increased hoop strength and better dampening qualities. Measuring 11–15 feet in length, each rod sports a matte olive blank with orange accents along with a "quick line identifier" so you can quickly know what rod to grab. Reel seats are crafted out of solid aluminum and are down-locking. Mission fly rods are available RIGHT NOW at a price of $798.
(images courtesy of Orvis)