Orvis Helios 3 at Bozeman Fly Shop – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Orvis Helios 3 at Bozeman Fly Shop

The NEW Helios 3 fly rod from Orvis is now in–stock at our Bozeman fly shop, Fins & Feathers. This is one of the most anticipated product releases in several years. The Helios and Helios 2 were both highly regarded, premium fly rods that helped propel Orvis back to the top of the game in the fly fishing industry. The Helios 3 is finally here in the 908 F and both 905 models (D&F). These rods stand out from the crowd in premium fly rods through design, aesthetics, and price.

Our introduction to the Helios 3 took place during the Orvis Guide Rendezvous in Missoula this past April. Steven participates in a product developer program with Orvis, so he had the chance to sit in on a few meetings and cast a bunch of different models early on. In addition, Steven and Toby were both given prototype versions of the Helios 3 905 D and F to fish with during the summer. The shop staff, guides, and our many guided clients all had the chance to get familiar with the new rods as well. I think everyone is excited to finally have the finished models in-stock and in-hand.

The Helios 3 is a different beast altogether. The emphasis by Orvis has been on building a more accurate and durable premium fly rod than ever before. Strategically reinforced blank design has resulted in increased hoop strength under load which corresponds to reduced horizontal oscillation and improved vibration dampening throughout the casting stroke. What this means is that these rods transfer energy more “cleanly” and are more accurate as a result. All of us at Fins & Feathers have had a chance to give the Helios 3 a fair shake – either on the water or in the parking lot – and would agree that these are incredibly accurate fly rods.

The new Helios 3 is offered in a D (Distance) version and a F (Feel) version. The blanks, actions, and finishes are different between the two models, which is much simpler to understand than the antiquated mid and tip flex labels used in previous models. The D series is for the experienced caster that is looking for high line-speed and tight loops while fishing big dries in the wind or throwing streamers on sinking lines. The F series is for most of the anglers out there and is a dream to fish with out to 60’ in most situations. While Toby prefers the quick stroke of the D, Steven and most of the crew prefer the easy loading feel of the F.

Orvis went BIG with the way that they chose to finish the new rods. The matte blanks (black for D and gray for F) have a look and feel to them unlike any other rods on our racks. Subtle thread wraps match the rod models (blue for D and green for F) for easy identification and a clean look. The logo and rod identification label on the butt section is bold and sets these rods apart from all the others on the rack and on the water. It is a look that has grown on us over time and it has been surprising to hear so many people respond favorably to the way the rods have been finished out.

Premium fly rods of today are simply amazing sticks to cast, regardless of the manufacturer. There just aren’t any bad ones out there today. New technology and consumer demand push the rod companies to bring innovation to the fly rod market year after year. I tend to go with the newest rods in the premium category when someone asks me which one is the best simply because the newest typically has the best technology. However, the best rod is always the one that the angler wants to use the most and enjoys fishing with the most. We carry a plethora of options so that you can come into our shop and cast so many models, back to back. Our Bozeman fly shop stocks over 150 different fly rod models from Orvis, Scott, Sage, Thomas and Thomas, Echo, Redington and more.

Stop in and check the Helios 3 out the next time you are heading to the river. The new Helios 3 fly rods stand out from the competition and are an American Made fly rod unlike anything else out there today. The H3 retails at $849 ($50-$150 less than most of its competitors) and comes with the Orvis, best in class, 25-Year unconditional warranty. If you can’t find one in your area, we ship for free to anywhere in the lower 48!