As I am sure you know The Orvis Company launched it’s new premium rod back in July.They have now entered the market place in 9 ft 5 wts and 9ft 8 wts.,a good start.I’ll save the technical specifications for The fine Folks at Orvis,afterall they designed the rod.What is encouraging is these rods live up to what they are supposed to do … way to go!
I fished with both the D and F models .In a nutshell the F series are the Finesse rods and the D model is for distance,breaking the tradition of Orvis’s norm of Full,Mid and Tip flex designations and tapers, which could be sometimes confusing.Instead Orvis has simplified it and these rods do exactly what you would expect this new series to do.
Due to my casting stroke, I am not a slow or progressive action rod guy,especially in a 9 ft. 5 wt. most crumple when hit with some power while casting, not this ! sure i slowed my stroke down but when I had to push the rod it preformed excellent and I was impressed with the distance,accuarcy and its fish fighting performance.To me it felt like I was casting a three weight with some guts.I fished this rod on the wind swept Missouri River anchoring up above fish that were eating either caddis or P.M.D.’s then making a long cast down then feeding my two fly rig to the willing participate.This rod did exactly what its supposed to do.Deliver dry flies accurately and with finesse.I also nymphed with this rod, fishing deep rigs and indicators along with a Dry (Chubby Chernobyl ) Dropper setup.
Once again the F series did not disappoint.For those looking for a “smooth as silk” 5 weight that does not fall apart when you have to punch it into the wind this is it.
Next up was a 9 ft. 5 wt. H3D Prototype and I fell in love.The “D” stands for distance,matched with the 5.5 weight fly line it performs exceptionally well. This rod easily loads on short casts and has more than enough back bone for distance or fishing large flies such as streamers or foam. I fished it hard on The Missouri River,fishing small two fly dry and emerger rigs during P.M.D hatches with no problemo.
Then the rod mysteriously crossed the border into Alberta and British Columbia where it was subjected to a variety of fishing scenarios that 5 weight rods are designed for.Fishing big foam flies on big rivers such as The Bow and fishing medium sized walk and wade rivers with Streamers,Dry Dropper and small dries often in windy conditions that plague Southern Alberta.
Since this rod was under my boat seat a number of people got to fish it,All loved it and some even preferred it with the regular 5 weight line,which makes this medium fast action rod that much faster.We put it through it’s paces and the general consensus was that this rod is worthy of everything Orvis put into it,Hype included.
I can keep going on about the merits of the H3.The best thing for you to do is go cast one.Personally I can see myself owning a 5wt,6wt and 7 wt in this series and cant wait to cast the whole line up as they roll the series out.A big congrats to the Orvis Rod Designers is due, these people pinned it with the Helios 3!
Read more on The Orvis Helios Three.