I have fished with this rod since it first came out, well a little bit before that to be honest, it is a very light rod in the hand, if a little heavy in the pocket, but not more than any other top end fly rod. I have always been a tip flex fan and this suits me down to the ground, even though it’s a tip flex 9.5 on the Orvis flex rating, it still has a very forgiving tip when your playing smaller fish, the one thing that I really like with this rod is it will do every thing I ask of it; bugging, nymphing, spiders, dry fly you name it does them all well, the one thing I always hated with some of the longer and lighter line weight fly rods is, you can do the nymphing techniques well and if all of a sudden you get a rise going they were awfully at trying to present a dry properly, as I don’t like carrying two rods with me it was always a bit of a pain in the bum !
I have used this rod for around four years and it has been a very good companion and caught one hell of a lot of fish, the fixtures and fittings are all top spec and one of my pet hates with many fly rod is a poor cork handle, I have had rods that all the filler in a handle has fallen out by the end of the first day, there is a small amount of filler in the Helios handle, but you can’t feel it and it has never fallen out. The only reason you know there is any filler in the handle is it shows up as the handle gets dirty through use, they made this rod as light as possible, so why put two stripper guides I’m not sure, it’s a river style rod at the end of the day and not a distance casting tool, mind it will throw a very long line, but I don’t usually buy a 4# for that sort of fishing, presentation and delicacy is more the ticket.
All in all I have been very pleased with fit and finish and how the rod casts and fishes.
What Orvis say about their rod.
If line control is important to your style of fishing, then the 10-foot rod offers an extra foot of reach for precise nymphing or greater mending capability with dries. In highly technical waters where the fish are picky and presentations need to be precise and absolute, the Helios 104-4 stands out as the best line control rod ever designed. The 10-foot rod is also the weapon of choice for float tubers and pontoon anglers, providing the extra length to keep the back cast up off the water. If you’re looking for a rod to give you that extra edge, the Helios 104-4 offers the lightest most powerful rod in its class. It is a specialty rod, but one that is proving more and more popular with anglers looking for that little something extra in presentation.
Benefits greatest feel of action for more accurate and longer casts superior sensitivity and responsiveness the strongest fly rod on the market loads quickly, crisply, but nimbly supremely-balanced feel unmatched fish-fighting power better tracking for dry flies and nymphing smoother transition of power reduced casting fatigue
Features exclusive first-ever thermoplastic, thermoset resins from tip to butt Precision Power Taper™ woven graphite & gold-anodised aluminum reel seat recoil guides titanium frame stripping guide with NanoLite® ceramic insert translucent-olive finish highest grade cork handle woven-graphite rod tube made in Manchester, Vermont