Originally Posted by shotgunfly
Second, I find the 7wt tip flex just a little much for the trout.
Well, that certainly seems to suggest trying the 6 or 5 weight H2 instead for starters. And the H2 design is reportedly stronger in the butt than the original Helios, which should help its streamer performance too.
Alternatively, a Loomis 9' 6 weight (whether IMX, GLX, StreamDance or NRX) might be just the ticket. Loomis's designer Steve Rajeff is one of the pioneers of the strong butt and midsection with a sensitive tip. Or perhaps the Hardy Zenith in a 6 weight, since the 5 has gotten such good reviews.
Other stout 6 weights might include the Loomis Max GLX and Sage One, or at lower prices the TFO TiCrX, TFO Axiom, and (now-discontinued) Redington CPX, but you might find them even more brutish than your Helios 7 weight.
A closeout (if you can still find one) or gently used Sage Z-Axis or Orvis Hydros tip-flex in a 6 weight might be other options that would be easier on the wallet.
(PS: I was looking for the exact same kind of rod a year ago -- a 9x6 for streamers, wind, and big water -- and after trying Winston, Scott, Sage and TFO I liked the (original) Helios best, but that was before the H2 came out. Did not have a chance to compare the Zenith or any Loomises. I ended up buying a Hydros rather than a Helios, because they were built on the same blank as the Helios and had been recently discontinued, so they were being blown out at low prices. I might have liked a Zenith or Loomis better if I had tried one, but I liked the Hydros enough that I couldn't justify the extra cost.)