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Old 01-18-2013, 07:29 PM
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Default Helios 2 vs Zenith

I'm just back from the first day of the Marlboro fishing show, where I had an opportunity to cast the new Helios 2 8'6" 5 wt and the Zenith 8'10" 5 wt one-piece one right after the other.

They both blew me away. The Helios 2 in particular had beautiful accuracy and feel, as well as an unexpected ability to cast for distance and unexpected butt strength given that it was both "mid-flex" and "Orvis".

The Zenith was a little more effortless at distance and a little clumsier close in.

I also tested the Helios 2 9' 8 wt tip flex. It was light and responsive, with more backbone and authority (I thought) than the old Helios (although I didn't try to cast them side-by-side). Not quite as impressive as the mid-flex 5 in my hands, but maybe it was me and not the rod.

Based on my incomplete data and limited experience, it wouldn't surprise me if the Helios 2 takes its place alongside the Zenith as the best rod in the market. I don't think the Sage One and Circa are in the same rank.

---------- Post added at 08:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:15 PM ----------

PS: Jim Murphy himself was working the Hardy booth. He has drunk the English kool-aid and pronounces it "Zen-ith", not "Ze-nith".
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Zenith

My French friend, Moucheur, the Brits don't imbibe Cool-Aid, but whiskey! Thanks for the report; I look forward to casting these H2's at Somerset.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Zenith

French!? Moucheur is just the handle I picked because I've been salmon fishing in Quebec. I'm half Scots, 3/16 each Irish and German, and the remaining 1/8 pre-Revolutionary English colonial (through a guy who spent 3 years in jail for selling rotten meat to Washington's army).
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Zenith

Never mind...
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Zenith

I can honestly say i have never used a 1pc, do they usually cast differently compared to say like the Zenith in the 4pc?
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Zenith

Quote:
Originally Posted by stuie675 View Post
I can honestly say i have never used a 1pc, do they usually cast differently compared to say like the Zenith in the 4pc?
The guys in the Hardy booth swore that they do, that the 1 piece is much smoother, but they didn't offer me the 9' 5 wt 4 piece to cast side-by-side. (As you probably know, the 4 piece is widely considered one of the best rods out there.) They even spent some time arguing that the 1 piece is better for travel too, because the cost of sending the 1 piece by UPS to your fishing destination is cheaper than checking a bag on a lot of airlines these days. The 1 piece was a nice rod, but since I didn't test the identical 4 piece model alongside of it I couldn't say it was better. In my hand the 1 piece Zenith was better for accurate long casts with a double-haul, and the 4 piece H2 felt better and more precise for closer fishing at ordinary casting distances, but since they are different designs from different designers I can't say what difference the ferrules made.

Last edited by moucheur2003; 01-19-2013 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Zenith

Ah ok, yeah I have the 4pc in a 5wt, I love the rod, it as you said is effortless at distance, will be fishing with it this coming weekend along with my flying pig rod that I have fallen in love with.

I just always wondered what a one piece felt like compared to a 4pc, or even a two pc I have a few 2 pieces that I never use anymore, just because the four obviously packs smaller.

I also see what they mean for shipping the one piece, but typically when I travel to fish I am driving or on a motorcycle and a 4pc just makes more sense.

It is something like this that makes me wish I lived closer to streams so I could try a 1pc out haha.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Zenith

I cast the #8 Proaxis 4 and 1 piece side-by-side and liked the one piece better but bought the 4 pc. as it must travel to the Bahamas. I own the 4 pc. #5 too which is a super rod and have not cast the one piece but have held them next to one another and they feel and look like quite different tapers, an impression confirmed by Hardy personnel. I have been told by an Orvis employee that the man responsible for the H2 tapers is relatively new to the company and not the former taper designer...further intriguing.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Zenith

Sweet and Salt, one suggestion, try the Proaxis 9-8 with a Cortland Liquid Crystal 8 line. I'm not trying to be a shill here, but Andy Mills turned me on to that combo. It almost feels like the rod was designed around the line, load and shoot. It'll make you smile.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:22 AM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Zenith

Burk, An intriguing idea particularly as I am of the opinion that I have not nailed down the optimal line for Proaxis #8. Of course he is a much stronger caster than most of us but I am planing on discussing this matter with Mills at Somerset next weekend. Though I have never used a clear line and perhaps it is an issue of old fashioned attitude, I have long presumed I need a line of opaque color to ascertain the location of my bonefish fly and the tidal currents effect on it particularly at distance. I enjoy fishing this powerful rod and love the Fortuna reel but keep feeling like it wants an 8.5-weight line. Is there a 1/2 size heavy Tropic+ model in the Cortland lineup?
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