Yes, that would be the path to follow for me. 5wt and 8wt h1 or h2.
Unfortunately, my local BPS doesn't carry the One in their store. We have an Orvis store in Pasadena, CA which I frequently visit and kinda know the person.
They are expensive rods, I can't believe that some of us here including me are crazy enough to dish out $$$ for a STICK. Insane, but what can we do when the bugs is stronger than your mind.
Well, if that is more than just a rhetorical question, you could test cast it against the equivalent Orvis Access ($425) or Clearwater ($225) models. For the price of one H2 you could get two Accesses or four Clearwaters. (But then of course you wouldn't have an H2.)
I commented in the saltwater forum earlier and now, connecting the dots, I'll add a bit here too. You do not need to spend the max$ for a decent bonefish 8-weight and I suggested three reasonably priced rods in the other thread (for those here they were Flying Pig, Rise Fly Fishing and ECHO3). Both the Sage ONE and the NEW Helios 2 #8's are terrific rods. I did not care for original Helios and I did fish for a week with both the 8 and 9-weights. I cast several of the H2's at Somerset and the one I was most impressed with (much superior to the two #5's) was the 8-weight tip-flex. This rod is powerful but manageable for any decent caster whereas, as I have opined before, the ONE is remarkable but demanding as would be the Sage hyper-technical TCX. If you could cast the H2 along side Sage Xi3 and perhaps G.Loomis NRX (my person favorite #8 flats specific rod) you would then be able to have an informed opinion as to which one suited you the best...these are the top-dollar but also top-performing 8-weights around (that I have personal familiarity with).
Sweet and Salt,
Thank you for connecting the dots, I've been on the web reading reviews and comparing the One, Xi3, NRX, and H2, even the BVK. The heck, just last night I was comparing the NRX with the H2 in my dream. . I don't have the luxury to go around to test everyone of them. So the web is my friend and my teacher.
I found a NRX 8wt for $600 online with 30days return policy, probably because the new NRX will be in the market soon. I might gonna buy it along side the H2 to test them and return the one that I like less.
and now since I have your attention.
I read your story about the Lamson reel jammed on some guy's bonefishing trip and broke the rod. And also your recommendation on the FWX or the Hardy DD. I jotted down some notes when I search on Ross Lt 4, FWX 7/8, and Lamson Litespeed 3.5 or 3.5X. I ended choosing the Lamson. I haven't bought it yet since now I am once again open for some fresh suggestions from this forum. What reel you would suggest, and is Hardy DD drag, backing are good for saltwater fish? I don't do much SW, just wanted to have 1 reel that will serve FW and SW when needed.
S&S, you're not going to put in a good word for the Albright EXR at their current $180 price? I though you might say it was better than the Access at less than the price of a Clearwater. I can't say so, because I don't know enough about them.
The Loomis NRX came out on top in the 2011 Yellowstone Angler 8 wt shootout, but that was before the H2 and One were introduced. My go-to 8 wt is an early 1990's Loomis IMX that is so nice I have never felt the need to upgrade it, so I'm inclined to trust the Yellowstone opinion. Hard to imagine that either the Orvis or Sage would be a whole $250 better than a $600 NRX, even if they are newer.
Only having cast the H2#8 indoors at the Somerset Show it is impossible for me to "compare" it with any other rod. Is is only when you get a few rods together, preferably with a couple of buddies, that their individual virtues become clear. The NRX is designed by World Champion caster, Steve Rajeff, to be a zero-compromise, ultimate flats rod. It incorporates all the design DNA that G.Loomis is such a rich repository of along with the newest 3M nano silica matrix system. This rod has all the blood and guts of Crosscurrent GLX but much more refinement and a tip compliant enough to execute and feel in close shots...important when a bone appears out of the glare 30' in front of you. I love my ONE #5, also the product of a great designer, Jerry Siem, and advanced carbon technology but NRX is very special in the big gun sizes. My initial positive impression of H2 must await me getting some time on the water with it before I can formulate a real opinion.
I must make a point about bonefish reels even though we are in the rod forum (a little leniency please). Unlike trout fishing where the rod is paramount and the reels responsibilities are largely to store the line handsomely, saltwater in general and bonefishing in particular engage the performance characteristics of the reel. Yes, with big wild trout on the Missouri or Delaware you fight your fish off the reel but even then you have a drag setting to protect fine tippets not put the brakes on a fish screaming toward the mangroves on a 12 pound tippet. The bonefish rod must present a fly with impeccable accuracy and fast, even in stiff wind, as unlike a compliant trout that will hold its lie sipping mayflies until you hook or spook it, bonefish are constantly moving and you have ONE CAST to present your fly perfectly. Sure, if the fish don't blow up you may have two or three shots with each yielding rapidly diminishing potential for the fish to eat. So the rod is critical in the presentation phase but once the fish takes your fly it is the reels turn. You do not hold your rod high in the Orvis position unless you are trying to clear mangrove shoots, you hardly raise it higher than your shoulder, it is the reel's smooth but stout and fade-free drag that you fight the fish off of. This is why, when you visit a hard-core bonefish camp and study the rod rack you are struck immediately with how many Abels and Tibors there are. Sure, in recent years sealed drag systems have begun to gain acceptance and I am finding more Hatch and Nautilus NVs, including my own, mounted on the dominant Sage and Loomis rods.
Grasp two concepts; a common 5 or 6 pound Bahamian bonefish accelerating across a shin deep flat towards the cover of mangroves at the edge with rooster tails of water glinting off your evaporating line, oops, backing is nothing like you ever experience trout fishing and, where this occurs is a sea scape rich in gnarly mangrove, razor like coral, abrasive marle, toothy barracuda and toothier sharks. Lines are easily damaged even lost, cut by coral and scraped by barnacle-clad mangrove roots, fine aggregate marle finds it way into you boots, reel and reel seat and must be washed out along with the densest salt deposits every day. There are NO FLY SHOPS, the only tackle you have is what you bring and you didn't drive there; you fly on two or three airplanes to a foreign country with your passport. Though, for test purposes, I have caught bonefish on modest rods and reels with no problem, I have also seen ostensibly good tackle blow up...the best bonefish specialty tackle is a small investment compared to the cost of getting there and being there. And you get to use it again when you return for, once you pursue bonefish in Andros, you are going to want to come back.
I hope no one from Waterworks is reading this. The Lamson is beloved by many here as a trout reel. With its too wide spool and small sweep area drag (relative to specialized saltwater reels) this is no bonefish reel. To go for a rod like you are considering and weaken the outfit with this reel seems out of balance. It is not unheard of but it is rare that a good trout reel design is scallable to high performance saltwater use. Oh, and I thought you had a #7 rod...a 7-weight is a specialty bonefish rod, a high octain #8 is what you need. My guide in Florida is not interested in anyone bringing rods lighter than a 9-weight aboard his skiff. He favors a Sage ONE #9 mated with a big Tibor.
My trip to FL is only once a year, so my H2 8wt will be mainly for the bass and the surf here. I might pick up the NRX 7wt in the future. But for now I'll stick with just 2 Orvis rod H1 5wt and H2 8wt. The Sage Xi3 is excellent in all department but too heavy.
As for the reel, I am now open again to the Ross 4 LT and the Nautilus FWX 7/8. However, the Litespeed 3.5 or Velocity 3.5 are still ahead of the reel race.
I thought about the Hardy DD but they are made in Korea. I am buying US made only for fly fishing stuffs.