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Old 09-11-2013, 06:05 AM
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Default Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

It's been awhile since I've posted. I recently cast a rod that took me by surprise. I have been looking for the perfect combination of light weight and strength to use for streamer fishing and smallmouth bass fishing. I have also been weighing the options of a 7 or 8 weight NRX and Helios. I loved the NRX but also loved the new Helios 2, which surprised me, because I didn't care for the original Helios. If I settled on a 7 or 8 I may likely end up with an NRX even though I really liked the Helios 2 as well.

What caught me completely off guard was the Helios 2, saltwater / tip flex 6 weight with a fighting butt. Loomis does not make an NRX in a 6 weight salt taper. I cast the crosscurrent GLX, which can chuck some serious sinking line, but is heavier and has none of the feel the Helios 2 has. I am also considering a St. Croix Legend Elite in a 6 weight, salt taper, however that rod, although less expensive, is heavier than my current 8 weight. The final thing that blew me away after I cast the Helios 2 - 6 weight was how much power it had despite still having feel. This was the missing link for me with the original Helios. Also, the rod with fitting butt weighs in at only 3 ounces!!! It may be my new streamer rod unless someone can talk me into just going with a 7 or 8 weight for the same application. I have full confidence the 6 weight Helios 2 can cast a 200 grain sinking line or tip. Does anyone have any feedback on streamer or smallmouth fishing with the Helios 2 or NRX in the weights discussed?
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

I love my NRX #8 for bonefishing; I would think it would be too much rod for throwing streamers at trout or smallies. I have cast but not fished the H2 #8 and, like you, was surprised by how much better it was than Helios. Since you mentioned St. Croix; I have cast their streamer inspired "Bank Robber" #6 and was very impressed. It uses the similar 3M nano resin system as in NRX and is a heck of a powerful rod. It is a little unconventional looking but that does not bother me, check it out.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

I have fished almost all the H2 rods in the series, and its funny you mention this because my favorite H2 by far was the 9' 6 weight salt H2. From my perspective, the salt 6 H2 had a softer tip than all the others, the 9' 4,5 and 6 freshwater H2's had much stiffer tips than the salt 6. That rod would be an amazing choice, it weighs nothing and has a hell of a lot of backbone for playing fish, when I finally pull the trigger on an H2 it will no doubt be the 9' 6 weight w/ fighting butt. If it were me, I would take that specific H2 over all the other rods you mentioned. Hope this helps even though I only explained my experience with the rod mentioned.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

Lushlife, Pardon me for going off topic but have you fished the H vs. H2 8 1/2'/#4?
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

No worries, Yes I have. To be honest with you I like the H1 864 far more than the H2 864. I should tell you, I fished the H1 864 about a year ago and the H2 864 about a month ago, I didn't compare side by side. From what I can remember the 864 H1 was one of my favorite in the helios line, had excellent feedback and all around performance, I am bummed I didn't buy one before they cashed. The H2 864 only comes in a mid-flex, which is fine, but I didn't really care for it. I felt that it lacked in line feel, it just didn't click with me. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

The first version (mid-flex only too) was the ONLY Helios I considered first rate. I did not get one. I was hoping, with the overall dramatic improvement among H2's that this important spring creek rod size would benefit accordingly. I've looked for one to cast at several Orvis franchises with out success and I do not get to Manchester very often.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

I got a H1 864 in plastic wrapping with warranty card and never with reel on it. Won via waffle . My one and only winning chance. I purchased The H1 865 and find very nice but could be tempted with reasonable offer on The four weight?
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

Thats right, it is a vital spring creek model. Where do you live sweetnsalt? I work for orvis and am in the shop right now looking at a list of our locations that carry the 864 H2 including our shop in palisades NY. There are many locations carrying it, I can tell you the nearest orvis store to your location that carries one if you'd like.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewlushlife View Post
I have fished almost all the H2 rods in the series, and its funny you mention this because my favorite H2 by far was the 9' 6 weight salt H2. From my perspective, the salt 6 H2 had a softer tip than all the others, the 9' 4,5 and 6 freshwater H2's had much stiffer tips than the salt 6. That rod would be an amazing choice, it weighs nothing and has a hell of a lot of backbone for playing fish, when I finally pull the trigger on an H2 it will no doubt be the 9' 6 weight w/ fighting butt. If it were me, I would take that specific H2 over all the other rods you mentioned. Hope this helps even though I only explained my experience with the rod mentioned.
What kinds of fish did you target when fishing the 6 weight Helios 2 and what size of flies and lines did you use?
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Helios 2 vs Loomis NRX

I was targeting trout actually, however I was using it on the delaware, heavy winds, big water and un-characteristically strong rainbow trout. Sometimes Its better to use a 6 on the big-D. I was using a sci-angler GPX #6, and was throwing avg. size dries 12,14,16, also wooly buggers size 6,8,10, 12 and 14 (small buggers), and was swinging soft hackle caddis pupa size 12,14,16 I believe. I have not used this rod for salt yet unfortunately. I can tell you this rod has lots of reserve power, I was huckin wooly buggers size 6 through the wind like a champ, this rod penetrates wind like a beast.
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