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  1. #1

    Default 486 recon vs helios2

    I'm considering a new rod for small to medium stream dry fly and the occasional light nymphs. Mostly used to 9 ft rods, but have noticed the 86" rave and feel a slight craving for trying it out.
    I still use my beloved Sage SLTca 490 for this kind of fishing, but maybe its time to retire it and hang it on the wall, even though it really deserves to be used.
    Actually I already tried to replace it with a Hardy Zenith 490 which has a lot more power both while casting and fighting fish. But it slowly transitioned into being my preferred rod for stillwater when going hiking in the mountains, and the SLT was brought back for smaller streams.
    Now Im back at it again and I have decided that I want to try Orvis this time around and it just so happens I found both the Recon and the Helios 2 in 486 version at sale for about $400 online in my country, both of these are a probably a substantial upgrade from the SLT I recon..? but what to choose.. I saw the recon did good in the last shootout debacle, not sure how the h2 at same size would do..

    Unfortunately I don't have a chance to test them beforehand. If Hardy would offer proper snake rings Id probably choose them again, but I just find the single foot guides esthetically unpleasing, so no thanks it annoys me just a tad too much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    SF Bay area California

    Default Re: 486 recon vs helios2

    Just one guys opinion but when I tested the Recon and the H2 in 4wt side by side, my decision was to purchase the H2 in 9' tip flex. It was only a slight difference that I could not put my finger on and I had to keep going back and trying each of the rods over and over before making a decision so I would say that my choice was a personal preference as there was nothing concrete to justify that decision. I think I could have chosen any of those rods and been happy with the performance but, the H2 has proven to be a great dry fly rod and also works well with small nymphs or wet flys. I should mention that I have several other 4wt rods in 7'6" and 8' 6" but at the time did not have a 9 foot version so I think that influenced my decision to go with the 9 footer. Good luck on your decision.


    Tim C.

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  4. Default Re: 486 recon vs helios2

    My advice, by all means upgrade but DONT SELL your 490 SLT. I did and regret it to this day. It may be dated, but it’s still a beautiful rod to fish with.

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  6. Default Re: 486 recon vs helios2

    Keep he SLT. Get the H2 if you can for that price. But the Recon is awesome too. No bad option here...

    You may prefer the mid-flex H2 if you can find it. The Recon is not quite as fast as the tip-flex H2 so may be more suitable too. But like I said, all good options.

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Boston, Mass.

    Default Re: 486 recon vs helios2

    Quote Originally Posted by clouserguyky View Post
    You may prefer the mid-flex H2 if you can find it.
    I tested the 8 1/2 foot 5 weight mid flex H2 a few years ago and it was an incredibly sweet and accurate rod out to about 45 feet. I loved it. Unfortunately I didn't have the spare change to buy it at the time, and now it's out of production. If the 8 1/2 foot 4 weight H2 you're looking at is a mid flex, I bet you won't be disappointed.

    On 8 1/2 vs 9 feet: Orvis used to recommend an 8 1/2 foot rod for Eastern fishing and 9 foot for Western fishing. Most fish are caught inside of 40 feet, where accuracy and presentation count most. You don't really need the extra 6 inches for an all-purpose rod unless (a) you do a lot of distance casting, (b) you do a lot of high stick nymphing (in which case you might want something even longer), or (c) most of your fishing is on big, wide water. It's also a lot easier for a rod builder to design an 8 1/2' taper that balances and flexes well, since most of the extra 6 inches goes into the butt rather than the tip.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: 486 recon vs helios2

    I have a thing for matching the brand of rod and reel, so how would the hydros SL 3/5 reel fit the helios with regards to weight? too light, too heavy, just right?

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  12. #7

    Default Re: 486 recon vs helios2

    The Orvis Recon is a fine rod...especially for the money. But, the Helios 2 is a fine+ rod....especially the tip flex. You can't go wrong with either rod. Happy fishing.
    "On the water...the perfect cast...a beautiful fish...fooled at last!"
    O J Chartrand Jr

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  14. #8

    Default Re: 486 recon vs helios2

    I fish both 8 1/2' and 9' 4-weight rods form several different rod companies. When Helios first came out a bud and I cast the 8 1/2'/#4 and liked but did not love it. I saw it as having potential and was excited to sample it again when upgraded H2 was released. It was in mid-flex only and I was disappointed, not as good as the original in this model I thought. The 9'/#4 tip-flex was much better, one of the best in the H2 series. A couple of months ago I compared H3 8 1/2'/#5F, 9'/#5F & D. My Orvis friend liked the 9'F best but I didn't. I thought the 9'/#5D was the sole good one of that lot. I think it is an improvement over my wife's H2 9'/#5 tip-flex. I also compared the T&T Avantt in both 8 1/2' and 9'/#4 and was more impressed by the 9' Avantt than any of the Orvis offerings. I also tried the Winston AIR and Pure in 8 1/2'/#4's but preferred both in their 8' configuration. Scott's GS 8'8"/#4 is very good indeed and I want to sample it in its 8'4" length. The best current production 8 1/2'/#4, in my opinion, may well be Sage's X.

    [Note: I'm unfamiliar with the Recon]

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  16. Default Re: 486 recon vs helios2

    Considering the H2 cost double the Recon's price a while ago, it's tough not to go for the better deal.

    I can only speak for the Recon 486, which I purchased after trying out several mid priced four weights. I think it's excellent. It was a great match for my casting stroke and felt very intuitive from the first cast. It's got a great action, not too fast but still sensitive and responsive. And noticeably lighter than the competition, which for me seemed to help provide more casting feedback. Not an expert by any means, but I've been really happy with it.

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