The Helios SF 5 wt. fly rod is a pure joy to fish with. I have ardently fished faster action rods during the last few years but decided it was time to progress to a more relaxed casting stroke. Basically, I wanted to be able to feel the fish more on the rod. I purchased the rod and was not disappointed. Other reviews stated this was a soft but firm tipped rod, and they were absolutely correct.
I could feel the lively tip the first time I put all 4 pieces together. The first day I fished it was great and performed as I had read about and expected. On the second day, the newness of fishing a new stick began to wear off and I started pushing its limits. I changed the fly line from an over-rated 5 wt. line to more of a true “Trout” 5 wt. line. Smooth is the best word to describe the action. It has the backbone to play fish and press the limit when needed.
In my opinion, this is not a rod to overline but instead, a true 5 wt. line rod. The heavier lines reveal its distance disadvantage when trying to reach out farther than 55-60’ and caused the flex to bend too deep.
This medium-action rod requires a slower casting stroke but has enough backbone to reach out 50-60’. It throws both nymphs, size 8-14 effortlessly, but also can float a dry fly softly down to the water’s surface.
On this particular fishing trip, we primarily used flies sized 16-22 with 14-16’ leaders due to water clarity and extremely low water conditions. The rod met all my expectations. I would highly recommend it for those folks looking for a more relaxed casting stroke, fishing fine tippets, and wanting to really feel the fish fighting, yet confident there was enough backbone when needed.
I must mention that I thought the engraving on the reel seat added a really nice touch to an excellent rod. I added an Abel SDF to complete the outfit. But most of all, I like how it feels with a fish hooked!