Gear test: An Orvis Helios 2 with an attitude

By Zach Dingus

Stealth, strength and oh so slick.

The Orvis H2 Covert is widely considered to be one of the best high-performance fly rods ever… and there is a pretty interesting backstory as to how these special-edition rods came to be. A local guide, who participates in fishing tournaments, reached out to Orvis. He loved fishing with Helios 2 rods, but thought a shiny rod sometimes spooked the fish he was chasing. So Orvis put together a matte-finished H2 rod for him… and the following year, he won his tournament.

I’ve been lucky enough to fish with these rods and they are unreal. The 9-foot 5-weight is perfect for any trout angler. It’s a tip-flex rod that can throw all flies… nymphs, streamers, and dries with great accuracy and touch. If you fish a wide range of water or you are just getting into fly-fishing, this rod is the fit for you.

That being said, the 9-foot 8-weight is my absolute favorite. It is a beast. This rod can sling beefy flies on big water that hold big fish… and it practically weighs nothing in your hand. I just got back from a smallmouth fishing trip in Maine, and all I did was fish with this rod. I threw lengthy divers, huge poppers, heavy baitfish patterns… all of which I could pinpoint wherever I wanted with this rod. It’s truly impressive and befitting for TU Life Members.

And that’s why, for a limited time, you can have your choice of two Orvis H2 Covert outfits when you become a TU Life Member. A 9-foot 5-weight rod and a 9-foot 8-weight rod. These rods feature a matte black finish, black guides and black hardware. Each rod is paired with the new Orvis Battenkill reel in black nickel.

This offer is valid for existing Life Members too… so don’t miss your chance to get your hands on this truly unique, blacked-out combo.

Zach Dingus is TU’s marketing production coordinator. He is based in Arlington, Va.

By Chris Hunt.