The Yellowstone Angler put out their 8 Weight Shootout, comparing the 8 weights from around the industry from the pricey Helios 2 to the cheap Echo Base.
I think I’ve cast five or six of these rods and my go-to bonefish rod is the Orvis Helios 2. I also own Reddington Predator 10 and 12 weights. I also also have a TFO Clouser 8 wt. and a Rise 8 wt. as well (just to lay down my saltwater rods, I think I have 16 fly rods in all weights).
The good news, I feel safe in proclaiming, is that there are a lot of great options out there.
There are also some bad ones… and this group doesn’t pull punches.
Here is a rod that is slow in action, heavy in swing weight, and performs badly at all distances.
Don’t get that one.
I would have like to see Clutch and Rise in the mix as well, but they have done a good job putting this together.