The 8 Weight Shootout

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.

fly rods

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.

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  1. Thanks for posting that Bjorn, good information.

  2. Good tests. Nice methodology with no biases.
    This quote however- ” Are you comfortable showing up with a $250 rod on your next $6000 bonefish trip when all your buddies have the hotest $800 rods?”- is everything I hate in one sentence

  3. Ha… yeah, I hear ya. I think that whole category needs to go. That has nothing to do with how good a rod is, that’s valuing marketing over substance. I had the same problem with it.

  4. These guys are always full of it. Every year they pick the most powerful rod, neglecting the fact (yes, fact) that you just don’t feed fish at 100 feet, or 80. I fished one of the best casters I’ve ever seen–head guide for Deneki’s Alaska lodge–and he reached every single bonefish we saw inside 100 yds. Fed 1 fish, and that was one that popped up about 45 feet out. Sure, power is great, but it’s just a bunch of machismo that epitomizes, well, machismo. Don’t care for this test, never have. Sure some expensive rods are great, but lots are not better than their $200 counterparts. And, if I show up with a $200 rod and fish as well as my buddies what I’ll feel is “smug”.

  5. I defer to the WindKnot on rods (and a great number of other things). The Helios 2 ranked high, and, truth be told, it is one of the best rods I’ve ever cast… but I’ll agree that it is not 2x the rod over my next rod down… it is a slight improvement. There are plenty of $200 rods that will reach the fish jussssst fine.

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