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Orvis Launches Helios Blackout Collection for Fly Anglers Looking for Specialized Rods

July 28, 2021

Industry-leading fly fishing gear company introduces new fly rod collection, hand-built in U.S.A.

MANCHESTER, Vt. (July 28, 2021) —Orvis, the family-owned and operated outdoor retailer that specializes in fly fishing gear, announces the launch of the Helios Blackout Rod collection. The new fly rod collection is hand-built at the Orvis Rod Shop in Manchester, Vermont, and is a high-concept series of premium fly rods that will provide users with scenario-specific equipment that matches an angler’s intended use.

“The research and development team at the Orvis Rod Shop is always curious and looking for ways to push the envelope of fly rod design to create new advantages for the angler,” says Shawn Combs, director of product design and development at Orvis. “With the new Helios Blackout models, our team developed new construction techniques to take the existing Helios 3 series to the next level with a focus on specific use-cases. This is exhibited through three models that are designed for improved line control on big rivers, quick shots from a skiff, and unheard-of nymphing sensitivity without compromising accuracy.” 

 With highly specialized fly fishing situations in mind, the Helios Blackout Rod collection was designed in collaboration with Orvis’ expansive network of professional guides and in-house gear designers. The collection is comprised of three specialized models including a 9-foot 5-inch, 5-weight trout rod, an 8-foot 5-inch, 8-weight boat rod, and an 11-foot, 3-weight rod specifically designed for Euro nymphing. Building on the tried-and-true Helios 3 series, each rod shares the common thread of handmade construction using premium materials and over 150 years of innovation and craftsmanship from the Orvis Rod Shop in Vermont.

Offering accuracy, long-range mending abilities and an ultralight swing weight, the 9-foot 5-inch, 5-weight trout rod offers anglers the reach and added lift on a back cast of a 10-foot rod with the feel of a 9-foot rod. Taking quick-turn, one-shot fly placement to a new level, the 8-foot 5-inch, 8-weight rod provides the angler with the ability to quickly change directions with precision and deliver the high-speed line delivery required to stay ahead of fast-moving fish. With the growing popularity of the Euro nymphing technique in the U.S., the 11-foot, 3-weight freshwater nymphing rod combines high-sensitivity and accuracy for improved strike indication, added length for intuitive drift control in complex currents and a softer tip to protect ultra-fine tippet material. All of these details add up to providing anglers with an improved experience with specialized tools to aid in landing more fish on the water.

“At Orvis, we’ve always approached our fly rod development with a playful attitude and willingness to keep testing and refining until we achieve the desired result,” says Tom Rosenbauer, chief enthusiast for Orvis. “Shawn and the team at the rod shop have really embraced this purpose-built and experience-driven philosophy while creating the Blackout rods and that shines through when fishing them. For their given purpose, each rod is destined to be best in class.”

The Helios Blackout Rod collection (MSRP $998 per rod) is available today online and at select independent fly shops and Orvis retail stores. For more information about the Helios Blackout Rod collection and Orvis, please visit www.orvis.com or direct Orvis media inquiries to Senior Account Manager Eric Hockman at eric.hockman@rygr.us.

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About The Orvis Company:Founded in 1856, we believe the most meaningful experiences are created by sharing the love of nature and being inspired by its endless possibilities. Orvis pioneered the mail order industry in the United States, operates more than 80 retail stores in the U.S and the U.K., and maintains a network of over 400 dealers worldwide as a trusted source of discovery and adventure in the natural world. We promise to open the door to extraordinary outdoor experiences, and to protect nature by committing 5% of our pretax profits each year to conservation efforts worldwide. www.orvis.com