The One

I just picked up the Orvis One Piece Helios 2 8’11” 8wgt from the San Jose Orvis shop. It’s been a long time since I used one piece rods and the last time I remember using one was when I was building rods back in the 70’s. When I finally had a chance to try some Echo Prime one piece rods at the shows, I fell in love with them again. I can definitely feel a difference in the action of rod without ferrules. They feel more sensitive and they cast with more power and agility.  Many guides like one piece rods because they are stronger. This is definitely an advantage to me having broken two rods last year because I didn’t seat the ferrules tighter.  I fish with 6 fully rigged rods in the boat and garage park my boat.  My rods seldom leave there place in my boat. I don’t check the ferrules completely enough before each trip and Ive paid the price with two broken rods at the ferrules.

Perhaps the best feature of the Helios II one piece is that it is 1/4 ounce lighter than the 4 piece. The Helios2 rods in my boat are already the lightest rods in there class on and my current “go to”  rod is a Helios2 9ft 8wgt with a Lampson Vanquish reel making it one of the lightest 8 wgt setups in the world. I casted the 8, 9 and 10 wgt rods and they all performed flawlessly and feel more like a lower lined rod.  I thought they were a slight bit stiffer and faster than their 4 piece brothers.   I picked up the 10 wgt without looking and though it was the 8wgt.  There is only a half ounce difference between the 8 wgt and the 10 wgt.   With the one piece 8wg I am actually a quarter ounce lighter  than my 4 piece. Till a lighter faster one piece 8wgt comes out, I think Ive finally found my perfect setup for a few years at least till the Helios 3’s come out.  You can distinguish the one piece Helios 2s by their cool red reel seats.    Enough 8 wgts already.

It was shocking to see the 9 foot case made for the rod. Ive never seen a case that long. The Orvis Shop insisted on having me fill out the warranty card in the office. They gave me the shipping tube also and I learned why the rod is only 8 feet ll inches. Apparently the shipping charges triple for packages over 9 feet long. I got a lot of stares as I snaked that nine foot tube up to the 5th floor of the parking structure to hang it of my truck. Unlike the lifetime warranty for the Helios2 4 piece, the warranty for the one piece is only three years. I suppose they know I or someone will eventually step on it or something in the boat. There is always a price to be paid for lightness and power. I am not going to put it into the 9 foot case every day. That is for sure.

Once in awhile, on Dan Blanton BBS,  important and profound information pops out.

From the famous Captain Steve Costello:

Posted by Mike Costello on 2015-02-28 16:50:30 in reply to Skinny fish. Am I paranoid? posted by JerryInLodi on 2015-02-26 12:59:33

Last year at this time most of our Delta stripers were in pre full spawn mode and males had very fat bellies, and would milt all over the boat when landed.
With the rains that we received in early December and then again in February, the off colored water definitely effected striper populations and feeding activity, especially on the San Joaquin River and it’s surrounding waterways. That being said, before the last big rain we found numerous fat linesiders out west of the Antioch bridge. This past week, with rivers clearing on the Sacramento and other waterways, we landed 18 double-digit fish and numerous more in the 7 to 9 1/2 lb. range. Around 80% of the fish we are now catching are extremely fat and will be heading up to spawning grounds very soon. The magic water temperature for this between 60 and 65 degrees, although I have seen certain fish spawn in 58 degree water. About the bait situation in the Delta, the majority of the stripers we catch in the Delta I have found feeding on crayfish, as well as bluegill and pike minnows. The few 5lb. fish that we have had to kill over the last couple of years were loaded with crayfish. According to US Fish and Wildlife we have an abundance of silverside minnows but for some reason the stripers do not key into them as well as they do for the thread fin shad. Another reason for the thread fin shad decline is the zooplankton they need for survival has been decimated by another invasive zooplankton, this was explained to me by one of the biologist studying the delta. The only thing that I do know after spending over 3000 days fishing this great ecosystem is areas such as Mildred, Whiskey,Sycamore, Hog, Beaver, Snodgrass, and now Discovery Bay no longer contain the shad populations that they use to, and the stripers do not frequent those once great fishing spots either. Conditions have changed and as anglers we must push the envelope to find fish, but it’s the unknown, the unpredictability and that next great spot holding that magical 50 lb striper that keeps me going! Fish Hard!!!!


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