Orvis H2 Covert 905-4 Review
- Lightest rod in the test
- Very accurate casting
- Good fit & balanced casting
- Good casting distance
- Made in the USA
- Not as powerful as some
- Limited models & availability
The Orvis H2 Covert brings out the excellent versatile performance of the Helios 2 while improving on the rod’s durability and functionality in stealth fishing situations. The H2 Covert’s new hardware and matte finish withstand abuse better than any rod I’ve tested, and help eliminate the threat of spooking wary fish with a flash or shine from a glossy bit of rod or shiny line loops.
The Orvis H2 Covert shines in performance despite its dull matte appearance. The rod’s core build is identical to the award-winning Helios 2 model, but the finish and hardware has been completely replaced. That means the H2 Covert offers the same power and accuracy of the Helios 2, with all its fish-fighting ability, a scratch-resistant new finish, and hardened matte hardware.
Weight, Balance, and General Feel
The newest crop of testers reported nearly identical findings as the team I employed two years ago to evaluate the Helios 2. The H2 Covert finished in the top two in most category rankings, and finished third in casting distance (trailing only the faster-action Sage X and T&T Avantt). The modified half-wells cork grip fit comfortably in hand for all testers, though the two with the smallest hands felt a bit of ‘grip fatigue’ after several hours of casting heavy streamers.
Casting Distance and Accuracy and Fishing Performance
At just 2.5 ounces, the H2 Covert is the lightest rod in the test, and one of the best balanced. I found the rod to feel very light throughout its casting motion (i.e. low swing weight), which allowed for some impressive line-speeds at times, making it possible to shoot line farther than I’d anticipate being able to. Yet the flexible tip section allowed near pinpoint accuracy in short- to medium-length casts (i.e. 20 to 40 feet) and very good accuracy even on long 70-foot casts. A stiff butt and strong spine in the mid-section provided good fish control, even when tied into lunker lake trout and largemouth bass.
This jack-of-all-trades rod is one of the most versatile that I’ve ever used. I put the H2 Covert to the test catching bass on surface poppers, brown trout with heavy weighted streamers, finicky high lakes brook trout on tiny mosquito patterns, and hard-fighting rainbows and cutthroats on everything from heavy multiple nymph rigs to chunky foam hoppers. The H2 Covert truly is a workhorse for all situations.
Sizes Available: 2 models, 9-foot 5-wt and 8-wt
How We Tested It
Fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout on the Yakima and Methow Rivers in Washington, and the North Fork Clearwater in Northern Idaho. We fished from shore on those rivers, as well as rafts on the Yakima and Idaho’s Henry’s Fork. Testers included myself, as well as a range of fishing guides, outdoor photographers, and fish and wildlife professionals (fish biologists and game wardens). Both men and women participated in the test.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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