The Orvis H3D Blackout 8’5″ 8-wt is one of three new high-concept, supremely accurate H3 rods designed to excel in specific angling scenarios.

Our guides put the 8wt thoroughly through its paces during our Pongola tigerfish season.

The rod was designed to overcome instantaneous directional changes that would normally require three, four, and five false casts to correct. The result is a high-concept boat rod designed specifically for the quick-turn, one-shot accuracy required to stay to launch big tiger flies into tight spots as required on Pongola. While this rod has the power of an 8-wt, it feels more like a 7-wt, with a slightly shorter length perfect for fine-tuning your loops and driving flies in the wind.

“We loaded it with an Airflo tropical bonefish intermediate line,”  explains head guide, Gareth Reid of the setup for Pongola and its stillwater tigerfish.

“It’s a real cannon of a fly rod, so it’s great for loading and shooting a long line very efficiently with minimal false casting, which is obviously great for throwing predatory flies such as big tigerfish flies, with wide bodies,” Gareth says. Adding that it generates massive amounts of line speed, which means it works well in the often windy conditions of Lake Jozini.  “It remains super responsive and flexible enough though – so you have that touch and feel needed for throwing tight into little pockets with great accuracy.”


According to Gareth it is a technical rod which requires good timing, but if you are on song this is a great rod for tigerfish as well as estuary applications, such as for targetting spotted grunter, leervis and kob. More info here. Get in touch for pricing and nation-wide delivery details.

Orvis Helios™ 3 Blackouts

Justin Rollinson with a beautiful tiger on the Blackout

It’s great for getting your flies right up in the structure. One or two false casts and then you just send it…The quick pick-up and accurate delivery also means it will work exceptionally well on the tropical flats targetting permit and bonefish – Justin Rollinson

We also have the H3D Blackout 9’5″ 5-wt – a long-range nymphing weapon – in stock. Full review soon.