Helios series of rods by Orvis. Introduced almost four years ago, they were the first shot in a war between the major manufacturers to produce the lightest fly rods possible. At 5 and 1/4 ounces for their 9 foot 12-weight, the Helios casts as effortlessly as most 9-weights but is easily up to the task of beating a full grown tarpon.
Of course this leap forward in materials and construction doesn't come cheap. At $795, the Orvis Helios 12 will be one of more pricey rods you'll ever cast but it's definitely a case of getting your money's worth from a legendary company as well as their excellent waranty. And if you're reading this in Southwest Florida you can try one for yourself right in Cape Coral. My buddy Jory Pearson has just added Orvis to his growing fly shop at Florida Paddlesports on Pine Island Road and has several new Helios rods in stock, including the awesome 12-weight.