Recently, I was able to pick up a new Hardy Zenith fly rod. This is the same rod that was hailed as the best 5 weight in the every once in a while "5 weight shootout" done by George Anderson. While I have only fished it once, I cannot say with a definite answer that it is better than any of my beloved Scott fly rods or any of the other rods that are out there right now. Give me a few more times with it and I can give a better opinion as far as the fishing goes. As far as the casting goes, it is a great rod, no doubt about that. Again, I cannot say it is better than any of the other high end rods I have now or have cast in the past. What I can say is that it certainly feels good. While it is a 4-piece, which is pretty much the industry standard, Hardy has now come out with new models of this rod. While at the recent Fly Fishing Show, I was able to check them out. They are 1 piece rods and they only come in 1 length, that I know of. The length is 8' 10". An 8'10" 1 piece rod is probably not going to be a popular rod, especially with the traveling fisherman. But once I took the 4wt. to the casting pond, I was blown away! On the water, whether you have a 7 piece or 1 piece rod, it is assembled and fished to be a 1 piece so if you can get over the idea of having to transport it, then all things will be equal. This rod felt like no other rod I have cast before. It was light and had some touch to it. It felt great in my hand and I was able to hit all the spots I wanted to hit. I wasn't trying to cast all 90' of line, but just any where from 15' to 40', as I would while fishing. If I could, I would love to have one of these rods. I would get the 4 wt. as that seems to be my favorite dry fly rod. I know this rod could lay down a dry fly perfectly, I just don't know how it would do slinging lead. I would assume that it would have no problem since it has a very powerful butt section. The issue of having a 1 piece rod would limit your travel, but for me, I only fish around here so it's not a problem for me. A 9' rod fits well in my car or if you happen to have a rod rack on the top of your fishing mobile, that wouldn't be a problem. To me, a 1 piece rod makes sense. It's only when you have to store or transport the thing when it becomes an issue. But on the river, we all have a 1 piece rod! I just might have to trade this 4 piece rod for a 1 piece rod.
THIS IS FLY - Issue 65
8 hours ago