Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hardy Zenith Fly Rods

Keeping with the theme of rods, I'd like to share with you some thoughts on the Hardy Zenith Fly Rods.  I like to fish with the rods before I go spitting out my thoughts on the  different rods out there.  Casting the rods gives us all a great idea of how they feel, but it isn't until we rig them up and cast them that we really know how they feel and act on the water.  As some of you may know, I recently picked up some Hardy Zenith fly rods. Let me start by saying that these rods and all the hoopla about them is just not people making some noise.  These rods are the real deal and these rods, I think, are the pinnacle of modern production fly rods today.  The 9' 5wt., 4 piece rod is as great as it can get.  It has great feel and power.  I started using these on guide trips last year when I needed a rod to cast dries up close and none of my faster rods had the feel to make those casts up close.  The rod excelled at throwing the small stuff within 15' with feel.  They also could throw the streamers as needed and the nymph rigs were very easy to cast.  The 9' 5wt. is as versatile as they come.



I just received a 8'6" 4wt. and fished it yesterday on the Arkansas River.  I landed 5 fish, all on dries with this rod.  That was great, but I was really enjoying casting this rod.  It is super accurate and effortless to cast.  I can see this being a great guide rod for chasing BWO hatches and trico hatches.  I was hesitant to get one as I had that rod length in the past and never really used it much nor did I have a great connection to it.  This rod is completely different though.  I instantly fell in love with it.   It is that good.  I figured you would only need two rods in your arsenal; a 9' 5wt and a 8'6" 4 wt.  At least that is a good start to cover most bases.   Both rods can cover it all for trout.



The 1 piece rods are available also and these rods are just sweet.  If I say the 4 piece rods are the smoothest rods available, then these rods are just a notch above them.  Less transportable they are, but I think they are more versatile than the 4 piece rods.  Many people say there is no reason for a 1 piece rod.  If that is your feeling, then cast one and you will have a different opinion.  If you still think that is B.S., fish with one and you will want one.  These rods cast a bit differently than the 4 piece rods.  They are better, dare I say.  Using the correct lines on any fly rod is important and on the 1 piece rods, they work well with a Rio Gold.  A standard SA Trout line would work great as well, I just haven't casted it yet on these rods.  There isn't a lot of info on these rods on the internet and as time permits, I hope to provide more info on these rods as I fish them more.  I would suggest that you at least look at them if you can.  Sage, Winston, Scott and Orvis all have great rods and some people are loyal to them as was I, but these rods are just that good to not give them a shot.  Look for more reviews in the future, but for now, find a shop that carries them and give them a shot.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

9 comments:

  1. What dries were you using? I fished the Ark Saturday as well, I didn't see any fish rising, so I' curious to what you used.

    Thanks - Bruce

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    1. Hey Bruce. I was throwing BWOs. I din't see a single BWO, but I figured they have been out some and I did see a couple of fish rise. I used a CDC Sun Dun, #22 and a Snowshoe Comparadun in a size 18 also. It was hard to see the flies with the dark skies, but if the fish came up to eat something, it was your fly. I thought I did finally see a BWO coming down river, but then I realized it was my fly. It looked perfect. It looked like a little sailboat floating downriver.

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  2. I've cast the 9 ft 5 weight Hardy Zenith recently and it is indeed an amazing rod. It's very light in hand, it's sensitive yet has a powerful mid and butt section for longer casts when needed. The rod casts super smooth at 20 feet all the way up to 70-80 feet.

    Very unlike the Sage One which is in my view a broom stick. Can't believe the raves it's getting... Yeah, it's probably a nice stick for tossing streamers to the banks from a drift boat.

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  3. what kind of fly line were you using as I justa bought the rod and am trying to determine if the half size lareger that SA and others make is useful.

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  4. Here is some more info on the lines. http://hopperjuan.blogspot.com/2013/03/hardy-zenith-vs-orvis-helios-2-lawn.html. Copy and paste this page. There is line info on this page. I like a standard line, but the 1/2 line heavier works great for a more intermediate caster. George Anderson likes the GPX lines on these rods, so it is a personal choice. I like a standard line. I hope this helps.

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  5. Juan - have you tried the 10' 3 wt or 10' 4 wt Zenith rods?

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    1. I have never fished or even cast the 10' Zenith rods. I do, however, have the 10' 3 & 4 wt Orvis H2 rods. These rods are used as guide rods and specifically for nymphing. I haven't had too much time with them in my hands, but they are certainly nice for reaching out as needed. I would probably trade the H2 for the Zenith as I have heard the Zenith are great in that length. The H2 is lighter in weight but at that length, weight is secondary.

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  6. looking for an Hardy Zenith Sintrix with the techno aluminum reel seat, 8.6' 5-6-7wt. Where can I find one?
    Thank you so much.
    John Orsini

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    1. Not sure where you could find those ones, especially the 6 & 7. Did they make those? I do own the 5 WT and I may be selling it here in the near future. Once the new rods are available. Keep that in mind.

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