Re: Hardy Ultralite DD???
When I wrote that the DD has few equals I was thinking that the FWX was one of them. I own and fish both but in trout sizes and have not tried larger sizes on the flats. I have been bonefishing for a long time and, along with match-the-hatch dry fly fishing, it is my favorite form of angling. It costs a lot to get on an airplane and get to a remote Bahamian destination and, if staying in a bonefish camp, even a rustic one, even more so. The wife and I regard it as our "luxury vacation" and plan extensively for it. I have learned that great trout reels with smooth drag set ups do not NECESSARILY translate well into larger sizes and, though I have caught bonefish on far less than great reels, I have learned that reels (and rods) specifically designed for the salt by makers who know what they are doing are a great investment in iron clad reliability, superb performance and pleasure in use. Great tackle which I get to use year in and year out on these exotic trips also proves beneficial near home for striped bass and false albacore. I have fished with anglers who, spending the big bucks to go to a lodge, decide to "save money" on their tackle. Yes, I have seen cheapo tackle catch grand fish in the hands of skilled flyfishers and I have seen a lot of over matched and failed gear, some of which is highly regarded by many from famous brands.
Tropical flats fishing with intense salt, heat, coral, mangroves, vans and boats puts a premium on your equipments' ruggedness, quality of design and performance parameters. I have no doubt that both Hardy's DD and Nautilus FWX would be top crossover candidates but I have yet to see either on a rod rack at a bonefish camp and experienced anglers vote for what works with what they travel with. This is why Abel, Tibor and Islander draw-bar reels continue to dominate this niche market but, being an experimental kind of fisherman and always having one of these classics as a "back-up" (never bonefish without back-up gear) I have successfully and enjoyably fished the flats with modern, sealed-drag Hatch, Nautilus NV and Hardy's also new Fortuna X. Yes there are lesser makes that will perform effectively and all must be rinsed with sweet water at the end of each day but when you have an above average bone blasting towards the mangroves and you are well into your colored string and your guide implores, "crank it down and turn dat fish, mon", he means it and so must your tackle.