Re: Hardy zenith
I have casted, but do not own, the zenith 9' 5 weight. If you are looking for a good all-rounder that can handle delicate distance presentation and at the same time a soft tip for up close presentation I can tell you the zenith is a solid performer. It has a nice stiff butt section for distance casting and nymph rigs/streamers. the tip is very soft so you can tip cast up close with dead accuracy. Fantastic rod for what your looking for in performance. The loop opti-stream 9' 5 weight also fits this exact same category at $100 less than the zenith, you may want to take a long hard look at this rod. It has almost identical performance as the zenith at a better price. For those of you who havent tried loop rods, I should tell you they are amazing and shock me in raw performance. Lastly I will mention one more rod I loved in the stiff-butt, soft tip category; this would be the C.F. Burkheimer 9' 5 weight classic. The burkheimer DAL series is a much slower and full flexing rod series, but the classic series has a glorious soft tip and perfectly balanced butt section. This rod has impressed me more than any other. The line tracking capability is bar none, soooo accurate and incredible tippet protection, yet it can unload a 70ft. cast with precision. I would also take a long hard look at this rod if I were you.