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Old 03-12-2014, 10:45 PM
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Default Hardy Zenith - What weight line?

Okay, got a wild hair and bought yet another 5wt. This time it was a 9' Hardy Zenith 5wt! I'm excited to get it out on the water and actually fish with it.

I mean this to be a simple question. What "weight" floating line do you like on this rod? Do you like a true 5 wt line, a 5 wt line that is a half size heavy line (like the SA GPX for example), or something else?

I'm sure this topic has been talked to death. I couldn't find the answer to quite this question though.

Thanks,

Todd
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Zenith - What weight line?

Try to throw one of each. Then you can make the decision. And try different brands.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Zenith - What weight line?

Yes, the answer to the question is what weight line do YOU like on the rod. The Yellowstone Shootout recommended a WF5F Mastery GPX for this rod.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Zenith - What weight line?

I bought the Zenith 9' 4wt, loved it at a demo day, lined it with airflow exceed 4wt. Based on how well this casts for me, I'd give this very serious consideration. Look for something a half weight over, IF the 5wt is the same as my 4wt.

I was told the 8'6" 4wt prefers a true 4wt line.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Zenith - What weight line?

I have 2 Zeniths in 8wt and 4wt in 9ft. IMO, Zeniths aren't very picky about the line weight as I can easily underline and overline them as needed. E.g the 8wt was used with Rio Power Fly #6 230gn, Royal Wulff Ambush #7 266gn, 290gn Scandi switch rod shooting head, Rio OBS Saltwater #8 330gn, and 348 Scandi switch rod line.

After my research and Q&A, I bought the Airflo Super Dri Exceed 4wt for my 4wt Zenith and happy with it. I could just get the Rio Gold 4wt to make life easier but I wanted to try something else. I am also casting the 5wt line for it and probably get a 3wt line for it when needed.

Again, IMO one thing to be considered when you are buying a line for the Zenith is the taper. Zeniths aren't slow and aren't super fast rods, and they like power taper type of line. It (or maybe me) didn't like the new Rio Perception, it is almost like a double tapered line.

I would recommend to stick with 5wt line, Gold, Cortland Liquid Crystal, Airflo Exceed for presentation and Rio OBS and Wulff Ambush for your hail mary cast.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Zenith - What weight line?

Thanks for all the responses!

I had planned to use a taper that was more weight forward. I do plan to throw streamers in addition to drys/nymphs.

If the Zenith is comfortable with a wide range of lines, it my be nice to have a second spool with a heavier line just for streamer fishing. This could save carrying a second rod. I'm thinking a 250 grain sink tip with a floating running line perhaps? Or would this be pushing it too far?


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EDIT: I meant to suggest a 200 grain head or something appropriate as a 6wt line that would reduce the chuck and duck when casting some streamers.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Zenith - What weight line?

My three Zeniths are all one piece. So unless you have one of those, we are talking about completely different tapers. For what it's worth though, my 4wt did not like being over lined at all. It handles the SA Textured Trout perfectly. If you don't mind the noise, that line REALLY performs.

My 6wt and 7wt both do exceptionally well with the Rio Gold. You can double haul and cast into the backing if that's your thing (it looks impressive in the front yard), but at the same time it will perform very nicely at more practical fishing distances.

Keep in mind that George Anderson's applications are probably not the same as many of ours. Montana winds are a challenge and they are blowing like crazy far more often than they are not. I suspect that has a lot to do with so many rods getting the GPX nod.... If you read some of the shootouts, they often start with something along the lines of.... "So you're buying a 5wt because you need a do it all rod...." And then it goes on to explain how your 5wt needs to be able to blast a giant hopper to a cut bank 95' feet away or throw a split-shotted size 2 home invader 80' into a 35mph headwind.... As a mere mortal, I stand in awe of this.... Then again there's something to be said for knowing when to put down the 5wt and pick up the 7. Life is complicated enough without going out of your way to make things harder.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Zenith - What weight line?

I would say that it is safe to overline the Zenith by 1 weight up and underline it 2 weight down.
I must honestly say that it was very stupid of me to cast a 348 grain scandi switch rod line with the 8wt Zenith. I believed the strength of the Sintrix Material helped me to avoid a breakage.
Please take a mental note that I tried much heavier lines for the 8wt version which probably built differently for saltwater species. I can't say the same with 5wt and I won't test my 4wt like that.

250gn is like a 6.5 weight line, you might still get away with that for the 5wt. But if I were you, I would get the Ambush #6 235gn or Rio OBS 235gn or Power Fly #6 230gn to overline your Zenith 5wt. You can use the polyleaders to add some extra weight. I will go with the Ambush since they have the new Ambush TT with sinking or intermediate head which will fit for your streamer fishing. The short Ambush head is very easy for changing direction cast.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Hardy Zenith - What weight line?

I edited my post above. I didn't mean to suggest such a heavy head weight (250 grain) for a 5wt, even if it is a Zenith. What I meant to ask was if anyone had any experience over lining the Zenith by a line or perhaps just a little more, possibly up to a 200 grain head. My personal preference would be to Not push beyond that.


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