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Old 01-13-2013, 02:08 AM
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Default 5 wt Hardy Zenith

I have recently acquired a the zenith 5 wt and have it paired with 5 wt SA textured GPX line. I am reasonable new to fly fishing and find it hard loading the rod with this line. I borrowed a friends reel with 6 wt WF line and found it loaded much better and I could cast much shorter and further. Question: is the rod better suited to 6 wt line or is my poor casting letting me down with the 5 wt line?
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: 5 wt Hardy Zenith

Do you own any other rods, if so how do they cast? If the answer is no, go to a fly shop and try a couple of different 5 wt rods and see if you cast them any better with 5 wt line. This will give you the answer.

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Old 01-13-2013, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: 5 wt Hardy Zenith

Agreed, a Zenith can be a tricky first rod to have. Great rod though.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: 5 wt Hardy Zenith

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Originally Posted by ordinaryfisherman View Post
I have recently acquired a the zenith 5 wt and have it paired with 5 wt SA textured GPX line. I am reasonable new to fly fishing and find it hard loading the rod with this line. I borrowed a friends reel with 6 wt WF line and found it loaded much better and I could cast much shorter and further. Question: is the rod better suited to 6 wt line or is my poor casting letting me down with the 5 wt line?
I have the same rod and I use a Rio Gold 5 wt. line on it most of the time; sometimes an SA Sharkskin 5 wt. It casts well for me with a WF5F line.

If you find it casts easier for you with a 6 wt. line, then try slowing down your casting stroke a little; give the rod time to load. You can almost always horse an over-lined rod into performance casting mode with a quick, fast stroke; just because of the extra weight of the line. If you slow your stroke down a bit with the 5 wt. line, you may notice that you can feel the rod load better; which sounds like what you're missing with your 5 wt. line now, but picking up with your friend's 6 wt. line.

Also, on your cast; both the forward cast and the back cast, once you can feel the rod load from the weight of the line, start your casting stroke slow and finish it fast. Some people use the exact opposite type of stroke and they're usually forced into horsing the rod to get their lines out where they want them.

One more thing. If you're relatively new to fly fishing, try not to drift your rod on your back cast; meaning, at the end of your casting stroke hold the rod in the position where you finished the stroke, don't let it drift back on you. That's a good way to miss the feeling of the rod when it's loading up with the weight of the line. Later on, drifting may become a friend to you when you want to make long casts, but for now, try to keep the rod in the position where you finished your backcast.

Give it a try; see if it helps your casting with the 5 wt. SA GPX line.

Pocono
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: 5 wt Hardy Zenith

Thanks excellent advice, I'll give it a try.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: 5 wt Hardy Zenith

Not that I am a master certified caster or anything but I found the 4wt Zenith to cast pretty nicely with Gold and GPX Textured. I actually preferred the GPX on it, but we all like something a little different, others mileage may vary. Pocono gave sound advice, I too suspect your issues all have to do with timing. Since acquiring more rods than I'll ever need, and taking a casting lesson, I have become more in tune with the difference timing makes and the impact on loading the rod.

If you can swing it, I would highly recommend taking a casting lesson from your local fly shop. It has made a big difference for me and I'll likely be taking another one this year just to get ready for the upcoming season. I liken casting lessons to a golf swing. Even the best golfers have swing coaches.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: 5 wt Hardy Zenith

I too have this Zenith 5-weight and have cast several different lines with it and found it to be a true #5 liking equally well RIO Gold and SA Mastery Expert Distance Taper. Its soft tip is easily overloaded and dulled with a heavier line but a new caster might find it hard to feel the quickly progressing taper into the mid and especially lower taper portions of the rod. Probably not the ideal beginners rod though not nearly as demanding as say, Sage ONE for example. Ditto on the casting lesson and pay particular attention to not introduce slack at any phase of your casting stroke. This is a very fine rod and you will grow into it.
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