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-   -   Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout! (http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/fly-rods/89034-hardy-zenith-wins-yellowstone-angler-shootout.html)

burk48237 01-02-2011 05:19 PM

Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
I know I've been bragging on these rods. The Zenith 9-5 won every performance category. I don't believe they've ever had a rod do that in one of these tests. In other words it broke the old power-speed-weight-performance-distance rule. For years every rod made was a compromise, either you had great feel in close and it fished well out to the mid ranges, but forget distance in the wind. Or it was a club in close and needed to be over lined, and it was a cannon at distance. Some were better all around then others, but none was the best at everything. These are the first rods I've ever handled that honestly don't have those limitations. Check it out for yourselves or better yet check one at a dealer or show in about three weeks when they hit the states in numbers.

Montana Fly Fishing in Montana's Paradise Valley, fly fishing tackle, bookings with Outfitters and Guides and guides

fredaevans 01-02-2011 05:30 PM

Re: Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
Although 'dated,' a darned good read. Anything you know of that's a bit more current?

Fred

burk48237 01-02-2011 06:04 PM

Re: Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fredaevans (Post 187833)
Although 'dated,' a darned good read. Anything you know of that's a bit more current?

Fred

The shootout was just put up on the web page this weekend, and almost all of the rods tested were new models for 2011.

fredaevans 01-02-2011 06:12 PM

Re: Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by burk48237 (Post 187838)
The shootout was just put up on the web page this weekend, and almost all of the rods tested were new models for 2011.

Very Cool! Saw a 'dating' (where?) that suggested from about 2007'ish. In the market for a new single hander 5wt, back to the link.
:D

MoscaPescador 01-02-2011 09:07 PM

Re: Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
Some of the staff had a chance to play with the Hardy Pro-Axis rod at Christmas Island. In terms of casting, the 10 weight was on par with most premium rods. In terms of fishing, it was a bruiser. It was able to lift 40 pound Yellowfin without breaking.

I think that Hardy is onto something with its new Sintrix technology.

MP

FrankB2 01-02-2011 09:13 PM

Re: Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
I enjoy reading these shootout thingies. It's good that more rods were included in this review, and the nymph rig test was interesting as well. While George Anderson said that the Zenith was the clear winner, the other guys had some high praise for the Z-Axis and BIIIX (and other rods). George gave the Z-Axis 18 out of 20 at 25 feet, but Justin and James gave it 20 out of 20, saying the Z-Axis is what a rod should feel like at 25 feet. Alot of people have expressed their feeling that a rod as stiff as the Z-Axis wouldn't work well in close, even if they've never cast one before. :D

Burk,
I'll look this up, but in case I can't find the info can you tell me where the Hardy Zenith is made? Is this going to put Hardy on the map in USA now (based on feedback you've received)? Are there other Hardy rods we should give attention to?

Problems with this Shootout:
-Anderson states that the St. Croix Imperial is made in the USA. Wrong. It's made in Mexico, and St. Croix makes that quite clear on thier website.

-Anderson states that Sage uses the finest cork, but I've seen some really awful cork on Sage Z-Axis and ZXL rods. It's sort of a hit or miss deal with the many specimens of these Sage rods I've seen. Some have fine cork, and others have been spackled with so much wood filler that it's hard to look at.

-Still using GPX line to test rods, while acknowledging (this time around) that a true 5wt would work better on some of the rods reviewed. Anderson does say that they were looking for an all-around 5wt, and I suppose he felt the GPX would toss nymph rigs better. Still.....

-Anderson states that Tom Morgan "makes less than 100 " rods each year. Tom Morgan doesn't make any rods, and I wish that people would give Gerri Carlson the credit she deserves for building these rods. Anderson says the Morgan rods are a "10+" in terms of craftmanship, so it would be nice to acknowledge the craftsman....

BlueDun 01-02-2011 09:23 PM

Re: Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fredaevans (Post 187839)
Very Cool! Saw a 'dating' (where?) that suggested from about 2007'ish. In the market for a new single hander 5wt, back to the link.
:D

Click on the link again and BEFORE you scroll down, look to the right side of the web page - it is right there at the top of the page and says 2011 on it. (I also did not see it at first and had to scan the whole web page before I found it - at first, I thought I misread the original post about a new shootout.)

Jackster 01-02-2011 09:27 PM

Re: Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
Again George tests 5 weight rods with a 5-1/2 weight line and then expects them to perform like 5 weights in distance casts. A true 5 weight will not take lightly to being overlined at the higher levels of performance without protesting.
Just saying.

FrankB2 01-02-2011 10:06 PM

Re: Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
Hi Jackster,
At least he had high praise for the Winston this time around. I read Anderson's review again, and find myself scratching my head over what he considers a good all around 5wt. He says that good rods like the Sage ZXL weren't included because they do better in close. Regarding casting out to 70 feet with a 5wt, one of the reviewers said that you'd have a hard time setting a hook at that distance, and that it would be easier to walk 40 feet closer to the fish. :D I noted immediately that there is a "BUY" button under each rod in the review (except for the Scott, Orvis, T&T, and Loop). I live in Pennsylvania, and prefer an 8'6" 4wt rod for most of my fishing. How a Western rod shootout relates to my fishing situation isn't quite clear, but it does seem to simplify matters for Anderson.

burk48237 01-03-2011 08:23 AM

Re: Hardy Zenith wins Yellowstone Angler shootout!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankB2 (Post 187974)
I enjoy reading these shootout thingies. It's good that more rods were included in this review, and the nymph rig test was interesting as well. While George Anderson said that the Zenith was the clear winner, the other guys had some high praise for the Z-Axis and BIIIX (and other rods). George gave the Z-Axis 18 out of 20 at 25 feet, but Justin and James gave it 20 out of 20, saying the Z-Axis is what a rod should feel like at 25 feet. Alot of people have expressed their feeling that a rod as stiff as the Z-Axis wouldn't work well in close, even if they've never cast one before. :D

Burk,
I'll look this up, but in case I can't find the info can you tell me where the Hardy Zenith is made? Is this going to put Hardy on the map in USA now (based on feedback you've received)? Are there other Hardy rods we should give attention to?

Problems with this Shootout:
-Anderson states that the St. Croix Imperial is made in the USA. Wrong. It's made in Mexico, and St. Croix makes that quite clear on thier website.

-Anderson states that Sage uses the finest cork, but I've seen some really awful cork on Sage Z-Axis and ZXL rods. It's sort of a hit or miss deal with the many specimens of these Sage rods I've seen. Some have fine cork, and others have been spackled with so much wood filler that it's hard to look at.

-Still using GPX line to test rods, while acknowledging (this time around) that a true 5wt would work better on some of the rods reviewed. Anderson does say that they were looking for an all-around 5wt, and I suppose he felt the GPX would toss nymph rigs better. Still.....

-Anderson states that Tom Morgan "makes less than 100 " rods each year. Tom Morgan doesn't make any rods, and I wish that people would give Gerri Carlson the credit she deserves for building these rods. Anderson says the Morgan rods are a "10+" in terms of craftmanship, so it would be nice to acknowledge the craftsman....

The Hardy rods are designed and engineered in England. They have a serious graphite rod design lab at Alnwick, which probably employs more people then than the reel building side in Alnwick. They also do a lot of graphite technology for the Aerospace industry there. The rods are built in S. Korea. The real difference at Hardy is that Howard Croston (the real deal) who is not only an excellent fisherman and exceptional caster (I don't mean just distance-I mean the technical presentation stuff) is designing the actions much like Winston when they had Druckman. Andy Mills is doing the same thing at Hardy on the SW side.

---------- Post added at 09:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:09 AM ----------

Quote:

Originally Posted by FrankB2 (Post 187986)
Hi Jackster,
At least he had high praise for the Winston this time around. I read Anderson's review again, and find myself scratching my head over what he considers a good all around 5wt. He says that good rods like the Sage ZXL weren't included because they do better in close. Regarding casting out to 70 feet with a 5wt, one of the reviewers said that you'd have a hard time setting a hook at that distance, and that it would be easier to walk 40 feet closer to the fish. :D I noted immediately that there is a "BUY" button under each rod in the review (except for the Scott, Orvis, T&T, and Loop). I live in Pennsylvania, and prefer an 8'6" 4wt rod for most of my fishing. How a Western rod shootout relates to my fishing situation isn't quite clear, but it does seem to simplify matters for Anderson.


I think this relates to the general comments about GPX line too. The same thing would apply if you were using a Cortland Western Drifter line (1/2 size heavier).

I get what he's doing, his shop is Yellowstone Angler after all not Ausauble or Spruce Creek Angler. While we in the East look at Trout rods and think 8'-4 weights and Sulphers, in the West they look at Trout rods and think 9-5 weights and double fly indicator rigs.

But I think that's one of the keys to this test. I love my Winston WT 8 1/2 5 weight (it is after all the staff of Moses:icon_bigg) and the I revere the TMF. But I've been playing around with the 8-4 Zenith a bit this fall, and it does things that are unimaginable with those rods. Does that mean those aren't great rods for fishing the more intimate quarters of most Eastern streams? Of course not. What it does mean is the game has changed. Now a guy can buy a 9-5 and fish our small rivers, because they still maintain the feel and control at close and mid distances of great eastern trout rod, but when he gets on the Delaware and the Caney Fork or some other Eastern Tailwater he won't be under-gunned if he has to throw a big Wooly Bugger or a Hex on the Muskegon.

The key with the line thing is most of the power rods still felt under lined even with the 5 1/2 in close! The Zenith didn't, but it still could knock off the power rods at distance. For years I've always felt that many rod and line makers were making great products to impress beginners in parking lots, and most parking lots don't have trout. But now there is a rod that will go toe to toe in the parking lot and is comfortable on the Trout stream. That is a big deal.


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