Not sure I'm entering the information correctly, but I'll give this review thing a try.
I ordered an "economy model" Hardy/Greys rod in hopes it would fill a rather "specialized" spot in my collection. I have a few places I fish that present challenges for a long rod. In those spots a long cast isn't required, but the chances of hooking anything from a small bluegill to a fairly large bass are about equal, so I wanted a mid-sized (line weight) rod.
The first rod I received had some unacceptable damage even for a budget rod! The cork had cracks, and the finish was missing on a small spot (3/32" circle) on the second section up (from the butt - 4pc rod). I called Hardy/Greys directly since they had shipped the rod from their facility and the problem was quickly resolved with a replacement shipped the next day.
The replacement was shipped quickly, and the only blemish I could find on it was a small "scuff" on the end cap. Not a perfect rod, but a small blemish I can accept for the price.
I took the rod to a small pond yesterday to get a feel for how it might perform. I loaded the reel with a WF5F line and assembled the rod using the "alignment dots" on each ferrule. I was able to get the guides acceptably aligned by this method, so I proceeded to tie on a fly (#12 "Green Weenie) and make a few casts.
I didn't expect this rod to be much for distance casts, and I was correct. It would easily handle a cast of 30-40 feet (measured from my feet to the fly on the water), but pushing it much further was too much for my ability.
Roll casts to pick up the fly from the depths worked, but weren't accurate or easy. It will probably improve as I get to use the rod more and adjust my timing.
Overall my impression at this point is the Greys rod is not really all that great as far a quality for the price. "Acceptable" is about all I can think of to describe the quality.
The short rod is obviously limited in it's ability as far as performance, and for what it is intended it does well. Not outstanding, but functional at least.
I will experiment some with line weights when the weather permits, but it seems to be well matched to it's rating. I'm guessing a DT6F line might improve my roll casting and will find out come spring.
I'll keep the rod for those trips where the brush is thick and short casts are the rule, but it will not be a candidate for an "all-round" compromise to stay behind my truck seat.