Hardy has made a rod for the frequent traveler, a rod that fits in your back pocket. Well, almost. The new Demon Smuggler 6-piece fly rod from Hardy is made for carry-on luggage and extreme packability. Usually, a 6-piece fly rod means extra weight, less power, and decreased accuracy. This Demon Smuggler is quite the opposite, however. We are thoroughly impressed with the performance of the Demon Smuggler, especially in the 6-piece fly rod category. Read on to find out why.

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Fit and Finish



The Demon Smuggler is a 6-piece fly rod. This means the rod tube is incredibly small and packable, perfect for backpacking trips or carry-on luggage. The rod also sports an aluminum double uplocking reel seat that is highly functional, lightweight, but not quite as pretty as the reel seats on the Zephrus, Wraith, and other high-end rods. The reel seat blends nicely into a reversed half wells cork grip. The Demon Smuggler is well-constructed, has alignment dots, and is finished with nice componentry. The rod is missing Hardy’s titanium guides that are present on most of the higher-end rods. The single foot guides on the Demon Smuggler are practical, however, and contribute to the rod’s lightweight makeup.




The entire Demon Smuggler rod weighs 3.4 ounces. That’s insanely light for a 6-piece fly rod with two extra joints. The lightweight construction of this rod is a true technological achievement for Hardy. This achievement is part of the reason the Demon Smuggler is an industry-leader in 6-piece fly rod performance.




The Demon Smuggler performs well at distance. Energy and power transfer down the blank at distances beyond 60 feet to provide good casting accuracy. While the accuracy of the Demon Smuggler at long distance isn’t quite as good as other high-priced 4-piece fly rods, for a 6-piece fly rod that fits in your suitcase, the Demon Smuggler has mind-blowing accuracy in this 60-foot range.




Sort of surprisingly, the Demon Smuggler has superior accuracy at 30 feet. This rod may be the best 5wt we’ve cast at this distance, regardless of make. That’s saying something. Accuracy at 45 feet, however, is a slightly different story; the medium-fast action of the rod requires a slow casting stroke at middle trout distances. After making an adjustment, however, and slowing down our casting tempo, we found that the rod maintains its accuracy at 45 feet.

Flex and Feel


The Demon Smuggler is a rod with a medium-fast action. The rod’s action means it’s more challenging to cast at long distances. A slower casting stroke is required when bombing a cast across the river with the Demon Smuggler. That being said, energy transfers really well down the blank at these longer distances and the rod’s strength and power are apparent. This increased power comes from Sintrix Technology; Sintrix Technology and a 3M nano resin from Hardy make this rod more powerful, lighter, and more caster-friendly than any other 6-piece fly rod on the market.


Line Choice


Scientific Anglers Mastery MPX.




Hardy Worldwide Extended Warranty









It’s pretty obvious why we like the Hardy Demon Smuggler so much. Hardy has designed this rod to be extremely versatile, packable, and lightweight without sacrificing performance. Hardy’s incredible technology is part of the reason this rod boasts such high-performance. Whether you’re backpacking into the mountains, traveling to fish trout or bonefish, or just taking a casual family vacation, the Demon Smuggler is a must-have fly rod. Aptly named, this rod will help you smuggle high-performance wherever you go.




  • Lightweight 6-piece design
  • Superb accuracy at all distances



  • Medium-fast action means casting at distance takes some getting used to