Hardy Zephrus Ultralite Fly Rod Review
Are you a minimalist? Me too… when it comes to a 4 wt anyway. Slimmed down, sleek, functional, ultra-responsive and ultra-light. That’s what I look for in a 4wt rod and that’s what Hardy has produced in the Zephrus Ultralite. I’m excited, to say the least. The Ultralite joins the Zephrus family and rounds out Hardy’s line of top-notch, multi-purpose, do-it-all fly rods built with Sintrix 440 technology. As a result, the Ultralite is the best-of-the-best and stands in a 4wt class of its own. Read more to find out why.
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- An older Hardy Fly Reel
Fit and Finish
The rod’s reel seat is unique in a classic-but-modern way and includes a cork insert on one side and beautiful burled wood and anodized aluminum on the other side. The reel seat gives way to a slimmed down reversed half-wells grip. A top-notch blank, similar to other rods in the Zephrus family, is complemented by top-notch componentry including a recoil stripping guide and single foot snake guides. The recoil stripping guide removes the weight of a hard chrome stripping guide while maintaining functionality. Lastly, alignment dots expedite on-the-water rod assembly. Starting to share my enthusiasm for the Ultralite?
The Zephrus Ultralite is ultra-light. The whole rod weighs in at 2.51 oz (crazy light) with a swing weight of 53.6 gm2, one of the lightest swing weights we’ve ever seen.
Step back into long-distance 4 wt territory, and the Ultralite maintains castability and responsiveness. Lightweight, caster-friendly, and capable at distance means the Zephrus Ultralite is just purely a fun rod to cast up close and way back. Obviously, the rod is not made to cast big flies at long distances, but what 4 wt is?
Again, the accuracy of the Ultralite echoes similar aforementioned sentiments about castability, etc. Not only is the rod VERY accurate at 30 feet, an important 4 wt distance, but the accuracy doesn’t fade as distance increases as is typical in other 4 wt rods. Hardy has struck a nice balance between short and moderate distance accuracy - a harmony any able angler is sure to appreciate.
Flex and Feel
The blank of the Zephrus utilizes Hardy’s Sintrix 440 technology which includes a top-of-the-line nanofiber construction. Above all, the flex and feel set this rod apart. Hardy manages to pack a lot of feel and a moderate-action high presentation into a rod that is incredibly friendly to cast, even for the angler who is used to a fast action rod. That being said, the rod maintains its delicacy and intimacy as any 4 wt should. The Ultralite boasts mega-responsiveness at short distances and solid capability at longer distances - a combination that is hard to beat. I could go on and on about the Ultralite’s flex and feel but I’ll leave it there…
Hardy Worldwide Extended Warranty.
Safe to say I’m pretty jazzed about the Ultralite, and for good reason. Not only is the Ultralite a breakthrough in fly rod innovation, but it allows the near-perfect ability to maximize important 4 wt presentations at all distances. Dry flies on the Henry’s Fork? Ultralite. Tricos on the Missouri? Ultralite. Small spring creek streamers? Well, you get the point.
- Ultra-light construction
- Incredibly responsive up close and at a moderate distance
- We wish the Ultralite was made in England