Friday, 27 Nov 2020

overview: Hardy Ultralite LL fly rod

Hardy has revamped its complete rod lineup for 2020, changing practically every little thing they offered in 2019. among the most expected new choices is the Hardy Ultralite LL rod. here is the identical rod that Hardy’s head dressmaker Howard Croston used to win the 2020 FIPS World Championship. Euro-nymphing is the name of the online game in the world Championships, and that’s precisely what the Ultralite LL changed into designed for. It’s an outrageously mild, sensitive stick developed to tackle fish huge and small.

but it’s no longer just a rod for Euro nymphing anglers. The Ultralite LL is the primary Euro-particular rod I’ve fished that’s miraculous at each tight-line nymphing and usual fly fishing.

What Works

Euro tailored

The Ultralite LL is practically every little thing i would want my top-quality Euro rod to be. it be gentle and delicate to the most subtle of bounces and takes, yet exceedingly responsive and with a stiff satisfactory spine to drive the hook domestic when a trout eats. This rod makes it possible for me to feel my Euro rig an awful lot greater than other, heavier Euro rods I’ve fished recently. Tippet coverage is mind-blowing. no matter if you are fishing dries or Euro-nymphing, the tip is supple satisfactory that you shouldn’t have to agonize about breaking any fish off, offered you are no longer attempting to horse in a 20-inch rainbow on 7x.

peculiarly, the Ultralite LL feels strategically constructed for Euro-nymphing, which is good, because this is exactly why the folks at Hardy constructed it.


one of the crucial explanations I haven’t Euro-nymphed as a good deal as a few of my fishing friends is that I suppose love it’s too limiting a method of fishing for me. If I’m nymphing the Madison, however a surprise afternoon hatch of BWOs starts popping, the means to switch to dries automatically is something i love about my average fly rods.

And up before, I haven’t fished a Euro-nymphing rod that might properly do each.

The Ultralite LL, though, stunned me.

After a morning of throwing streamers on the eco-friendly River in Utah with a different stick, I busted out the 9’9” 3wtHardy Ultralite LL. My friend Ryan and i discovered a pod of rising fish that have been snacking on a good BWO hatch.

I tied on a protracted leader, a dimension 22 spent-wing, and started casting. The Ultralite LL felt distinct when used as a dry-fly rod, however now not in a bad means. as soon as I acquired the cling of its rhythm, I shot a solid to the feeding fish. A trout ate my spent-wing on the primary solid, and that i passed the relaxation of the afternoon determining fish off with what felt like sniper-like precision. and that i’m no expert caster, either, but the Ultralite LL made issues convenient for me.

Then, on the exact opposite aspect of issues, i was nymphing with the Ultralite LL on a local freestone circulation here in Utah. I’d caught a number of cutthroat already, however I came to a big pool that was simply begging to be fished with streamers. So, I bring to an end my Euro chief, tied on a measurement 6 white bunny leech, and lobbed it out there. The cast wasn’t gracious, or pretty, however for a long 3wt rod, i used to be blown away. And similar to on the green, I hooked a fish on the first solid.

The Ultralite LL in reality excels as a nymphing rod. That’s what it become designed to do, in any case. but it surely’s greater than simply sufficient with dries and streamers — it’s pretty valuable. With dry flies peculiarly, the Ultralite LL is a pleasure to fish.


Euro rods ought to be lighter than usual rods, by using advantage of how they’re fished. The Ultralite LL is available in eight diverse configurations, and none of them weigh more than three.6 ounces. the 9’9” 3wt clocks in at three ounces on the dot.

These rods in reality do suppose that gentle in-hand. They’re effortless to hold for those who’re attaining to glide nymphs through a seam on the a ways facet of the river, or if you happen to come to a decision to switch issues up and fish a streamer.


The Ultralite LL, even in the 3wt I proven, has a extraordinary volume of energy in the decrease sections of the clean. i was able to hook, fight, and land massive trout at a considerable number of distances, and in a variety of swift existing. I wouldn’t expect a 3wt to have as lots vigour to turn fish as this rod does, but finding that out become a pleasant shock.


Hardy made what I consider is a daring circulation by using including spigot ferrules on the Ultralite LL. The theory at the back of spigot ferrules is to provide a greater seamless transition between rod sections, creating a rod that’s extra delicate than one with sleeve-over ferrules. That’s undoubtedly a necessity of Euro-rod design, and i may believe that improved sensitivity not simply when bouncing nymphs along the backside, but even when throwing dry flies.

Crafted with Hardy’s normal consideration to detail, the Ultralite LL is, to me, one of the most eye-catching rods the enterprise has ever constructed. The cork is correct-notch, and that i love the swish, bronze reel seat hardware. while I’d love a wood reel seat insert, the carbon fiber one really cuts down on weight.

The rest of the clean is unsanded bronze that looks fascinating in direct daylight. The blank is capped with black nickel single-foot publications, and a single Ceracoil stripping e book. happily, Hardy didn’t ditch the hook keeper on the Ultralite LL, a trend in American rod design that’s riding me nuts.

What Doesn’t Work

Swing Weight

here’s me getting into the weeds a little bit, but if you propose on using the 9’9” 3wt as a dry fly rod in addition to its Euro capabilities, be prepared for some swing weight. in my opinion, I don’t be aware of the way you might build a rod this long and light-weight without needing some severe swing weight, and what you get out of the Ultralite LL isn’t horrific. it’s, though, worth noting if you think you’ll use this rod for a good volume of dry fly fishing.

Ferrule Plugs

in my opinion, i like that Hardy constructed this rod with spigot ferrules, and that they deliver ferrule plugs to keep dirt out of the female ends of the ferrules. however, i will be able to see how some anglers may additionally now not like remembering to position the three small plugs of their pouch on the rod sock. here’s a tiny factor, and one which doesn’t influence the performance of the rod at all, but it surely’s nevertheless price citing.

final word

The Ultralite LL is one of the foremost fly rods I’ve ever fished, and stands head-and-shoulders above anything else I’ve ever fished from Hardy. It’s gentle, responsive, sensitive, and totally versatile. It fishes Euro rigs at a championship level, however turns right round and throws dry flies or streamers with out an issue. while the swing weight is slightly a great deal, there’s nothing else to truly knock the Ultralite LL for. It’s simply a ravishing rod, and one which Hardy should still hold in their lineup for years to return.