Dry Fly Line to suit Hardy Zenith 9’ 6” with presentation important.

tartan man

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Hi, I’m looking for some advice regarding a dry fly line for my Hardy Zenith 9’ 6” 6 weight fly rod?. I currently have a Rio Gold 6 weight which I feel is too light for this rod. I’m struggling to get any weight in the line or enough load in the rod until I’ve got a huge amount of line out (40 - 50 feet) which I feel hampers me when fishing closer in. I’m also struggling to straighten the line, leader, etc out and have good turnover and presentation. Maybe it could be MY casting that’s at fault or I’m just not used to fast action rods ( this is my first coming from a 20 odd year old Orvis Silver Label Mid Flex)?. I must also put my hands up and admit I stupidly bought the rod second hand online without casting with it (something I’ll never do again). The seller also had no knowledge of the line he used with it. I have been out of fishing for many years and have only recently returned.
I’m looking for a quality dry fly line that will load the rod but also (if possible) give good turnover and presentation to small dry flies, buzzers etc on small fisheries/ lochs, etc?. I’ve used Scientific Anglers lines in the past to suit my Orvis Silver Label (Mid Flex) in the past which I was really pleased with but bought the Rio Gold 6 weight based on a recommendation from a friend which doesn’t seem to suit this rod. Again this may be down to my casting or ability.
Should I be using a heavier line I.e. 1/2 size or 1 full size up to suit this rod?, should I be using a different line?, if so any recommendations?. Any help or kind advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

bbamboo

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It's difficult to comment as I don't know the rod , but if you can try it with a line weight one size up and see how it goes. Hopefully some guy will come along who has one and give some advice.
 

fishing hobo

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Rio Gold is on the heavier end of its stated AFTM so you need to look at your casting. Perhaps find a qualified instructor to have a look at your casting?
 

Vintage Badger

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As has been suggested, an hour or two with a qualified and experienced instructor is probably a good idea. If you explain the issue to them then, in addition to looking at your casting, they should be able to bring some different weight lines along to try with your rod.

Once you know the rod is set up right then it's down to your casting. A session with a suitable instructor should be able to sort out both issues for you, for the price of a single good quality fly line. So you may even save money in the long run by not having to rely on trial and error when choosing a line!
 

arawa

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Different version of the rod I am afraid, mine is an 8’ 6” #4 but it casts like a dream with a SA Amplitude MPX (which is a half weight heavy like the Rio Gold).
 

ryburn

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Mar 29, 2016
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Hi, I’m looking for some advice regarding a dry fly line for my Hardy Zenith 9’ 6” 6 weight fly rod?. I currently have a Rio Gold 6 weight which I feel is too light for this rod. I’m struggling to get any weight in the line or enough load in the rod until I’ve got a huge amount of line out (40 - 50 feet) which I feel hampers me when fishing closer in. I’m also struggling to straighten the line, leader, etc out and have good turnover and presentation. Maybe it could be MY casting that’s at fault or I’m just not used to fast action rods ( this is my first coming from a 20 odd year old Orvis Silver Label Mid Flex)?. I must also put my hands up and admit I stupidly bought the rod second hand online without casting with it (something I’ll never do again). The seller also had no knowledge of the line he used with it. I have been out of fishing for many years and have only recently returned.
I’m looking for a quality dry fly line that will load the rod but also (if possible) give good turnover and presentation to small dry flies, buzzers etc on small fisheries/ lochs, etc?. I’ve used Scientific Anglers lines in the past to suit my Orvis Silver Label (Mid Flex) in the past which I was really pleased with but bought the Rio Gold 6 weight based on a recommendation from a friend which doesn’t seem to suit this rod. Again this may be down to my casting or ability.
Should I be using a heavier line I.e. 1/2 size or 1 full size up to suit this rod?, should I be using a different line?, if so any recommendations?. Any help or kind advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I have the same rod and have suffered the same problem. In my opinion the rod is underrated and is really at least a #7. I bought mine to potentially replace a favourite Hardy Ultralite 9' 6" #6 which has been my go to light stillwater rod for something like 20 yrs and is a lovely dry fly and nymph rod with a WF6F or long belly #5. I tried the Zenith first with a Snowbee Delicate Presentation #6 and it wouldn't cast it at all. I was about to send it back but thought I'd better try all my other #6 lines first, starting with a Snowbee XS #6 which was somewhat better. I eventually found that of all the lines I owned an old Lee Wulff Triangle Taper 6/7 suited it best. As the Rio Gold you have tried is made half a size heavy that seems to fit with my experience.
I still have the Zenith but wouldn't really say that it's a dry fly rod though I have used it with the Lee Wulff and the Snowbee XS for mayfly fishing on the Irish loughs and I guess it would be OK at a pinch for that purpose on reservoirs if you can live with the relatively heavy line. For me its a general purpose reservoir rod. I can only suggest you try it with a FT7F and see if that is any better for you.
Ryburn
 

Scotty90

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The Rio gold is around 1/2 an aftm size heavier, if you still can’t load the rod or get any feel from it just use a 7 weight floater on it. The rod will handle a range of lines anyway, the aftm is not set in stone as you will see when you check the weights of different lines, none (or very few) of them will be the same as another.

As has been said a casting lesson or two works wonders but if you feel you can cast well enough to get by going up to a 7 weight line will do the rod no harm and will help you out. Many accomplished anglers (who cast very well) still do this for a range of reasons and it works.
 

Elwyman

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May 18, 2006
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I have the 9' #5 Zenith which works well with a #5 Rio Gold.
As others gave said, the Rio is an overweight line, so try a #7.....I use a #7 line on a #6 Sage SLT that I use for sea trout fishing.
 

Mr Notherone

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I had a Zenith. It was the only rod I've had for ages that I needed to overweight the line rating by one. It was still a great rod. I now have a Zephrus which works perfectly with it's rated line.
 
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