Hardy Zephrus Ultralite 9'9 #3

2306chris

Active member
Points
3
Location
Cumbria
Does anyone have any experience/feedback on this rod for nymphing, I have chance of a new one at just over £400. I have standard Zephrus' in 9' #4 and a #5 and really like them but never used an Ultralite. All comments and feedback most welcome. Thanks...
 

Mrwayne

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
London
I have this rod. In fact I have every zephrus ultralite. Yes I know... I know.... Although I did sell the 9'9 #5.

It is not a nymphing rod. That isnt to say it isn't a good nymphing rod and I use mine predominantly for nymphing. However let me explain my view.

The ultralite comes in 9'9 #3 and 9'9 #2. The 9'9 #2 is obviously going to be a better nymph rod than the #3. I have both and this is definately true. Where the 9'9 #3 comes in is thst it is a middle ground between a long dry fly rod and a nymph rod. It is a hybrid. A true nymph rod honestly needs to be above 10ft, the 10ft and 11ft nymphmaniac which I also own are both superior nymph rods. But the ultralite is better dry fly rod.

So if you want a shorter nymph rod for smaller rivers get the 9'9 #2. If you want a rod that would be a good chalkstream dry and nymph rod in one package without extension kits (like streamflex plus) get the 9'9 #3. If you want a #3 pure nymph rod get something like the maxia sx 10'8 #2/3 or vision nymphmaniac.

That's my view anyway...
 

2306chris

Active member
Points
3
Location
Cumbria
Thanks Mrwayne....and I thought I was a little obsessive with my Hardy collection ;);) Having just seen the standard Zephrus price drop I may take a chance and wait for an Ultralite.
I probably wouldn’t be using it as a pure nymph rod, more of a hybrid as you suggest so, valuable feedback, thank you.
 

Old Esox

Well-known member
Points
16
Location
Staffordshire
I have this rod. In fact I have every zephrus ultralite. Yes I know... I know.... Although I did sell the 9'9 #5.

It is not a nymphing rod. That isnt to say it isn't a good nymphing rod and I use mine predominantly for nymphing. However let me explain my view.

The ultralite comes in 9'9 #3 and 9'9 #2. The 9'9 #2 is obviously going to be a better nymph rod than the #3. I have both and this is definately true. Where the 9'9 #3 comes in is thst it is a middle ground between a long dry fly rod and a nymph rod. It is a hybrid. A true nymph rod honestly needs to be above 10ft, the 10ft and 11ft nymphmaniac which I also own are both superior nymph rods. But the ultralite is better dry fly rod.

So if you want a shorter nymph rod for smaller rivers get the 9'9 #2. If you want a rod that would be a good chalkstream dry and nymph rod in one package without extension kits (like streamflex plus) get the 9'9 #3. If you want a #3 pure nymph rod get something like the maxia sx 10'8 #2/3 or vision nymphmaniac.

That's my view anyway...
Can I ask why you sold the 9'9 5 wt, just invested in one but not used yet apart from casting on grass, I have it for dry work on my local reservoir.

Thanks.

Phil.
 

Mrwayne

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
London
Can I ask why you sold the 9'9 5 wt, just invested in one but not used yet apart from casting on grass, I have it for dry work on my local reservoir.

Thanks.

Phil.
Personally I have many #4 and #5 rods I thought were better. The thin handle of the Ultralite did not suit the heavier weight of the #5 in my view. The zephrus #5 had more power and felt better balanced as a #5 and despite being 10ft instead of 9'9 it feels lighter because of the swing weight.
 

dave b

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
UK
I have a 9ft 9in 4# Ultralite. Previously I owned the FWS 9ft 5# and 10ft 3# however I sold them both to help fund a return to match fishing a couple of years ago which unfortunately I've had to pack in due to on going back problems not helped by fishing a 16m pole and lugging a load of gear about.

I fish mainly the Wiltshire Avon, the Usk, Taff and occasionally the Rivers Tees and Swale when visiting family in the north east.

It's easy to say longer or lighter line weights are better but I don't necessarily agree. It is easier to launch a FL with a 2# or 3# and additional length will give better control however fishing a rod longer than 10ft with your arm extended does take it's toll, which is probably why 90% of anglers fish nymph rods from 9ft 6in to 10ft.

Compared with the FWS the Ultralite is a different rod altogether. It's stiffer tipped but mellower in action. It's also a slower action but has amazingly fast recovery. It is also has a deceptive amount of back bone further down should you need it.

Where the 9ft 9in comes in for me is it's the perfect compromise rod particularly for big rivers. It is as equally good fishing dries as it is nymphing. It won't punch a line into the wind like the FWS but it still casts a very good line and is deceptively good at close to mid range.

If I was to be picky, the grip is too thin and I'm not overly keen on the split wood/cork reel seat. I would have also preferred a keeper ring.

I couldn't fault the FWS rods I had at all, however the above gripes are purely cosmetic and do not affect the function of the rod.

If I wanted a dedicated nymphing rod, I'd buy another Zephrus FWS 10ft 3#. A few of us from the Devon Rivers forum cast it against the Sage ESN, Hanak SL and several other rods and for me the Zephrus stood out as being the best all rounder.

If Hardy did a 9ft 9in FWS I'd buy one however what they have done with the Ultralite is basically what Sage did with the Sage One and Mod, however IMO the Hardy rods are better alround fishing rods particularly for the UK where trout on rivers generally vary from 6oz to 1.5lbs with occasional bigger fish.

There are also some good offers on the FWS so my advice would be to try them both before deciding.
 

Mrwayne

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
London
Agree with this. Except about the buying zephrus Fws 10ft #3 for nymphing. Its OK, it's not as good as a vision nymphmaniac 10ft, maxia sx etc for dedicated nymphing imo. It does however cast a dry pretty well. Also agree with above on the 9'9 #4 ultralite which is amazing, not the best nymphing but can nymph, dry, dry dropper, team of wets.

Also I happen to own a 10ft #3 gr80 streamflex which is, and I kid you not, virtually exactly the same rod as the zephrus Fws 10ft #3 but without recoil guides.
 

dave b

Well-known member
Points
48
Location
UK
Mr Wayne have you actually used a Zephrus FWS 10ft 3# for nymping?

It's a superb rod which although primarily tip actioned has a much more progressive action than the Maxia SX shown below. It's also nothing like the Streamflex which IMO has more similarities to the Ultralite than the FWS.


Maxia SX.jpg
Maxia SX

Opinions do differ however apart from the later Sage ESN's which are another superb nymphing rod I have yet to fish with a better nymphing rod than the FWS.
 
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Mrwayne

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
London
I own and have used a gr80 streamflex, 10ft #3 zephrus Fws, ultralite, visión nymphmaniac etc all for nymphing.

I remember nymphing around Christmas time starting with FWS and going back to the car to pull out the 9'9 #2 ultralite instead. It's not bad, I just maintain for pure nymphing there are better.

The Hardy is just not as good as the maxia sx or nymohmaniac for pure nymphing it just isn't. Compared to the gr80 the blank is virtually identical, I've tested it also in "lab" conditions lobbing the same weight and I still believe the main difference is recoil guides vs chrome guides.
 
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Mrwayne

Well-known member
Points
18
Location
London
I have these rods currently at home except the maxia sx so maybe I need to do a "lab" test and publish the result here.

Also own a streamflex plus and the diff between regular streamflex is far more noticeable than between streamflex and FWS.
 

oldreekie

Member
Points
3
I had a Hanak Superlight 9’9 #2 but have since moved to a #3 weight rod to get the fish to the net in a quicker fashion.

I loved the sensitivity of the #2 however I found some fights would be prolonged and I couldn’t quite bully the fish away from overhanging tress, weeds etc.

The #3 would also allow me to use the same rod on a variety of different rivers where my #2 was more suited to my small local river. I prefer just to have 1 rod suited to Czech nymphing.

If I was in your position I would have a think whether I am likely to cast dries with ultralite and whether it would be better than your current rod but in a #3.

You have plenty food for thought. I hope you get your decision spot on. Good luck.
 
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