Hardy Zephrus 9'#6

Hardy Zephrus 9'#6

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The Hardy Zephrus rods that have replaced the Zenith are superb. The 8 ½ foot 4-weight Zephrus is the finest 4-weight I’ve found.   And in our latest 5-weight Shootout their 9 foot 5-weight Zephrus tied for 3rd.   The 6-weight was not as impressive though, and finishes right in the middle of the pack.   It is good at short and mid range, just not great.  Then at long range it seemed to run out of gas compared to the best rods.  Nothing like the old Zenith that had better power at long range.  

 

This is a very attractive rod, finished in a medium olive green, with a green burled wood insert to match.  The wraps are brownish olive.    The guide set up is one SiC stripping guide followed up with very light nickel/titanium and flexible single-foot guides in a dark finish.   The Zephrus rods are designed in England but manufactured in Korea.

 

The Zephrus is not as light as the best rods in swing weight and when we put it on the deflection board we see that it is slightly slower in action than the best rods.  All this contributed to somewhat of a lackluster performance.

 

George’s casting notes:    The perfect line-  S.A. MPX in WF-6-F

 

Performance at 30 feet:  19 points out of 20

Pleasant and has pretty good accuracy but I cannot cast off the tip as with the Sky or Radian

 

Performance at 50 feet:   19 points out of 20

Good, but the Sky and the other top four rods were markedly better with tighter loops and more zip.  

 

Performance at 75 feet:   18.5 points out of 20

Not nearly the punch or power of the Sky or Asquith.   The Zephrus seems to run out of gas at long range.

 

 

 

Hardy Zephrus 9'#6

 

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James' Comments:

 

The Hardy Zephrus is a 6-weight leaning on the feel side of the equation rather than the power side.  The rod is really fun to cast in close and at medium distances, but it  struggled when faced with a 75 foot cast or a 10-15 mph headwind. 

 

Anglers who appreciate more feel and a slower action will certainly gravitate towards the Zephrus’ smooth action.  In a world where fast isn’t necessarily better, the Zephrus has its place as a better all-around rod than Hardy’s stiffer rod, the Wraith.  While the Wraith was one of the very best rods in the wind and the 75 foot distance king, it was too stiff for normal everyday use, especially in close working with smaller dries. 

 

I wish Hardy would consider going back to making an action similar to their older Zenith, which was slightly stiffer than the Zephrus, but softer than the Wraith.  We did not have a Hardy Zenith to test, but I’m guessing it would have done great.  The Hardy Zenith 9’ 5-weight  is still my personal favorite 5-weight.  To me, the Douglas Sky feels very similar to the Zenith and fills that void in the meantime.  We are all looking forward to what Howard Croston and Hardy come up with next.

 

Cosmetically speaking, the Hardy is excellent.  The unique green tinted wood insert matches the blank well.  The cork is top quality and the Zephrus also uses very small titanium single foot guides.  The reel seat utilizes two locking rings instead of one, which help guarantee a tight connection to the reel.  I also like Hardy’s butt cap castle logo, which is 3-D embossed rather than lasered.

 

 

Performance at 30 feet:  19 points out of 20

 

Very smooth with amazing feel!  Perfect 20 on feel but a few of the other rods were more accurate and nothing was as smooth as the Winston Air.

 

Performance at 50 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

 

Another near perfect score until compared with the very best rods in the test.   The Zephrus is smooth, powerful and fun to cast.  Had it had just a touch more power I think it would have done better, especially in the wind.  Dry fly lovers will appreciate the feel however, and this may be more important to them than raw power.

 

Performance at 75 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

 

Certainly doable but trying to dial in accuracy was difficult.  Not ideal during windy conditions.  Here’s where the Hardy Wraith (which we didn’t test as it was too stiff in general) was a perfect 20.

 

 

 

Hardy zephrus 9'#6

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Logan's Comments:

 

Hardy has had a solid lineup of great rods in all weights the past several years, and this rod is no exception.  The Hardy Zephrus six weight could be my favorite rod in the Zephrus lineup aside from the 8’6” four weight.   The Zephrus has a great look too.  Nice green color and solid components.

 

 

 

Logan’s Casting Notes: 

 

Performance at 30 feet: 19 points out of 20

 

I liked the Hardy Zephrus best at this distance.  This rod has incredible feel but its power gave the rod what it needed to put a fly wherever you wanted it to go.

 

Performance at 50 feet: 19 points out of 20

 

The Zephrus was still singing at 50 feet.  I was impressed at how I was able to form tight loops time and time again with this rod.  Its tracking was unbelievable.

 

Performance at 75 feet: 18 points out of 20

 

The Zephrus got it done at 75 feet, which is all I can ask for. 

 

 

Hardy Zephrus

 

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JG's Comments:

 

The Zephrus is a newer rod from Hardy that we saw do well in our last 5wt shootout.  It replaced the Zenith, a fantastic rod that was the winner of our 2012 4wt shootout; the Zephrus 6-weight had a lot to live up to.  Hardy really did their homework with this rod and this is a nice lively six.

 

 

 

30 Feet:  19 points out of 20

 

The Hardy is very light which makes the tip feel lively and controllable during the cast.  It has a fast action but the tip is soft enough to allow really nice casts in close.  The delicate tip, light weight, and the Zephrus’ great tracking make it really accurate and delicate in close.

 

 

50 Feet:  19 points out of 20

 

This rod performed great at the mid range target.  Wind was not much of an issue as the Zephrus’ fast action can produce a lot of line speed and tight loops.  I really felt the rod load and unload well which helps with timing the cast and, as at the 30ft distance, its great tracking made it very accurate.

 

 

 

75 Feet:  18 points out of 20

 

Not the most powerful rod in the shootout but it would hit the 80ft target without much trouble.  It was fairly accurate at this distance but I had some trouble getting it to lay down right where I wanted.  It loses a little of its tracking prowess  at long range with more line out.

 

Hardy Zephrus

Hardy Zephrus

Hardy Zephrus

Hardy Zephrus

Hardy Zephrus

Hardy Zephrus

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