At first glance, Hardy fluorocarbon appears to be significantly weaker than other brands. However, when you take tippet diameter into consideration, Hardy fluorocarbon is clearly equivalent in strength to the other materials.
The biggest difference is that it is much thinner than all the “US” sold brands. Apparently the reason for this is that in the UK there has been a big push from both the retail side and European fishing tackle association to tidy up misrepresented sizes and breaking strengths. Basically, the “tell the truth” on your spools is being enforced in Europe, while the US market is more lenient on advertised size and breaking strength, which is why popular US brands continue to push the limits of their diameter in order to increase their breaking strength.
While Hardy was spot on in their 6X for the industry average (advertise .127 and tested .127) their 2X and 4X actually comes in significantly under. Hardy Mach had the thinnest 2X by far, (at .214) and the second thinnest 4X (.165) after Varivas. While we appreciate Hardy’s efforts to keep diameters smaller, we think there is a little wiggle room for slightly larger diameters (and hence stronger breaking strengths). For now, anglers who are looking for similar diameters to US brands might consider buying 1X, 3X, and 5X Hardy Mach.
The good news is that Hardy Mach fluorocarbon is one of the least expensive on the market per yard.
The major down side to Hardy Mach is the spool design needs work. The spools are exceptionally bulky compared to other brands, don’t clip to each other very well, and the “hair tie” tippet tender doesn’t even match the width of the spool, exposing your material to direct UV light.