Hardy Ultradisc Fly Reel Review: Lightweight Meets Style

Last updated on November 28th, 2023.

Leonard Schoenberger

Brace yourselves for a reel that seamlessly blends innovation and tradition.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the specifications, features, and real-world performance of the Hardy Ultradisc UD Fly Reel, exploring why it’s become a standout choice for anglers seeking a perfect balance of functionality and style.

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Specs and Features: A Closer Look

Hardy Ultradisc Fly Reel on rod sock
The Hardy Ultradisc fly reel is a beautiful, lightweight, large arbor fly reel that comes in 5 sizes. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Right out of the box, I liked the look and feel of the Ultradisc (UD) fly reel. It combines classic looks that Hardy has been know for for more than a century with modern elements and materials. In terms of its design it reminds me a little of the Nautilus X-series with the cutouts to reduce the weight.


Weight classes: #4 all the way to #10

Colors: black and gun metal

Disc brake system

Material: aircraft-grade aluminum

Closed frame construction

Warranty: 5 years

Price: $350 – $425

Hardy Ultradisc Fly Reel Overview
Source: Trident Fly Fishing

Build Quality: Engineering Excellence

Hardy is renowned for its commitment to exceptional craftsmanship, and the Ultradisc Fly Reel is no exception. The reel’s construction exudes durability without unnecessary bulk, ensuring a lightweight feel without sacrificing sturdiness. The materials used are corrosion-resistant, making it suitable for both freshwater and saltwater environments.

Hardy Ultradisc LA Fly Reel while fishing for stripers in Montauk
We tested the Ultradisc Reel in the 7000 size for some saltwater action fishing for stripers off Montauk, NY. Photo: Christian Anwander

Size and Weight: Striking the Perfect Balance

Anglers often face the dilemma of choosing between a lightweight reel for ease of casting and a heavier one for more significant fish. The Ultradisc finds the sweet spot, providing a substantial feel without compromising on maneuverability. Its diverse size range allows anglers to match the reel to their preferred fishing scenarios seamlessly.

Hardy Ultradisc LA Fly Reel while fishing for sea trout in the Baltic
The Ultradisc also makes for a great sea trout reel. We put it use for some coastal fishing in the Baltic Sea. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Design: Aesthetics Meets Functionality

Hardy Ultradisc LA Fly Reel while fishing for stripers in Montauk
The Hardy Ultradisc is a good saltwater option and comes in sizes up to #12 to target big salty predators. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

The design of the Ultradisc Fly Reel is a harmonious blend of timeless elegance and modern functionality. The sleek, gunmetal finish not only adds a touch of sophistication but also serves a practical purpose by reducing reflections that might spook wary fish. The large arbor design ensures quick line retrieval, a valuable asset when dealing with fast-swimming species.

I think we can agree that the looks of the Ultradisc are stylish and cool. But this reel can also shines with its inner qualities. I found the disc brake system to do an excellent job in all kinds of fishing situations. Since it features a highly adjustable drag, I found myself enjoying the wide breaking capacities of this reel. No matter whether you’re fishing euro style with light tippets that need support from a smooth drag or fighting strong sea trout of stripers, the UD disc brake did an excellent job. The reel seems not as powerful and sturdy at first glance due to its lightweight cutout design but don’t let that look fool you, this a is reel that can handle strong fish and a vast variety of fishing situations which makes it a great allrounder.

Fishing Scenarios: Where the Ultradisc Excels

Hardy Ultradisc LA Fly Reel on lake shore
Out on the water with the Hardy Ultradisc fly reel for some lake trout fishing. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Trout Streams: The lightweight models are perfect for delicate presentations on trout streams. In my eyes the UD is a great overall trout reel but particularly worth a look if you’re into Euro nymphing. That’s where its large arbor design really shines.

Saltwater Flats: The corrosion-resistant build and powerful drag system make the Ultradisc an excellent choice for targeting saltwater species on the flats.

Salmon Rivers: The larger sizes of the Ultradisc reel shine when battling powerful salmon in rivers, offering the strength needed for these hard-fighting fish.

Pros and Cons: Weighing the Options


  • Great combination of lightweight and sturdiness
  • Large arbor design for quick line pickup
  • Vast range of sizing options
  • Excellent value for money


  • Although this reel features a closed cage design to prevent your line or tippet from getting caught, I had a few instance where that happened

Conclusion: Unleashing the Ultradisc Experience

Hardy Ultradisc LA Fly Reel on rod sock
The Hardy Ultradisc fly reel is a beauty. Pictured here with the Hardy Ultralite Fly Rod. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

In conclusion, the Hardy Ultradisc UDLA Fly Reel stands as a testament to Hardy’s legacy of crafting exceptional fly fishing gear. Whether you’re stalking trout on a mountain stream, casting to tailing redfish in the flats, or pursuing powerful salmon in a river, the Ultradisc delivers the precision and reliability needed for success. And finally, I think you get a lot of bang for your buck with this fly reel since it comes in between $350 and $425 (depending on the size). That’s a good deal!




FAQs: Hardy Ultradisc Fly Reel

Is the Ultradisc suitable for saltwater fly fishing?

Absolutely. The reel’s corrosion-resistant materials and powerful drag system make it well-suited for saltwater environments.

Can I use the Ultradisc on my lightweight trout setup?

Yes, the Ultradisc comes in smaller sizes that are perfect for trout fishing, providing the finesse required for delicate presentations.

Is the drag system easy to adjust on the water?

The Ultradisc features a user-friendly drag adjustment, allowing anglers to make quick and precise changes on the fly.

What maintenance does the Ultradisc require?

Regular rinsing with freshwater after saltwater use and occasional lubrication of moving parts are usually sufficient for proper maintenance.