Hands on: Hardy Ultralite Fly Rod Review

Last updated on January 18th, 2024.

Leonard Schoenberger

A lot of people think of Hardy when they think of fly rods. The company has been in the game for ages and their new Hardy Ultralite rod series is a gem.

The name Hardy (often also House of Hardy) makes fly fishermen’s and women’s eyes glow around the globe. For the new season they come out with a range of new products. We got our hands on the new Hardy Ultralite #8 9ft6in rod – here is how it performs.

Hardy Ultralite Fly Rod on its sack
A beautiful classic fly rod: the new Hardy Ultralite #8, 9’6”

My first ever rod was a Hardy Sirrus. I have been a big fan of their classic design ever since. Over the last few years the British manufacturer has added modern details to its products while still keeping some of the traditional features. The hard work has paid off: Hardy’s head designer Howard Croston won the 2020 FIPS World Championship using the brand’s Hardy Ultralite LL rod.

Now the company presents the successor of its widely popular Zephrus series – the new Ultralite Sintrix NSX fly rods. The Hardy Zephrus was a fantastic all-around rod for all kinds of angling situations depending on the # you chose. The new Ultralite series does everything its predecessor did even a little better. Although it’s hard to believe, the designers of Hardy in Alnwick, England, managed to make the rod even lighter, a fraction more responsive and equipped it with the utmost in feel and precision.

Hardy Ultralite Fly Rod Sack
The beauty is in the detail: all-new Hardy Ultralite Sintrix NSX

At almost $900 the Ultralite rod doesn’t come cheap. When spending so much money on a fly rod you want every little detail to be right. Hardy does a good job at that starting with the black sack with the nice beige laces that give you the impression of unwrapping a precious gift every time you take the rod out to fish.

Hardy Ultralite Fly Rod in Sack
Hardy Ultralite Sintrix NSX

Great Attention to Detail

The new Hardy Ultralite Sintrix NSX fly rods are held in a beautiful moss green color and half wells grips all the way up to the #6. From #6 to #8 they also feature a fighting butt.

Since its predecessor performed exceptionally well already, we wondered how the company wanted to improve these rods. For our test we used the #8 which you can use for all kinds of strong freshwater fish such as pike or also for smaller saltwater species such as sea trout.

Stripping Guide on the fly rod
Ceramic-lined titanium recoil guide on the Ultralite Sintrix NSX fly rod

The new Hardy Ultralite Sintrix NSX series is not for the beginner but for fly fishermen and women who demand the utmost in performance and precision. The Hardy Ultralite Sintrix NSX casts superbly across all distances and can deliver power for the longest cast. It is also a great choice if you are looking for the utmost in precision at shorter distances. The feedback of the rod is excellent.

The craftsmanship and attention to detail also lives up to the price tag. The Hardy Ultralite Sintrix NSX is a fantastic fly rod to cast all day long due to its incredibly low weight (only 3 oz/85g as a #5). Paired with the new Hardy Ultradisc fly reel (pictured below) you get the utmost in terms of low weight.

Hardy Ultralite Fly Rod with Ultradisc Fly Reel
The Ultralite Sintrix NSX with the new Ultradisc Fly Reel UDLA 7000

If you are looking to cast big streamers, the #7 or #8 (pictured in our test) are great choices. If you are looking for an allrounder, the #5 and #6 are for you. Should you want a fine rod for small stream fishing, the #3 or #4 are the ones you should be looking at.

Detail of the Hardy Ultralite NSX Fly Rod
Beautiful carbon fibre detail on the Ultralite Sintrix NSX: Picture here is the #8 in 9ft

Verdict on the new Hardy Ultralite Fly Rod Series

Hardy went all the way with the new Hardy Ultralite Sintrix NSX fly rod series. If you are looking for a high-end fly rod that will last you a lifetime, look no further than the Hardy Ultralite Sintrix NSX. It delivers the utmost in performance, power, precision and sensitivity. Plus, it has all the looks of a classic fly rod combined with some beautiful modern features such as the carbon fibre reel seat.

The details and specs:

Line weights available from #3 to #8.

4 piece fly rod

30 years Hardy warranty




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