The Hardy Zephrus Fly Rod
The Hardy Zephrus Fly Rod
Testing the Zephrus against another wily predator.
Towards the end of summer 2017, I was delighted to receive a twelve weight version of the Zephrus from Hardy Tackle, and told to bend it into some decent predators and give an honest appraisal as to its performance! Combined with the Fortuna Reel, although expensive, is un-doubted a top-class fly combination.
I put the thinking cap on, and for an initial field test, took a run out for hard-hitting Pollack in fast water. As the rod feels as light as an eight-weight, I had my concerns. Sizeable Pollack are no push-over, but the combo stopped six-pound plus rocket ships in their path! I held the rod beyond normal breaking point and gave no quarter, turning the fish on a sixpence before it could reach safety of the kelp jungle below. Extremely impressive performance!
To read this blog, pollack on the fly, click here
To push the rod further, later in the year I targeted Blue Sharks on the fly and managed to find some. Locking the awesome reel against a running “Blue” stopped the fish from doing what it liked, and again, I held against the shark to see if the rod would break, but it held firm! I no longer required convincing; I was sold on the product. The rod seems un-breakable, the reel and its drag system awesome. Check out the video footage here.
To read this blog, sharks on the fly, click here.
Now winter has arrived (with a vengeance!) I recently had the opportunity to play with the rod for what I believe it was made for, drifting the shallow bays and flooded watery river lay-bys for large wily Pike. After the shark article, I promised readers I would have a crack at the Pike and I always keep my promises.
Awesome fly rod for....well almost anything it seems!
There is no need for the capacious Fortuna Reel on this occasion. Too large, and the 300 yards of backing is certainly not required. Even thirty-pound Pike struggle to get you onto the backing line! Extremely hard-hitters and dogged fighters, but rarely run more than thirty yards in my experience. I replaced this with my Shakespeare Pflueger President, # 10, and after a few casts, begun to feel the attraction of this rod. Slim blank, light as a feather, but tons of back-bone, and it casts beautifully.
Light, slim blank, lots of power, easy casting for "budgies".
My long-time mate and artist Dennis Hollinger joined me on this trip, not interested in angling whatsoever, but always on the look-out for a photo opportunity, I now have my own private photographer, I’m telling ya, the circles I move in! We bivvied in temperatures of minus five degrees, I want it known the extent I go to for a tackle test and that fish shot, a saint I know. Even the water in the kettle inside the bivvy froze!
I felt like an arctic explorer, waking to find my boat "frozen in"
With fingers feeling frost-bitten, I tempted a five-pounder, a fifteen and a seventeen, the rod performed perfectly. Unfortunately, the camera didn’t. The early morning extreme temperatures frosted the lens and we couldn’t get a decent photo.
Apologies, the camera failed under extreme low temperatures, and I had to get this seventeen back to the water!
As the day warmed, I persisted in the hunt, and it seemed, with divine intervention, the sun broke the gloom just as I lifted into another vicious “take”. Dennis managed to rattle off a few action shots and a mid-double soon posed for a selfie.
Each time I create the opportunity to play with the Zephrus, I love it that little bit more, and my confidence has grown to the point that I can totally dictate how I want the fight to proceed, I will have to crack the thirty-pound plus with it now, mid to high twenties simply won’t do it justice! Or maybe that’s just my excuse not to hand the rod back! Thanks to my old mucker Dennis for braving the baltic, and taking the shots.