One of the first names I remember from my past
in fly fishing is Hardy, actually it was Hardy
Ltd. I remember that it was not just a fine and
venerated company, one only spoke of it with a
degree of respect. It held mystique and mystery
to this youngster learning the language of the
long rod, it still does.
It is now, that I, with a respectful degree of awe,
am in the position of passing some certain sort of
judgement on one of their products. I will do my
best to be as truthful as the product and company
deserves. I will first quote their own words on
the rod from the Hardy USA web site.
"From 1967 to 1975 Hardy made a series
of glass fiber rods called JETs. JET stood for
John E. Tarantino, who was a highly respected
American rod designer who worked for the Fisher
Rod Company. JETs were extremely popular because
of their durability and bamboo-like feel. In 1998
we introduced two Perfection Glass rods, which are
very similar to the JETs of 30 years ago.
Made of "E" glass and fitted with spigot
ferrule joints, the Perfections are full flexing
rods with a fluid feel that is unparelled by any
competitive rod. With their high tensile strength,
Perfections are extremely durable and the best
available rod to protect very fine tippets. They
are dyed a deep glossy black and tied with ruby
thread. The handle and reel seat is made of continuous
"Flor" grade cork and fitted with an aluminum "W"
fitting with slide band similar to the Lightweight
Palakonas. Deluxe rod bag, aluminum tube and polished
aluminum ferrule plugs are standard features."
These are now my own personal opinions and feelings
of the rods, there are only two produced, a three
weight (6ft 6") and a four weight (7ft 6"). I have
only cast the four weight so can only report on it,
but I am sure the three is at least equal in all
Never. Never have I, in all my fly casting life, cast
any rod like it. Like it in anyway. It has a most
astounding buttery-smooth feel. I first found one
at a cane gathering in Camp Sherman, Oregon this
last summer. Thinking my judgement may have failed,
I asked a few who were with me to try it too. The
conclusion was unanimous. None of us had ever felt
any rod like it.
Slow? Yes, I would class it as slow. These days no
one would call a rod that, but I will and I don't
think anyone should back up from such a listing.
Everyone seems to want rods of iron, none bending
sticks, for fast casting. They have their place. So
I am not going to try to tell you to run right out
and buy one of these rods. I will say, that if ever
you get a chance to cast one, do so. The absolute
flow of the rod is incredible, the rod blends with
the line and presents a fly with the kiss of a sprite.
Nothing can lay down a softer dry, nothing. If you are
into today's rods and casting style, this will open
a whole new dimension for you.
The cost is very modest for such a rod, under
$400.00 with a sock, and aluminum tube. Good
value for such a wand. And how about this? Just to
make sure of what I was thinking about the rod, I
had a chance to take it to a very well known
world-class international casting champion. I wanted
two things. To see him 'test' it out and also to get
his personal opinion of the rod.
The big smile on his face was my first indication that
I had done a good thing. Usually when one tests a rod,
a few casts are made at a short and then a medium
distance. Not so this time. Cast after cast were made
at a target (on a casting pond). Again and again and
again. This guy was 'playing' with this thing. He was
not testing it at all. He was smiling and having fun.
"Son-of-a-gun," I was right. I didn't need to ask if
he liked the rod, he just kept smiling and letting out
a few more feet of line. There was no change in the
flow of the rod at all, still perfect loops no matter
how much line he had out. The last target was at eighty
feet. About a two foot floating ring. He missed it twice.
Out of ten casts. Just barely. He had never cast or
felt a rod like it either.
Ok, so we (at least I) can't cast like that. The point
is, the rod can. What more do we need in a rod? The
sweetest rod ever made? Perhaps. It does what a lot
of cane would like to do, and at much less weight.
A specialty rod? For sure, for the 'specialist' and
anyone who wants to lay down a gentle fly. ~ JC