Glass fibre has been largely ignored over the last twenty years in favour of lighter and faster carbon fibres. It's true that carbon is a superior material for lots of rod construction purposes, but not all. Adding glass to the mix gives the rod incredible durability and resistance to impact - making it ideal for the toughest fishing on back-country rivers and streams. By mixing glass to carbon Hardy have achieved an easy loading, smooth action, with controlled, well-damped recovery. The easy loading nature of these rods makes them sensational. They allow short range, controlled presentation with the absolute minimum of fly line beyond the tip ring. For the light, stream angler working in the tightest situations, Hardy Gladstone Fly Fishing Rod is the perfect choice.
Manufactured from easy-loading, durable glass fibre and carbon composite
Lightweight and perfectly balanced
Tapered 'AAAA' cork handles
Supplied in alloy tube with canvas cover and cork-end caps
Bought the 7' 3wt Hardy Glass - as a lot of my fishing is on smaller rivers/streams with the ever-present threat of vegetation confining casting. My 8' 6" Sage 5wt is just a little too much rod most of the time.
First impressions count, and slipping the alloy tube out of the canvas cover, uncorking it's stopper (literally, cos it is a cork stopper!), sliding the rod sections out of the bag and removing the alloy joint protector is all a pleasure in itself.
The blank is very well finished in olive green paint. The spigot joint has a wax coating already applied and the attention to detail on the olive whippings superb. A good quality cork handle with a traditional reel seat finish the 'olde England' look of the rod, alongside Hardy's trademark hand-written graphics on the blank.
Not the lightest rod for it's length - because of the material, but balances perfectly with a reel on. The first casts reveal a very soft, much slower feel to the action than the modern carbon wands around. Loading is achieved with very little line out at all, but it will throw out the necessary (realistic)longer lengths of line if required with little fuss. It is very accurate on short casts - which is why you'll need it in the first place. Apparently, it also has the advantage of glass being a much tougher material than carbon in the event of collisions with environmental hazards!
Fish-playing is a pleasure, with even 6" fish putting a lovely bend into it and a smile on your face to boot. Caught 14 small browns in a couple of hours on Bodmin Moor on holiday with it this week and the little rod suited this sort of little river fishing down to the ground. Can't wait to get a amongst larger specimens on the Dove!
Don't expect mega distances or a poker-stiff fast action which seems to be the wont of modern fly fishing. Take the rod as it comes - a modern classic. Slow down your casting stroke and relax. That's what this rod does for you. This, after all, is why and how we want to fish our smaller streams and rivers in the first place.
I've used only split bamboo rods made by myself for the last 20 years or so but decided to try this little rod and see how it goes. I'm so happy that I did. It performs brilliantly in the small trout streams here in Victoria Australia where casts can be from 5 feet to 25 feet and occasionally 30 feet or so.
The rod loads a DT#3 really well in short and really hit's it's straps at about 20 feet making it perfect for almost every cast you can expect in small streams. It's a fairly slow action that deadens well which is exactly what you want for these situations and is very comfortable to cast.
A faster actioned rod is just too difficult to cast comfortably in small stream conditions and this one is just right.
The presentation of the physical rod is very classy with it's cork stoppered aluminium tube, substancial green rod bag and tube bag. It reeks of high class all over.
Is the owner of the smallest rod, I this serie, the 5" Aln. I use it, when I fish the small streams, in my area. I don't think, that I ever have made a cast over 5 meters, with it and to be honest, I don't think, it can cast much further. But fore fishing in small streams, fishing after trout, this rod, fitted with a small Hardy Marquis reel and spiderweb-thin tippet, this rod is the best rod, I can think of.