Gear Review: Hardy Ultralite FW DD

Most reels nowadays are lightweight by design. But truthfully, lightweight is a relative term (even a tyee is lightweight compared to an orca). Not only is the term relative, but what does a fly angler have to give up in order to fish with a next-to weightless reel—a more modern drag or machined aluminum? Hardy’s new Ultralite FW DD is a feather like, large arbor reel that provides the best of both worlds. It’s one of the lightest (non click-and-pawl) reels on the market, as it features a minimalistic disk-drag system. Built from 6061 bar stock aluminum, the size 1000 (1/2/3 weight) is 3.15 inches in diameter and weighs a mere 2.9 ounces. The heaviest in the family, the size 4000 (4/5/6 weight) measures 3.74 inches in diameter and weighs just 3.6 ounces. If you like the featherweight nature of a click- and-pawl, but you prefer a disk drag system, then you’ll enjoy this marriage.