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Reely Nifty: Hardy Ultradisk UDLA Fly Reel

These super-light reels from the venerable British fishing tackle manufacturer have plenty of muscle to land big fish.


If you're looking for a new lightweight fly reel and want one with a drag, the new Hardy Ultradisk UDLA Fly Reel might fit the bill. Named the Best of Category award winner at the 2020 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) show in the new fly fishing reel category, the model line includes 13 different sizes appropriate for 3- to 12-weight rods. With alloy skeletal frames (available in gunmetal titanium and black/orange color patterns) that reduce weight by about 20% compared their previous fly reels of similar sizes, the 3000 size weighs a mere 3.8-ounces and even the big and beefy 10000 size keeps weight down to just 7 ounces.

Hardy Ultradisc UDLA Fly Reel

Hardy, which has been manufacturing fly fishing reels and tackle in Alnwick, England, since 1891, says the drag utilizes a multi-pad Rulon material that allows for fine adjustments, with additional pads added to the larger sized models to increase the available pressure. The maximum drag pressure they can put out ranges from 4 pounds for the 3000, to 6 pounds for midsized reels like the 8000, to 8 pounds for the 10000.

Gear ratio is 1.0:1 for all of the reels in the lineup, and these models are designed with large arbors to maximize line capacity. They can also be converted for either right- or left-handed use. An unusual feature is the enclosed line guard system, which is designed into the frame to keep line inside the cage whether the running line you're using is thicker mono or thinner braid.

Ranges from $325.95 to $399.95 depending on size |

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Lenny Rudow

New Boats, Fishing & Electronics Editor, BoatUS Magazine

Top tech writer and accomplished sports fisherman, BoatUS Magazine Contributing Editor Lenny Rudow has written seven practical boating books, won 30 awards from Boating Writers International — many for his marine electronics articles – and two for excellence from the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He judges the NMMA Innovation Awards, and is Angler in Chief at FishTalk, his own Chesapeake-based publication. A great teacher and inspirational writer, Lenny hosts many of BoatUS Magazine’s very-popular how-to videos, which can be found on the BoatUS YouTube channel, or at