If you’re into competitive angling, you know who Howard Croston is, because he won the individual title at the world championships in Tasmania several years ago. He’s also the rod designer for Hardy. You likely also know about Euro nymphing (European-style nymphing), because that’s the method competitors often use. Euro nymphing has a long, complex history that I’m not going into here, but in very basic terms it involves using nymph flies that are heavily weighted within, because the rules forbid the use of split shot. You cast (if you want to call it that, you’re basically just flipping a long leader), maintain tension and then feel the fish take the fly when your drift through moving water stops.
The point of all this is to say that the guy who won the pinnacle competition that involves Euro nymphing (Czech nymphing, Spanish nymphing, Polish nymphing, etc., variations of which have been perfected by different national teams) designed this rod that’s made for Euro nymphing, so that tells you half of what you need to know.
The other half of what you should know, however, is that this rod is good for more than Euro nymphing. It’s great for casting tiny dry flies like midges and Tricos (Tricorythode mayflies) at selective trout, and it’s an exceptional rod for fishing from a belly boat.
Euro nymphing: Let’s keep it simple and say you’re casting a tandem rig of size #18 Frenchies. The mission of this rod in that case isn’t to deliver a long cast, it’s more about the feel after the flies land in the water and drift through a river run. At 10-feet 8-inches, the rod extends your reach, but as a 3-weight, it’s also very light and sensitive. It’s a tippy rod, with a medium-fast action overall.
I’m admittedly not the best Euro-nympher, but I have dabbled around with it, and find it interesting. It’s just that I’m more into the casting part when I fish, and if we’re being completely honest, Euro nymphing is more about flipping and dapping, and you can do that with a long spinning rod, or tenkara rod, or whatever. But for feeling takes and fighting fish, a specialty Euro-nymph inspired rod like this is great, and I’ve done enough to be able to vouch for it.
If you take this rod to a lake and fish from a belly boat, where you’re three feet shorter than when you’re standing on the shore, you’ll appreciate the casting action of the Ultralite LL. It can send flies a good 40-feet or more with precision. You can form tight loops, roll cast and do a lot with this rod.
The bottom line is that it’s a world champion Euro-style nymphing rod, with a bit of a free spirit that thrives in places like the American West.