Hardy Ultralite Disc Drag - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hardy Ultralite Disc Drag

Hello friends
Wondering if any other member here has had any experience with the drag on the Hardy Ultralite Salmon Disc reel ??



Looks fairly simplistic, so not much I hope that could go wrong. I'm more of a Gear & Pawl guy and this is really my only "Disc Drag" reel.

Anyone have any experiences, thoughts or insight ??


Mike

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 11:31 AM
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WHAT! A DISC DRAG! I have no idea.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 11:44 AM
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A rather light disc drag system that readily surrenders line, even at max ... fine for situations where youíd normally use a gear and pawl reel.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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A rather light disc drag system that readily surrenders line, even at max ... fine for situations where youíd normally use a gear and pawl reel.
Steve, do you have first hand experience with one of these reels ?? Are they durable ?? I know they bare the Hardy name, so should be a quality reel.
Not looking for a killer drag at all. I can apply rim pressure much like a G&P if needed.
Just trying to get a feeling how they fair with use on steelhead from 5 to 14 pounds.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GR8LAKES FLYER View Post
Steve, do you have first hand experience with one of these reels ?? Are they durable ?? I know they bare the Hardy name, so should be a quality reel.
Not looking for a killer drag at all. I can apply rim pressure much like a G&P if needed.
Just trying to get a feeling how they fair with use on steelhead from 5 to 14 pounds.


Mike
When I fished the Thompson waaaay back when it was still viable to fish this was one of my go to reels.....never a problem in anyway....one of the few disc drags thatís made for steel
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 12:52 PM
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I have the newer Hardy CADD Ultralites for my 5-7 weight SHers and also the 8-9 version I use for my 5 weight spey/switch , and they work really well. In fact, the 5-6-7 I use on my 4 weight trout spey, too, and got into some Deschutes steelies with it, and it worked great. I keep the drag fairly low, so I can't speak for the so called "stopping power" I sometimes hear about, but it worked great during the fights. I increased the drag a click or two after the fish stopped the initial run, etc., and everything was flawless. A friend of mine also has this reel, though, and he said something went wrong with it. I don't remember the exact details, but it was along the lines of the drag system failing or breaking, if I recall correctly. I think the adjust knob stopped being able to change the drag??
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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When I fished the Thompson waaaay back when it was still viable to fish this was one of my go to reels.....never a problem in anyway....one of the few disc drags thatís made for steel
Well then, I feel much better now about this reel
Thanks Bruce for your input !!


Mike
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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A friend of mine also has this reel, though, and he said something went wrong with it. I don't remember the exact details, but it was along the lines of the drag system failing or breaking, if I recall correctly. I think the adjust knob stopped being able to change the drag??
Was it the same model that I have shown, or the newer "techy" version ??


Mike
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 03:25 PM
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The newer techy ones.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GR8LAKES FLYER View Post
Steve, do you have first hand experience with one of these reels ?? Are they durable ?? I know they bare the Hardy name, so should be a quality reel.
Not looking for a killer drag at all. I can apply rim pressure much like a G&P if needed.
Just trying to get a feeling how they fair with use on steelhead from 5 to 14 pounds.


Mike

Bruce got it right.

And yes, I've owned this reel ... twice. First was ca. 1999-2002, at which time it worked fine for the size range of steelface trout that you mention, though I sold it for a gear/pawl reel. Then just a few years ago I grabbed another with intent to use on sea-bright chinook, but had forgotten the disc drag was mild until I took delivery ... and so sold that one, too, before ever fishing it (use beefier Tibor/Danielsson discs with Mr. Nookie). I still use multiple JLH Salmon gear/pawl reels for steelhead, nice capacity for short-light (12-13' 7 wt) rods

--

One tidbit to mention on durability, because it is mostly a fish story. I once bent a reel handle on a gear/pawl JLH Salmon (the handles on the salmon disc version are the same). This happened when a hefty steelhead ran downstream to a heavy-water tailout, with no room for me to chase to the next pool. I was holding the fish stationary using the reel handle (instead of palming) so that I could gain a few inches of line whenever possible. The force bent the reel handle. An email to Archuleta fixed it. This was an unusual situation and other reels may have bent, too .. just something to consider if you're trying to hold a heavy fish with the reel handle.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Steve.
Fortunately, I don't think I have ever been in a situation like that, that I can remember anyway. But good food for thought !!

I do want one of those JLH's or Viscount MKIII's one day


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 05:17 PM
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I have a couple of these early edition Ultralights and I have fished them in the PNW, Canada, Russia, Ireland, and across the U.K. for over twenty years. I have the later Ultralite, Gems, Cascapedia, Bougle, Cascapedia and Marquis and can say with confidence the first edition Ultralite are as tough as they come and in my opinion more solidly built than any of them(one of them is numbered). Absolutely bomb proof. The disc drag is not that good compared with some of my other reels but it excellent for palming. I have had Atlanticís up to 30 lbs and never been a problem. The only thing I have ever done to them is put a bit of reel lubricant on them and thatís not very often. If a reel can survive Russia they can survive anything. Have no fears you have made a good choice.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 05:42 PM
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I use a model 7/8 on my Light Salmon rod and have zero complaints with the reel. Our fish may be easier to land here but I doubt it The drag strength on my own 7/8 is quite strong and without disassembling the reel I'll tell you how I think they work.

If you look at the photo supplied with the OP you see the composite material that makes up the entire hub area of the cog mounted to the back side of the spool. That is the breaking surface and those screws are recessed. When you turn the drag selector toward full on that machined stainless bushing / disc at the base of the spindle rises up from the cage because the mechanism inside the cage is finely threaded. Much like a one sided caliper pressing against the composite disc on the reel spool. A reel in good working order has very tight tolerance where the spool catches into the seat of the machined spindle and once latched they have no play that I can feel once any drag is applied. Mine remains tight even with drag full off.

Since I began using one I've played many silver salmon, large trout and 3 steelhead of good size with the reel. No issues here
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Llandogo View Post
I have a couple of these early edition Ultralights and I have fished them in the PNW, Canada, Russia, Ireland, and across the U.K. for over twenty years. I have the later Ultralite, Gems, Cascapedia, Bougle, Cascapedia and Marquis and can say with confidence the first edition Ultralite are as tough as they come and in my opinion more solidly built than any of them(one of them is numbered). Absolutely bomb proof. The disc drag is not that good compared with some of my other reels but it excellent for palming. I have had Atlanticís up to 30 lbs and never been a problem. The only thing I have ever done to them is put a bit of reel lubricant on them and thatís not very often. If a reel can survive Russia they can survive anything. Have no fears you have made a good choice.
Great info and thank you for posting this


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2019, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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I use a model 7/8 on my Light Salmon rod and have zero complaints with the reel. Our fish may be easier to land here but I doubt it The drag strength on my own 7/8 is quite strong and without disassembling the reel I'll tell you how I think they work.

If you look at the photo supplied with the OP you see the composite material that makes up the entire hub area of the cog mounted to the back side of the spool. That is the breaking surface and those screws are recessed. When you turn the drag selector toward full on that machined stainless bushing / disc at the base of the spindle rises up from the cage because the mechanism inside the cage is finely threaded. Much like a one sided caliper pressing against the composite disc on the reel spool. A reel in good working order has very tight tolerance where the spool catches into the seat of the machined spindle and once latched they have no play that I can feel once any drag is applied. Mine remains tight even with drag full off.

Since I began using one I've played many silver salmon, large trout and 3 steelhead of good size with the reel. No issues here
Thanks Ard, again some more great info
I'm really glad I held on to this reel ... love the sexy look


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