Okay so for those of you that know me, I am all about fishing "silly rods." I say silly not as an insult but as a compliment for a unique experience and this rod delivers just that. A very unique experience. In a day and age where modern fast to ultra-fast action graphite rods are king, fiberglass rods offer something that feels just as foreign as the day you first picked up a fly rod. Now for those of you that fish slow action rods, this treads familiar territory for you. For those of you that don't, I would recommend checking out this rod if only for an afternoon of laughter as you rework your cast to accommodate a rod that keeps you on your toes with every haul.
With modern fast action rods, the cast is one that commands that the angler be extremely precise and confident through the motions of presenting the fly in exactly the right spot. Fiberglass could not be more polar opposite. That said though the experience that you get from a fiberglass rod is not a negative one. It actually becomes a truly enjoyable experience. There is a zen that comes with the slower casting methods as well as a certain gratification wondering where your fly is going to land on the water.
So this is the 2nd rendition of the Butter Stick. The one thing that I do miss, from the 1st generation is the bright goldenrod color. The original color reminded me of delicious butterscotch candy as it glistened in the sun of some Rocky Mountain river bank. That said though, I am also really on board with the new retro look that they have adopted. It actually reminds me of all the cool retro movie posters that adorned move theaters from the mid 70's to the early 80's.
Okay, so I realize that I might be droning on and that the specs guys might have moved on. So that said, here is the rundown of all the tech specs of the rod:
Line Weight: 6
Rod Weight: 4.1 ounces
Reel Seat: Aluminum
Material: T-Glass Fiberglass
Stripping Guides: Stainless frame/Titanium Oxide insert
Guides: Chrome snake guides
Good, now that that's out of the way. Fiberglass rods are notoriously known for being heavy and overweight. I didn't find that being the case here with this rod in particular. If anything, I think the thing that I probably had going against me is I decided to take the rod out on my boat and bomb out oversized clousers for bass. Which I need to tell you, if you've never chased bass with a fiberglass rod, do it. Do it now. The violent head shakes and the acrobatics that come with fighting bass make fiberglass rods all the worth it.
Behind every rod, a good reel makes just as much difference in the set up. I figured, with the rod coming from Redington, I should keep it in the family and pair it with the Redington Grande Reel. The Grande is deemed the "New Heavy Weight Champion" by Redington and I must say this reel lives up to the name.
Sporting a full sealed Super-Torque drag system, the Grande is a true contender for any sport fishing situation. I will say however, this reel is kind of a beef cake. The added weight makes the rod pairing favor the higher end of the rod line ups. For instance, the 5/6/7wt reel I was fishing on the 6wt Butter Stick was well paired. With the extra weight, I don't feel like I would have any benefit to putting it on a 5wt. 6 to 7wt though, all day long.
If you're an angler that appreciates a certain aesthetic when pairing your rod and reel the Grande comes in 3 anodized colors: Marine, Champagne, Black. In retrospect, I feel like the black or champagne would have looked slick on the Butter Stick but I have the tendency to get ostentatious with my setups so, blue it is.
In case you get into a tight situation while fishing the grande, the 5/6/7 wt version has an arbor large enough to carry 200 yards of 20lb dacron backing for any of your long fight needs. In sport fishing, sometimes you need every advantage you can get but how much exactly is this level of performance and panache going to run you? Well that's the best part in my opinion. Redington has done a fantastic job over the years at bringing performance gear to anglers at an affordable price. The Grande will set you back $349. At that price, you're getting high end performance for mid range prices. What's not to love about that?
When getting into fly fishing, there is this stipulation of it being a rich man's sport which is unfortunate because Redington has done a fantastic job at bringing capable equipment to anglers as truly affordable prices. My first rod was a Redington and I have owned several there after. So if you're looking for an experience that no graphite rod can afford you, then pick up a Redington Butter Stick.