I have used a great number of fly reels over the last two decades in saltwater flats fishing and rarely do I pick up a reel and approve of every feature. The weight, the dimensions, the drag knob and drag strength, the capacity, the finish and the overall design. Always something that lets it down somewhere. However, with the new Redington Grande, I have to say that I’m happy to advise and tell you all that there is now a reel up for any job in the salt you could throw at it, and at a very reasonable price indeed. The Grande competes favourably against any top shelf reel you could think of.
A friend and client who joined me in Cook Islands last year had a prototype of this reel and it performed very well, landing a number of good Giant Trevally in the trip. A year later and with this Redington reel now on the market, I get to test one myself taking an 11/12/13 model to St Brandons which helped to land me one very large GT, a real fish of a lifetime. (see Latest News)
A full week in this kind of wild location and one fish like this is all it takes to give me full confidence in a product. The drag set atprobably 80 to 90% of full was enough to slow down this huge fish and stop it taking too much line off the reel. A battle of fifteen minutes or so and the fish never got more than 50 or 60 yards off the reel.
Tapered design of the spool allows easy line lay when reeling in. Capacity is good and I managed to fit a full 500yards of 50lb Rio twin colour braid. Now it is set for any flatsfishing or bluewater application.
The drag knob turning increases in tightness the closer the drag gets to it’s full setting. This is a very useful feature and helps us gauge where we are with drag force, if indeed we need to alter the drag during a fish fight.
With such a good price, three colour options and a full range of sizes, I think Redington are onto a winner here and I fully expect to see an increasing number of these on client rods during Flatsbag group trips in the future.