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The Redington Crosswater series is a great set of lightweight and bargain-priced fly reels. They’re made of a light composite material and come in a variety of sizes that make them suitable for anything from trout and panfish up to bass. They’re not a wonder of engineering, but they’re definitely a solid choice for the angler looking to get started in the world of fly fishing without spending hundreds of dollars.
The Crosswater’s simple mechanics make this reel quite reliable. They also feature a great disc drag system sealed within the hub. The reel is definitely a good one for the sizes it’s most appropriate for. You won’t have to worry about complex mechanics messing things up.
The clicker mechanism is pretty quiet on this reel as well, which can be either a good thing or a bad one depending on your level of hearing.
Unfortunately, the spool doesn’t really hold enough line for saltwater fly fishing although the weight capacity of the biggest one should be up to it.
Reliability Rating: 8/10
Unfortunately, this series of reels has a bit of a problem here. It’s almost entirely composed of lightweight but durable plastic. The problem isn’t so much with a fish breaking it, but instead the fact that manhandling the reel on your retrieve might break something.
Some users have reported the handles breaking off the spool, which is unfortunate but kind of expected. Both the spool and the handle are composed of plastic after all. This reel can’t really be recommended for those who abuse their reels, but for those of us with a light touch, there shouldn’t be any serious issues.
Durability Rating: 6/10
Ease of Use
Despite the lack of longevity, this is where the reels really shine. Due to the ridiculously simple mechanics, this reel is suitable for a fly fisherman of nearly any experience level. There really isn’t much to this reel, just the handle and the drag system.
Since fly fishing is usually targeted directly at one species, it’s also good to know that you have three size options available to you if you decide to make this purchase. All of them can be switched to either a right or left-handed configuration with ease too.
The Redington Crosswater is primarily a pragmatic option, and it’s best for those who don’t have a lot of experience or money to get started. The best part is that pretty much anyone will be able to pick it up and easily get into the sport.
Ease of Use Rating: 8/10
Despite some of the issues, this really is the best reel you’ll be able to find for fly fishing at such a low price point. It’s most suitable for beginners and freshwater, however. The spool is too small for angling in saltwater as the fish will just run your line out and an experienced fisherman will probably want something that’s more durable.
If you’re looking for something to get you or your kid into the water and angling quickly and cheaply, the Redington Crosswater might just be your best bet. They’re simple, cheap, and a remarkable bargain overall.
Overall Rating: 7/10