Beginner here - Redington or TFO? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Beginner here - Redington or TFO?

08-12-2007, 10:30 PM
Hi everyone. 23 year old male here ready to jump into the world of fly fishing. I've been a spinning/bait caster my whole life (for trout, mostly) and I recently decided to change my style.

I've been doing a ton of research so far on the different rods/reels, and I've narrowed my choices down to Redington and TFO rods. The looks like a great rod and a great value, but I can't dismiss the TFO rods that seem to get a ton of respect.

I was hoping to get some people's opinions and/or suggestions. Again, I am a total beginner. I am leaning towards the Redington because they seem like a great company, are owned by Sage, and have a lifetime warranty. Are these good rods? Or would a TFO be better? Opinions welcomed. Thanks

08-13-2007, 05:22 AM
Welcome to the forum Powermad. Lacking experience with either brand of rod I am going on hearsay. Both companies have a good reputation for building good rods. So if you are leaning towards the Reddington, by all means go for it.

I would pay particular attention to line selection after I by the rod. Don't by a cheepo so called beginner line. Get a line that is right for your fishing. You said you fished for trout mostly. A good wt forward line from Rio, Scientific Anglers or Cortland is where I would start, but any reasonably competent fly shop employee can help out with that. They might even have a few different lines spooled up as demo equipment. This allows you to cast a line or two and help you with your selection. Some rods cast better with different lines etc....Some don't

One other thing, if you can get some help with casting. An and hour with a good casting instructor can save a lot of aggravation and stop bad habits before they start.

08-14-2007, 07:36 AM
I've owned at least one fly rod for more than 15 years but it's only been in the past couple of years that I've started to fly fish regularly and start to collect fly rods. I just ordered a Forecast blank to build a 6' 6" 2 weight that I plan to use on small streams around my house.

My only advice would be to remember that your first rod is just that--your first rod. So don't make too big a deal out of it. You will probably be fine with either of those rods. Once you start getting into flyfishing, you will start to see how different types of rods help you do different types of things. Then you can start matching rods to situations. I've really had my eyes opened this summer. You need different rods for different sized waters, different sized fish, different sized flies, different types of line, and different distances. Some rods are versatile and do more than one thing well, but no rod does everything well. I bought a 5 wt. 9' Sage DS for my first rod. It does a lot of things well, but it doesn't cast big bass bugs very well, and I fish with them a lot, and it's a little too heavy for a tiny trout stream, which I also fish from time to time. So I have gotten rods for those purposes.

So maybe if you think about your first rod as the first of a collection, instead of an all-purpose tool that you have to purchase correctly the first time, it will take a little bit of the worry out of the purchase.

Oh, and don't be afraid to buy a rod that isn't hyped as "super-extra-ultra-FAST". It is one thing to cast flies, and it is another thing to fly fish. Some fast action rods can cast a mile, but that kind of distance is only useful in certain situations. And usually, you sacrifice a bit of feel, casting ability, and casting accuracy in close with a super-fast rod. If you have a lot of experience spinning and baitcasting (I do too), you will understand this. Sometimes the guy that wins the bass tournament is the guy who flips 10' into the bushes, or jigs right underneath the boat. Near where I live, there is a canal that holds a fair amount of bass, not many lunkers, but they're fun to catch on a fly rod. Nowhere is the canal more than 100' wide, and in many places it is only 50' wide. A lot of the bass hang out right near shore, and I'm talking like 6" from shore, along the side that I walk. So I kind of sneak up on them and drop a little 15-30' cast near where they are. I don't need or want a fast-action rod for that. So think long and hard about what kind of fishing you do, and be honest with yourself. If you are chucking 130' in the surf like some of these guys, or casting 90' across a river in Montana, then definitely spend some $$$ for a super fast-action rod. But if not, such a rod might not only be unnecessary, but also not as good a tool for your fishing conditions.

My .02

08-15-2007, 01:05 AM
both the Redington Redfly.2 and the TFO Professional series are decent casting rods despite their low price. Either one would be fine and do what you want. Get the one you like best and enjoy your entry into the sport of fly fishing.

Since you are going to be fishing primarily for trout, I'd recommend you get a rod that takes a 5 or 6 wt line and between 8' and 9' in length because such a rod would be the most versitile for trout. The exception is if you are going to be primarily fishing small streams (those less than 20' across), then a 7' to 7'6" 4 wt would be the better choice.

08-16-2007, 10:08 PM
Thanks to everyone who gave a reply. I appreciate it.

I keep hearing "decent," may I ask what you would consider "good"? I'm not looking for the best of the best gear, but I am looking for something that I won't need to upgrade a few weeks after I get the hang of things. In other words, I don't want so much of a beginner setup, since I am a quick learner with most things. It would be cheaper for me, in the long run, to spend a little bit more in the beginning rather than having to upgrade almost immediately.

Also, I am mostly a lake fisher. I would like to move more towards streams so that I could maintain a 60% lake 40% stream mixture. Most of the trout I catch are in the 9 - 15 inch range, but occassionally I'll hook up with an Alper or brown, each kind of fish can potentially get up to 10 pounds or more. Would a 5 weight be able to deal with these? I don't want to get a super stiff pole, because I understand the advantage of fishing with ultralight gear. ( My fenwick and reel are ultralight).

Thanks for the help guys.

08-17-2007, 02:04 AM
Now that we know what you are going to use the rod for, I'd recommend a 6 wt over the 5 wt because a 6 wt is better able to handle 10 lb fish. Also, since you are going to be using it 60% on lakes and 40% of streams, I'd recommend going with a 9' rod since it will help when fishing lakes keep the line up off the water when casting.

What I and most experienced fly fishers mean by "decent casting" is just that, the rod casts well enough, but is not in the same league as the best equipment. These rods (the Redfly.2 and TFO) are good casting rods, built with some cheaper hardware such as reel seats, have cork with more pits that have been filled, and don't come in aluminum rod cases. There are very serviceable rods and are the type that we experienced folks usually recommend people get when starting out because they have a more forgiving action or bend profile. Plus they are usually designed for casting normal fishing distances and not for casting the entire line out the rod tip.

However, this doesn't mean you will outgrow such a rod in a few weeks. Quite the contrary, such a rod would serve you well for several years. In fact, I heartedly recommend such a rod for any beginning fly caster.

To help you put things into better perspective, here is roughly where fly rods fall when broken down by price:

1) The lowest priced ones found in places like Wal-mart and other large discount stores that sell for $25.00-$50.00. Don't waste your time on these they are very soft, very poor casting rods and you will outgrow them quickly. However, if you only have a little to spend, these very low priced rods will get you into fly fishing just keep in mind that you will most likely outgrow the capabilities of such rods in a year or so.

2) Rods like the Redfly.2, TFO, ECHO, Cabella's, St. Croix Imperial, Bass Pro Shop, etc. that sell for $75.00-$150.00. These are very good, decent casting rods that will serve a fly fisher for years, and they are a very good value.

3) Rods like the Sage FLI, G. Loomis non-GLX, , St. Croix SCIII, Lamiglass (except the G1000), etc. that sell for $200.00-$350.00. These are very good casting rods that will serve the average fisherman well for a lifetime.

4) Rods like the Sage Z-Axis, G. Loomis GLX, Winston BII, St. Crox SCIV, etc. These rods sell for $400.00 -$650.00 and are made of the latest graphites, use the most advanced rod tapers, cast the widest range of line weight, can cast 100' or more in the hands of those who have the skill to do so, and are rods that only the best casters can really get the most out of.