Gear test: Redington Crux

Mike Sepelak casts to Okefenokee bowfin with the Redington Crux.

I’m not shy about my affinity for Redington. Over the last decade or so, I believe the fly-fishing gear manufacturer has taken more chances than any of its competitors in its class. Yes, its affiliation with Farbank (and Sage, in particular), certainly helps Redington’s optics, but in recent years, I’ve become enamored by products that are both affordable and dependable on the water.

The new Redington Crux fly rod is no different, but when I first picked up the 7-weight version, I have to admit, I was skeptical that it would have the backbone for the conditions I was about to fish. Not only was I pleasantly surprised at how it performed on Chetumal Bay in pursuit of bonefish, but I was thrilled with how I felt after nearly a full day spent casting on the flats. In word, the Crux is deceptive. It’s light—in fact, when I first attached the reel and and made a few false casts, I remarked to my fishing buddy that it reminded of the old (and still great) Sage Z-Axis.

In the past, Redington’s big-water rods have been predictably bulky and even a little clumsy. Not so with the Crux. It’s fast and balanced and it didn’t contribute to the casting fatigue us sometimes-saltwater anglers get before we dial in our stroke for the duration of the trip. It was a pleasure to cast, didn’t impede accuracy, and it displayed plenty of backbone while fighting bonefish on the Mexican border with Belize.

At first, I was skeptical … I figured that maybe, since I’ve become something of a Redington fan (for me, it’s where quality and price-point meet, honestly), I was jaded. But this week, while fishing the Okefenokee Swamp for big bowfin, my buddy Mike Sepelak brought his Crux—the identicial 7-weight. He raves about it. I’m not alone in my appreciation of this high-end rod that can be had at half the price of its competition.

The Crux comes it at $400—proof that fly rods aren’t likely to get cheaper any time soon, especially when you consider this to be an “affordable” product. But this is a fly rod built for a lifetime on the water, and I’m a believer in Redington’s innovation. The unique angled key grip of the rod really does what it says it does—it reduces hand fatigue while casting. And it has the company’s new line-speed taper, which is great for short- and middle-distance casting while also making longer casts seem easy (how many times have you tried to make those shorter, finesse casts with your new “rocket launcher” only to realize that the rod won’t load with less than 30 feet of line stretched out of the tip?).

In short, I’m a fan of this rod, and I recommend it. At the price, you won’t find one better. And it’s one I’ll keep for years of use.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.