Redington Crosswater Reel Review
Everyone needs to learn to walk before they can run. There are a wide array of fly reels out there with an equally wide variety of applications and uses.
Probably the most widely sought after application is the beginner fly angler. So let’s look at Redington’s entry level reel. Here is our Redington Crosswater reel review.
The Redington Crosswater Background
Redington came to us in the early 90s from the Pacific Northwest and has been steadily providing solid fly fishing gear at prices that don’t require you to sell the family jewels. Although the company is based in the US, most of the manufacturing is done overseas – a fact which matters to some people, and not at all to others.
The Crosswater reel fills out the entry level spot on the line of reels that Redington offers. It’s an affordable option that has everything the beginning angler needs to start learning.
And while it does lack a few features that many high end reels have, it packs a lot of value into a very low price.
Line Weight: Two models:
- 4/5/6 wt
- 7/8/9 wt
Model Reviewed: 4/5/6 weight
Arbor Size: 3.5” and 3.9”
Weight: 5.1 oz, and 5.5 oz
Drag System: disc drag
Redington Crosswater Reel Review: Hands On
Redington Crosswater Reel Review: Features
1. Lightweight Polymer construction
2. Large arbor
3. Strong disc drag
4. Easy change from left to right hand retrieve
5. Twin molded soft touch ergonomic handle
Redington Crosswater Reel Models
Fly rod and reel combo
Fly rod and reel combo
Redington Crosswater Reel Review: Our take
So let’s start first with who this reel is made for: the beginning angler. We could make all sorts of comparisons to high dollar reels with features to match, but that wouldn’t be a fair comparison. It’s important to remember that this reel is designed as an affordable option that packs just enough features to allow the beginning angler to foster a love for the sport that will grow into a full-fledged obsession like the rest of us.
The Redington Crosswater reel is made from a durable polymer. While polymer construction may be inferior to anodized aluminum, it’s cheaper to manufacture. And a low price is very important to beginning anglers who are just trying this fly fishing thing out for the first time.
This reel has a powerful disc drag which I would consider a must have – even for beginners. The drag does not appear to be sealed so I would definitely stay away from saltwater fishing with this reel.
A large arbor makes for easier line retrieval, and the twin molded ergonomic handle is the same that appears on higher end reels from Redington like the Behemoth.
As far as feel, the reel performs as expected with a consistent and smooth reel in, and a satisfying click when peeling out line. The lightweight polymer means you’re not going to wear out your arm casting over long periods of time.
A disc drag system is kind of a must have nowadays, and the Crosswater’s drag performance nicely with a fair amount of resistance to help you land fish. The oversized drag adjustment knob makes for easy adjustments in those tense moments.
And while the drag is not sealed, it will certainly perform well for any freshwater scenario. Just keep this guy away from salt.
The reel actually bears a slight resemblance to the Redington Behemoth, minus a few frills. It’s got the same open design with the wide supports on the frame.
The reel looks respectable. There’s nothing about it that gets me excited about the looks, but honestly that’s not what we’re looking for in an entry level reel.
The wheelhouse for this reel is the fact that it’s a fully functional reel for such an affordable price. It’s got all the minimum requirements to help you learn the sport and even land some fish.
It’s also worth noting that in addition to reel only options, you can also purchase the reel pre-spooled with fly line, and also as part of a Crosswater combo complete with fly rod, pre-spooled reel, and case.
Perhaps you’re a new fly fisherman looking for his first reel. Maybe you’ve been at it a while and just need a backup reel without spending an arm and a leg. The Redington Crosswater has got everything you need, and skips everything you don’t to give you a package that is easy on the wallet.
Redington Crosswater Reel Pros and Cons
√String disc drag
√A great beginner option
! Drag is unsealed
! Polymer design is inferior to other reels in the same range
Redington Crosswater Reel Review: Ranking
Looks respectable, but not extremely fancy
|5 / 10|
Polymer construction keeps the price down, but is inferior to aluminum
|4.5 / 10|
Remarkably decent performance and feel consider the price bracket
|6.5 / 10|
Good function in an extremely low price
|7 / 10|
5.75 / 10
Redington Crosswater Reel Deals
Amazon Product Listing
Trident Fly Fishing Product Listing
Ed’s Fly Shop Product Listing
Trouts Fly Fishing Product Listing
Accessories: Rod and Fly Line
Redington Classic Trout Fly Rod
RIO Mainstream Trout Fly Line
Redington Crosswater Starter Pack
If you’ve decided to pick up the Redington Crosswater, or found another reel that suits your needs, there are some bare essentials you’re going to need to get read yot hit the water. Check out some of our suggestions below:
- Rod – You’ll need a fly rod that complements the reel. For this we suggest the Redington Classic Trout Fly Rod.
- Fly Line – If you’d like to upgrade the fly line, we suggest Rio Mainstream Trout fly line.
- Waders and Boots – If you plan on wading into a stream, we suggest Orvis Men’s PRO waders and Korkers Darkhorse wading boots.
- Wading Pack – We also recommend a good wading pack like this Orvis Sling Pack to carry your flies, hemostats, tippet, and other accessories
- Flies – Fill your fly box with this assortment of flies from Orvis.