Review: Redington Butter Stick Fly Rod (2019) | Outbreak Magazine

If there really is a fly rod for every situation – and, by God there is better, or I’ve been lying between my teeth ever since I got married (then divorced) there all these years – there is a place in your quiver for a flexible glass rod that is both intuitive and a little naughty.

And here’s what I’ve learned about fiberglass fly rods over the past 10 years or so, fishing them at a fairly even clip. Just about any situation is good for glass, as long as you have the right glass at the right time and, frankly, the right frame of mind. Anglers who can slow down their cast, exhibit enviable patience, and adjust to what a casual fly fisherman might consider a subtle difference in “feel”, can do as well, if not better. , with a glass fly rod like others can do quickly – graphite action.

But it is a commitment. Honestly, I don’t think you can be a “laid back” glass fly prowler. Either you’re into it or you’re just a dilettante.

And either is fine – experimenting with glass can be fun, especially if you know your fast-acting rod is tucked away in the boat. You know, for when the going gets “serious”. But if you just experiment … well, you put it in half. And you’re doing the cane a disservice. If you regard glass fishing as a voluntary handicap, you are wrong.

Glass fishing is something a little more visceral than chasing fish with super-fast graphite designed to make your cast go farther and your curls fly tighter. With glass… you really need to sink. Considering its “goosey” nature mentioned above, it is not as forgiving as graphite. I would say it’s a lot more responsive – the glass takes inspiration from you. If you’re too quick with your throw, you’ll be stacking the line around your feet in no time. If you don’t actually feel the load of the cane on your backcast, you’ll end up in the willows. If you pick up your line too fast you will get wrapped in a fly line and absolutely hate it.

But if you are adaptable, and if you realize that fiberglass might be the perfect fly rod building material for the fine angler, fishing glass can make you a better fly thrower, and it can make you a better fly thrower, and it can make you a better flyer. you a better fisherman.

This is the case with the new Butter Stick from Redington.

I saw a dedicated large-water fly fisherman become a dedicated little stream angler during a week of fishing gentle backcountry trout streams in the high country of the ‘Idaho, all because it had committed to Redington’s latest version of its glass offering, and refused to revert to its proven graphite.

This angler, flats buff and bass guy with an occasional dip in the swampy, dingy world where fish like bluefin tuna lurk in black waters, had his self-proclaimed ‘best fishing day ever. trout ”using the 7 foot, 3 weight version of the Butter Stick. It took commitment, determination and patience. But when he clicked, he clicked.

I took the Butter Stick – largely after the fact – to northern Saskatchewan at the end of August when I thought there might be a chance for me to hunt big Arctic shadows as the Wheeler River flows with a goal out of Russell Lake. The main attraction of the trip was the Russell Lake Trophy Pike, but shade was on the menu in the river.

The 7-foot-6, 4-weight Butter Stick probably wouldn’t have been the rod of choice for the average trout angler under these circumstances – the river is waist deep and a lot of water pushes up on a large rapid . It took a bit of planning and “you only live once” proclamations to wade through, and about halfway a prayer or two that the spikes on my wading boots would continue to catch on the feet. rocks covered in mud under my feet until I reach the other side. But I wanted to see what the cane could do.

Mission accomplished.

What works

The new Butter Stick is a comeback rod in terms of looks and performance. It’s light. It’s noodly. And, as it should be, it’s responsive. But he answers you, so a solid fly cast makes the rod even better.


First off, I love the ’70s-themed creamy white with the self-proclaimed “retro cosmetics” from Redington. His appearance was reminiscent of old episodes of Schoolhouse Rock, disco balls and jeans with elephant legs. Honestly, I bet it fishes better if you wear that perfect porn outfit and wear a belt that matches your shoes. I’m just saying.


But it’s more than just a look. The Butter Stick uses Redington’s T-Glass construction on the company’s “heritage taper”. It just means that in addition to being constructed of fiberglass using obviously more modern technology, the company also deepened its inventory of older rods and chose a cone that, like glass, could remind you of days gone by. I likened it to donning a comfortable pair of old sneakers, familiar and reliable.

Surprisingly versatile

And, with a careful, slow cast, the Butter Stick will cast a fly line. I loved the appreciable bend of the rod on the backcast – it was the perfect reminder that the rod was loaded and ready to go. With a determined but easy cast, the rod hit the middle of the Wheeler’s impatient current very well. With a repair or two I got some good drifts on really big shadows with the usual attractor dryers (think Royal Coachman, Stimulator and the like), and when the fish came calling, a set of more hooks. slower than graphite did the trick.

It was then that it had fun.

Fish fight

The shadows of the North Country are not to be outdone. They steal water when they know they are hooked. And then they dive in and erect that fin sail and push against the tide, eyeing fast water and freedom.

The Butter Stick’s curvature starts just above the cork handle, and for shadows growing 20 inches, it really bends. Judging by the looks I got from my fellow anglers, who also hunted shade, but with a graphite tackle, I was really having the most fun.

What not

Line slap

It might be that ‘heirloom’ cone, but the Butter Stick suffers from a major line slap – even after digging deep enough to retrieve my fiberglass cast after a day or two of throwing a rod. with coarse graphite water, I always had trouble getting the line to advance without the “tick, tick, tick” of the fly line bouncing off the rod blank. After giving it a good kick, I wonder if the rod wouldn’t be better served if it incorporated a stripping guide just a hair closer to the handle to counter this challenge. I’m not a rod engineer, but I feel like the material is starting too high on the blank. To back up the review, my buddy who visited Idaho with Weight 3 in hand had a similar review.

More options needed

Also, and again, I’m not a fishing rod maker, but would love to see the Butter Stick in a 9ft version – currently the rod is offered in line weights 1 through 6 and then an 8-weight beast. . For weights 5-8, the rod is 8 feet long. I wonder if, sacrificing the allure of lightness a bit, a 9ft tender wouldn’t better serve the trout fisherman who, in addition to casting dry flies, might also like to experience the responsiveness of the glass while being high. nymph stick, or even throw small streamers.

Last word

I am a little biased here. I understand. But I have become a die-hard fan of Redington’s fly fishing gear – rods and the like – because the company isn’t afraid to take risks. Maybe that’s the point – in the Farbank family of fly fishing product makers, maybe Redington is the “experimental” branch, and I totally agree with that. A few years ago when the company made their first Butter Stick, I jumped on board and still haven’t got off. This latest iteration, with its retro appeal, is a thin, fiberglass fly rod that I’ll be using regularly for trout hunting. As it is charged, the rod is responsive and flexible. It’s easy to cast and it’s great when fighting substantial fish.

There are other much more expensive glass rods on the market today, and I cast a few at this year’s IFTD show in Orlando. The Butter Stick, with its modest price (by today’s standards, anyway), is a solid investment that compares well with more expensive offerings, especially if you’re willing to commit and fish. glass.

Honestly, if you are a dedicated graphite fisherman, the Butter Stick will feel a little alien in your hands. But if you’re curious about glass and ready to commit to fishing it, this is the rod you should consider.


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