Review: Redington Wrangler FlyRoad Combo | Hatch Magazine

Redington has released a line of rod and reel combo sets recently, hitting several price points that will appeal to novice anglers. It’s an increasingly saturated market, and it’s difficult to make something that stands out from the crowd.

Redington Wrangler fly rod combos separate themselves from other rod and reel combos because each rod in the model family is designed specifically for a specific fishing situation. The 9′ 5″ weight is a trout model, designed to be a do-it-all rod. The pond weight is 9 feet 4 inches, while the Bass model is 9 feet 7 inches. The Wrangler family also features a saltwater model.

These designs are enough to attract attention to the Wrangler, but what makes it special is the way it hunts. After a few months of trying the Wrangler trout, I’ve found it to be a capable, medium-fast rod that’s both light and accurate at the same time. It struggles a little with heavy multi-nymph rigs and larger streamers, but for the majority of fishing situations, the Wrangler Trout is more than up to the task.

what does he do

Medium speed action
The Wrangler Trout has a nice medium-speed action that allows you to feel the line load adequately, although the Wrangler definitely falls toward the faster end of the spectrum. “Smooth” is not a word I would use to describe this rod. It’s very solid throughout, giving it enough backbone to handle windy conditions and big fish.

Line control
The Wrangler provides good line control at various distances for both mending and casting. I’ve fished this rod during a few BWO holes, and often had to cast longer casts to reach certain fish. Even at 60 feet, the Wrangler gave me a lot of control over my little mayfly patterns. There’s enough backbone in the Wrangler that you can feel confident handling fly line—including mending—at any distance for trout fishing.

I’ll also mention here that the Wrangler is a precision rod. Casting accuracy depends mostly on the wheels of course, but some rods are more accurate than others. The Wrangler feels stable enough, and tracks well enough, that any competent wheel should have no problem landing its fly where it wants.

Dry fly performance
I mentioned this above, but it warrants its own section. The Wrangler is a surprisingly good dry fly rod, thanks in part to its medium-fast action. When I fished this during a mayfly hatch, I was able to get smooth, accurate presentations, even with long leaders. The Wrangler delivers long leaders and small flies with relative ease.

Redington Wrangler Trout Combo

Photo: Spencer Durant

Crosswater reel
The Crosswater reel included with the Wrangler won’t win any awards, but it’s exactly the right reel for most beginners. It’s made of “durable composite,” but feels relatively sturdy. The drag is smooth and can be adjusted in small enough increments that you can really dial this reel into your local fisheries.

The Crosswater retails for $59 on its own, so again, it’s definitely a budget-friendly option. Weighing 5.1 ounces, it’s a bit heavy, but it balances the Wrangler trout fairly well.

Redington includes some RIO Mainstream line and a 4x leader pre-spooled on the reel. The fly line matches the rod well, even if it has a little memory.

Fit and finish
The Wrangler is a good looking rod, with a nice dark gray blank and matching thread coil. The reel seat isn’t fancy—just anodized aluminum—but it’s light and durable. Although it’s not as eye-catching as Redington’s Trail Blazer rod, it’s still a good looking rod.

What doesn’t work

Heavy and multi-fly rigs
The only area where I felt the Wrangler struggled was when throwing larger multi-fly rigs. With all the high water I’ve had to fish lately, I’ve been throwing a lot of three-nymph rigs, and the Wrangler has struggled at times to deliver those longer leaders. They’re great with most dry dropper rigs, but larger nymphs, larger streamers, and triple-fly rigs stretch the Wrangler to the limit. The Trout XL (9′ 6wt) model is probably a better bet if you consistently fish heavy, multi-fly rigs.

last word

At $249, the Redington Wrangler Trout is a serviceable and budget-friendly rod and reel combo. It provides great line control at almost any distance for trout fishing, and I love the medium-fast action (beginners will love it too). The included Crosswater reel and RIO Mainstream line complete this fishing-ready package, and both are value given their price tags. The Wrangler dry fly performance outperforms other rods at this price point, and that’s what separates this rod from others in its class.

Buy a Redington Wrangler

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