A customer called into the shop and was wondering about mid-priced saltwater rods. Of course I instantly defaulted to the TFO BVK, my go-to rod for the less than $500 crowd. He was interested in something stiffer for wind and big flies, and asked about the Redington Predator – so I took it out for a test drive.
- Redington Predator 890-4 9’ 8-weight
- Hardy Ultralite DD-7000 (our default 8-weight test reel)
- Rio Gold WF8F (our default 8-weight test line)
Fit and Finish
The Redington Predator is an attractive rod. It’s equipped with a dark blue blank and a brushed aluminum double uplocking reel seat. Redington has come a long way in this department. The rods really do look like Sage’s now. Even the cork is very nice despite the worldwide shortages.
The Predator comes with a full-wells grip and larger diameter saltwater guides.
The Redington Predator 890-4 weighs in at 4.3 oz (.2 oz heavier than Redington claims), which is fairly heavy for today’s 8-weight rods. It’s also got a fairly heavy swing weight. If you’re on a flat casting all day, make sure you spend a few weeks at the gym.
The Predator is a VERY fast rod. Think TCX, Boron II-MX territory. As such, it excels in the distance category. 80-90’ is easy and reasonably accurate. What surprised me is that it didn’t really generate that extra push which takes the cast from 90 to 100+. Perhaps I would have done better with a heavier line.
Note: I have a fairly fast casting stroke and am able to flex this rod efficiently – your mileage may vary.
The biggest downfall of this rod (and all other really fast rods) is its ability to deliver a fly accurately, and softly, in close (30’ or less). While it’s certainly not the worst rod at these distances, it wouldn’t be my go-to bonefish rod.
The Redington Predator hits its stride at about 50 feet and is a solid contender up to 80-90.
Flex & Feel
Fast and stiff. George Anderson would probably call this rod a 9 or 10-weight. It’s got loads of power in the butt and mid sections for lifting and fighting the biggest fish.
Unconditional Lifetime Warranty for just $25. Me like that.
8-weight rods are always a challenge to review. Unlike 5-weights, there aren’t any rods that truly cover every condition you would want to fish in. The G. Loomis NRX comes close.
The Redington Predator is a fantastic rod for windy days, large flies and long distance casting on a budget. It’s not for bonefish, close-in accuracy, or all-day casting. It will definitely pair well with heavy Outbound lines, sinking, and intermediate lines. Casting them is a breeze. Casters with a fast casting stroke and anyone who enjoys the Winston Boron III-SX will like this rod.
Get it for Pike, Musky, Tarpon, and other big meat-eaters. (tweet this)
- Delivers big flies, far, accurately and easily.
- Great Redington price tag
- Upgraded looks
- Not the best all-around rod
- Heavy by today's standards