Redington Trace Fly Rod Review
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The Trace is a new rod from Redington designed with trout fishing in mind. The Bainbridge Island, Washington, based manufacturer recognizes not everyone needs a 900 dollar rod to have a fun day on the water. The Classic Trout has been one of our favorite no-frills, inexpensive rods for years, and if Redington can build on the Classic Trout's performance, they will have a surefire winner on their hands. Read on to see if the Trace accomplishes this goal.
Fit & Finish
In the past, Redington has released rods that pushed the boundary regarding design. This hasn't always gone over well. We are happy to report the Trace is a normal-looking fly rod. The Half-Wells grip features average cork that will feel a little thick to most anglers, and the reel seat is pretty standard. The blank does have a nice mahogany finish to it, which gives the rod a more traditional look. Nobody on the river is going to mistake the Trace for a premium Sage. However, following the Classic Trout's footsteps, instead of the Vapen or Hydrogen, is not a bad thing either.
The Trace weighs in at a light 2.86 ounces. However, its swing weight of 64.8 gm2 is slightly on the heavier side compared to other 5wts on the market. At the Trace's price point, this seems about right.
The Trace is not a long-distance machine. The rod's softer action means it will fold if pushed too hard.
- 30-feet: The Trace's accuracy in-close varies significantly based on the size and weight of the fly used. If you plan on fishing smaller dry flies, the Trace will get the job done.
- 45-feet: At middle-distances, the story is pretty much the same. You will not want to overpower the rod with an aggressive casting stroke, an over-weighted line, and heavy flies. With a slower cast and a small dry fly, you should not have much trouble hitting your desired target.
- 60-feet: The Trace is not a long-distance sniper rifle. With the right line pairing, it may be possible to get some added performance.
Flex & Feel
Redington touts the Trace as a medium-fast action rod. However, we found the rod to be on the softer side. This is not a bad thing if you plan on using it for fishing dry flies. The moderate action helps with feel and feedback at closer distances. The softer tip means you can forget casting a conehead streamer or bulky nymph rig. The wind is not the Trace's friend, either.
At the 300 dollar price-point, there are not many dry fly-specific rods on the market. However, this places the Trace in a pretty niche category. At this price point (or less), there are other better-rounded rods for the price conscience or beginner angler to choose from. On the plus side, Redington has succeeded in producing a very capable presentation rod that the dry fly-centered angler on a budget will enjoy using.
Watch Our Review
- A nice option for the budget conscience, dry fly angler
- Solid feel and feedback at shorter distances
- Limited to smaller dry flies
- Subpar componentry