|My Crosswater 8 weight|
For those of you who do know, you're wondering "Why review an entry level rod?". The Crosswater is Redington's least expensive rod, retailing for about $70-90. I got mine on sale from Cabela's last spring for $50.
If nothing else it lets you know I'm not sponsored by the company. Redington is a great gear company with a full roster of excellent rods, from entry level to quite expensive, staying just below the absolute nose-bleed levels of the higher end companies. Redington is now a subsidiary of Far Bank Enterprises, the same company that owns Sage, Rio, and a few other shingles. They have a reputation to protect, and so I would expect that all of the products from all of their subsidiaries are held to a certain standard.
Here's what I was after- an affordable 8 weight rod by a reputable company for chuck-n-duck fishing for salmon and steelhead, I wanted a backup rod for my night fishing and for flats fishing carp and smallmouth bass, and it needed to be inexpensive and tough. For those not familiar, chuck-n-duck fishing entails using a running line, and a butt section of monofilament on which you have a sliding weight. It is not uncommon for your sliding weight to come out of the water on a hook set or snag and impact the tip section of your rod, at times shattering it- imagine your sense of loss when you've paid $200, $300, or $600 for that rod. Thus my search.
|a nice salmon caught on the Crosswater|
But here is another side to the Crosswater. Last year I happened to recognize a buddy's truck parked at a local river. He is a local guide, and has some very nice (expensive) gear in his drift boat for his clients. I wandered upstream to see him throwing some beautiful graceful loops. Come to find out he was using the Crosswater 4 weight. When I asked him about this, he said they have such a nice feel that he continues to use them. I have since had the chance to cast a 5 weight, and was very impressed with how it cast. The action is medium and casts a bit like fiberglass, meaning that you have to slow your cadence, but it threw 50 foot casts effortlessly. Your mantra on the back cast is "wait for it, just wait for it", but on the foreward stroke it is solid and a bit of a rocket. It has a bit of a heavy feel, but casts very nicely, and with some practice I was able to make a gentle presentation.
As far as fishing my 8 weight for carp on the Great Lakes, it was adequate but not ideal. I found the action too soft, it would not punch into the west wind like I needed. It is not really designed for that kind of fishing. It will do in a pinch, especially when the schools move close in and the wind isn't up.
Okay, here is where this rod, my 8 weight shines- it is fantastic for chuck-n-duck fishing for Great Lakes salmon and steelhead. Here's why. First, it is priced right- the 8 weight normally sells for $90, I bought mine for $50. You could stock up on these rods at that rate and never run out. Second- I have tried and can't seem to break this rod, and I've broken a lot of rods this last year. The medium action is a benefit as you're not looking for an overly aggressive rod in this type of fishing. The Crosswater is responsive enough, telegraphing the bottom to you with some precision, but where I have found this rod to shine is in the battle. Just try to break a tippet with this rod. Lean back. Relax. Hang on. I've caught some very big fish on this rod, including salmon in the mid twenty pound range, and a great steelhead. It was overmatched fishing salmon this fall- the fish were huge and plentiful. A 10 weight would have better suited the situation, and yet, I leaned back on this rod, hooked up with fish that were much bigger that this rod was designed for, and it would just bend, bend, and bend some more. I got a couple of great salmon and had a great day. It is ideally suited to steelhead fishing- perfectly matched to the fish, and it battles them with aplomb.
The 8 weight Crosswater features a nice dark blue blank, a comfortable cork grip with fighting butt, and an excellent reel seat. I had problems at the start with my reel wobbling in the reel seat, but over time this has disappeared, which makes me think it was pilot error, and in battling my big steelhead today it was rock solid.
|a great buck steelhead caught on the Crosswater 8|
If you're looking for a great trout rod, you can't go wrong with the 4 weight, it's a genuine pleasure to fish and cast. The 5 weight is a great all around rod for streamer fishing as well as bass and even pike. The Redington Crosswater is not a "beginner" or "entry level" rod, but an excellent and inexpensive alternative to spending big bucks on gear, money that can be spent on fishing trips. It will not do everything (no rod does), but for most anglers, it will come pretty close.
You can check out the Crosswater and Redingtons other rods here at
You can buy them at most of your favorite retailer or online site, or here's a link to them on