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Redington Grande Reel & Crux Rod Combo: A Utility Fly Fishing Setup That Won’t Break the Bank

Built to outlast any fish you hook, the Redington Grande reel and Crux rod provide a feature-rich platform at a price that’s difficult to beat.
Fly fishing gear on a rocky riverbank with an Orvis backpack, rod, reel, and a Fireball whiskey bottle(Photo/Zach Burton)
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Few things are better than putting together a fishing kit that gets the job done well without absolutely destroying your wallet. Redington has long been known to accomplish just that task.

The brand has been making fly fishing gear and equipment since 1992. With a focus on quality performance at a manageable price point, Redington aims to be both “adventurous and approachable,” opening the door to fly fishing to new and seasoned anglers alike. 

My first foray into the Redington brand was with the Redington Grande Reel neatly paired with its Crux Rod. I picked up this combination on the brand’s recommendation for one of my first steelheading adventures on the north shore in Minnesota.

I needed a rod with a stiff rod tip and enough connectivity to feel the “take” of steelhead in deep pools. Steelhead are notorious for laborious fights and taking line. I wanted a reel with plenty of backing capacity and a simple drag-knob system for adjustments on the fly. 

So, did this budget-friendly kit measure up to the heavy-duty task?

In short: The Redington Grande reel and Crux rod combo has been my choice fly fishing setup for over five seasons. Affordable and performance-driven, this setup has exceeded my expectations in every fishing adventure I’ve thrown at it. It’s just never let me down.

Redington Grande Reel and Crux Rod Review

The Redington Grande Reel


  • Affordable
  • Fully sealed drag
  • Beautiful design, aesthetics
  • Great max drag and line capacity


  • Heavier than comparable reels
  • Limited color options

Overview: The Grande Reel

Built fully anodized with machined aluminum, the Grande reel is made for fighting big fish without compromise. Redington added a fully sealed “super torque” carbon fiber drag system that provides smooth drag and strength to wear out big fish in nearly any condition.

The reel’s oversized drag knob and V-spool design offer easy adjustments and increased line capacity, giving you peace of mind while your next PB is running downstream.

Close-up of a fly fishing rod and reel resting on wet rocks
(Photo/Zach Burton)

The reel’s rim is large, making it easy to apply pressure to frenzied fish while adding to overall spool rigidity. The brand also boasts that the optimized reel foot position makes it easy to position the true center of gravity to prevent rod twist. As a bonus, it is simple to convert between left or right-hand retrieve. 

Overall,  the tough construction and dependable drag performance make this reel ideal for handling just about anything you throw at it in freshwater and saltwater environments. And with a lifetime warranty, that can’t be beat.

Redington Crux Fly Fishing Rod


  • Great price point
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Comfortable hand grip
  • Stiff, yet responsive


  • A little on the heavy side
  • Long cast consistency is lacking

Overview: The Crux Rod

A fast-action rod built with Redington’s Line Speed Taper, the Crux is made for confident delivery of short to mid-range casts. There are two big points to the Crux: the “connectivity” while in use and the new and improved grip.

Starting with the rod itself, Redington added a stiffer tip to reduce unwanted vibration while increasing connectivity between the tip, middle, and lower section of the rod to give the user an all-around superior feel. For a big fish rod, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much I can feel the little bumps and taps as my bait bounces along the bottom of a deep pool. 

Close-up of a fly fishing rod handle and reel above swirling water
(Photo/Zach Burton)

The Crux was the first rod that Redington added its “Angled Key Grip” to, with a more dense and precompressed cork material that increased durability and sensitivity while “reducing hand fatigue.” While I can’t say factually that the grip has decreased my hand fatigue while casting, I can say confidently that the grip is comfortable even when fishing from sunrise to sundown. 

A fully anodized reel seat with built-in hook keepers and a premium olive matte finish round out the feature list of the Crux.

My Experience With the Redington Grande Reel and Crux Rod

Man holding a freshly caught fish by a stream in a forested area
(Photo/Jake Ferguson)

Over the last few years, I’ve taken the Redington Grande and Crux on many fly-fishing adventures. I’ve fished everything from Great Lakes Steelhead and Pink Salmon to Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike.

And while I haven’t had a chance to fish saltwater yet, I am confident this setup will be equally impressive there. With that in mind, one of my favorite things about this setup is its versatility.

The Crux is responsive enough to cast and fish in a nuanced way — feeling for light “takes” on the bottom of a hole in a river — while remaining stiff enough to wear out even the toughest fish. The Grande has plenty of room for backing, and I’ve swapped between a traditional fly line setup with a floating line over to a 100% mono setup for Steeleading where getting the bait to the the bottom of the pool rapidly is crucial. The Crux never missed a beat.

Close-up of a pink salmon
(Photo/Zach Burton)

Beyond that, I’ve taken this rod and reel on dozens of road trips, backpacking adventures, flights, and more, and I’ve never had any issues with broken or worn-down parts. It’s amazing that Redington offers a lifetime warranty on both products, but I love the fact that I’ve never even had to think about that even more. 

When you combine these things and consider the pricepoint to comparable setups — this is a no-brainer. Plus, I really dig the aesthetic. Maybe that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but hey. If I’m going to spend money on quality gear, I want it to look cool, too.

A Winning Combination

paddleboard equipped with fishing gear
(Photo/Zach Burton)

There’s a lot to love about this setup. First, I’ve found it to be very versatile across a multitude of fishing types and environments. I feel as comfortable fishing lakes for big smallmouth bass as I do dragging deep river pools for Great Lakes Steelhead.

The line-speed taper makes middle-distance casting a breeze and translates well to long-distance casts. The grip is comfortable and makes long days of casting more manageable — offsetting some of the weight of the overall combination. I love that the drag is sealed on the reel, making it easy to fish with peace of mind. 

Room for Improvement

It goes without saying that I am a fan of this setup. That being said, there are a few areas that could be improved. First, I find it lacking in short-range casting. The rod lacks a sense of finesse, and I’ve found it difficult to cast accurately under 25 feet.

The weight of the reel is another point of contention and adds to a less-than-ideal swing weight. While these aren’t deal-breakers for me by any means, they are worth considering.

Final Thoughts on the Grande & Crux Combo

This rod and reel duo provides the performance and durability I need and has been my go-to for dozens of adventures. Packed with features and thoughtful design elements, I continue to reach for this setup whenever there is large fish potential and I need to bring out the big guns. 

It should come as no surprise that I highly recommend the Redington Grande and Crux — there is a reason I’ve been sticking to the same setup for several years. These tools provide me with everything I need and nothing I don’t. Are there new innovations and lighter-weight options available? Of course.

However, you won’t find a better value that’s packed with features and backed with a lifetime warranty. And sometimes, the gear you already have and know well is worth more than getting your hands on the latest and greatest.

Holding a fly fishing rod over a river at sunset.
(Photo/Zach Burton)
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