Rod Review: The Redington CPX 10’6wt.
To a beginner, a rod is just a rod. Until one learns the mechanics of the cast and how a fly rod responds to those good mechanics, a beginning fly fisherman will rarely know the difference between an average rod and a special one.
I let a young beginner use my Sage Z Axis
yesterday on a guide trip and after casting for a few hours I asked her what she thought of the rod. “I like it” she replied. “Why?” I inquired. “I don’t know.” She said, “It casts good?” Just because you can’t tell the difference yet or see the applications all the different weights and lengths and materials bring to the fly rod game; it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get a good rod to begin with. After all, in a month, or a year, or 5 years you will be a proficient caster and having learned on a quality rod will help to keep bad habits at bay. Plus all the good rod manufacturers have a great lifetime warranty program and so the purchase is a once in a lifetime pain and not a bunch of incremental ones. If you are a beginner, get a good rod, fly line, and sunglasses. These are the things you do not want to go cheap on. You can get by with cheap everything else, but I don’t recommend going cheap on the former.
That said, there are several good manufacturers of exceptional quality equipment for a modest price when you are talking fly fishing. One such manufacturer is Redington, a sister company of Sage and Rio Products located in the Pacific Northwest on Bainbridge Island, WA. Having been a Sage "guy" most of my life, I thought that this might be the time to try out a rod from Redington.
I sent in a request to try the Redington CPX 10’6Wt rod with a fighting butt. I fished the rod on 12 occasions in river conditions, both high and low flows, small lakes and ponds, on big western reservoirs, and for carp and other warm water species.
Aesthetically, the rod is beautiful. Jet black with silver trim and slate thread wraps. The Portuguese cork handle gives good “feel” to the grip and the rod seems to be balanced well with the reel that they provided, a Redington “Delta” 5/6 large arbor. As far as a casting rod it did well at casts of up to 40 feet. I could deliver to targets at short range with great constistency and little effort. After that, the rod seemed to lose its steam. A bunch of the guides at Minturn Anglers and I all took turns making casts of 40 and even 50’ but came back with the same response. The 10’ version of the CPX doesn’t cast well to long targets. I picked up the 9’ version of the rod from the shop and it casts wonderfully to long targets over 40 feet. There is definitely something to the extra foot of length in the physics of the cast. That said, I loved the medium fast action for hitting closer targets accurately. When out in the belly boat on Spinney Mtn reservoir the extra foot of length really makes a difference when lifting indicator rigs and streamers safely off the water in wind. It sucks to put a size 10 Halfback in your own ear.
Here is where I was completely impressed with this rod. The playing of large fish! A ten foot rod with a fighting butt can MOVE a large fish to the net in much less time than a 9’ rod can. I hooked Wipers, trout, and carp during my test time and was amazed at the increased ability to bring fish to the net quickly. A couple of times a large carp would make a run and I found myself saying “Get over here” and with a downward sweep of the rod I took away that fishes will to run. This is a wonderful trait for a fly rod, especially if you are a large fish degenerate like myself. I was thinking that they should make a CPX 10’ in a 4WT and I would use it on the Taylor River to handle giant bows in the spring. I bet it would! Are you feeling me here Redington?
My final thoughts on the CPX are that overall you are getting a world class fly rod on a value budget. Combine that with the lifetime warranty and I say buy this rod. I will also add that you should only buy the 10’ CPX if you are looking for a specialty rod for belly boating and moving large fish to the net quickly on any river or lake. If you were just starting out, or anticipate having to make long casts, get the 9’. You can always add another later in your fly fishing journey.
I have always believed that short casts in fly fishing for trout are more productive than long ones. What is right at my feet is more attainable than that far away. Maybe that is why I stayed in Colorado.
Scott is a Colorado native and began fly fishing the Rocky Mountains in 1977. His first strike indicator was a piece torn off of his dad's foam beer cooler. After attending Colorado State University on an acting scholarship he then went on to a successful career in comedy. He is currently producing a television show called "Fly vs. Guy".
He now guides rivers and lakes all over Colorado . To book a day with Scott email him at email@example.com or http://www.facebook.com/FlyVsGuy