Product Review: Bending the Butter Stick

Had a chance to review one of Redington’s latest offerings, the Butter Stick fiberglass fly rod.  I enjoy making and fishing fiberglass rods, so when I saw the press release a couple of months ago I immediately put my name in the hat to test it. To see the company web site and get more info on the Butter Stick  click here.

I chose the 7′ 3wt matched with the Sage Click III reel and RIO fly line that I reviewed in this post.  Turned out to be a good choice. The Click III is lightweight and helped make a well-balanced combo.

Redington Butter Stick fly rod

Nice looking rod – 7′ 3wt 3-piece

Out of the Bag

One of the first things I noticed was the bright yellow blank with wraps of a color I refer to as safety orange. The rod looked like fun before I ever put it together. The color choice obviously inspired the name, but visually it’s a nice departure from the more common green/brown/blue palette of fly rod blanks.

Redington Butter Stick

Alignment dots are a nice touch

There are also some subtle touches, such as alignment dots. The rod also comes with a bright yellow fabric rod bag, and brown rod tube.  The  lifetime warranty is also a plus.

When it comes to the reel seat, I would’ve preferred the uplocking reel seat version to the sliding rings, but they worked fine with the Click III reel.

The weight was also a surprise. Only a spry 2.1 oz., The $250 price tag is also reasonable.

For comparison,  a 7′  3wt. Scott fiberglass rod also weighs about 2 oz. and costs $645. The Cabelas fiberglass CGT is is about $100 less than than the Butter Stick, but weighs almost 3 oz. Hardy’s 7′ 3wt. glass rod is also 3 oz, and costs $375.  It only comes in a 2-piece.

The most common comparison I hear is the Butter Stick vs. the Eagle Claw Featherlight. The color makes it inevitable, but this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. While I could not find the weight of the Featherlight,  the 7′ is a 5/6 weight, not a 3wt.  The Eagle Claw is also a 2-piece. I’m  fan of the Featherlight as a beginner’s rod, but it has a very different look, feel and casting capability than the Butter Stick.

On the Water

Since casting speed and general performance are often subjective assessments, my comments are based on the performance of the rod at a local bluegill pond and on the Farmington and Pootatuck rivers. Your mileage may vary.

Butter Stick fiberglass fly rod with sage Click III reel caught pumpkinseed in local pond

Caught a nice pumpkinseed in the local pond

The Butter Stick may be seen by many as a small stream rod, but it is also a decent caster. It performed better for me on longer casts of over 40′ vs. those that were 30 ft. and under. It wasn’t that the close-in performance was bad, but rather the distance casting was a nice surprise.

As  you would expect with fiberglass, it has a softer presentation. This really came in handy for fishing around boulders, small riffles and over a glassy pond. I used dry flies, nymphs and small poppers depending on my needs and found the Butter Stick to perform solidly.

As far as the action, I will agree with the others that say it is on the faster side of fiberglass performance. At times it felt more like graphite than vintage fiberglass. That said, I ran into some bass that bent the rod over double – something I couldn’t have done with a comparable graphite rod.

Butter Stick fiberglass fly rod and Click III reel caught brown trout on Farmington River, September 2013

A Farmington River brown

The press release says “The buttery smooth, classic action rods in this family harken to simpler, more carefree times and help put good old-fashion fun back into fly fishing.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Butter Stick fiberglass fly rod and Click III reel caught rainbow trout on Farmington River, September 2013

Put up a great fight for such a small fish

The bottom line: If you’re looking for a nice fiberglass 3 wt. that won’t break the bank, the Butter Stick is a great choice. Enjoy!

Note: I am not the first one to wade into the water with Butter Stick in hand. In fact, here are three recent reviews found with a quick Google search:

http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?threads/redington-butter-stick-first-impressions-also-orvis-superfine.90518/

http://thefiberglassmanifesto.blogspot.com/2013/07/gear-review-redington-butter-stick.html

http://www.tridentflyfishing.com/blog/redington-butter-stick-fly-rod-review

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