Had a chance to test out the new Redington Hydrogen fly rod. Although marketed as a trout rod, I used it in few different situations and it performed exceptionally.
Offered in sizes 2 wt to 6 wt, I chose a 9′ 6 wt because I wanted to see if the rod could handle smallmouth and trout. Both are found in local rivers this time of year, and you don’t always know what’s on the other end of the line. In addition to casting dries, I also wanted the option of nymphing and throwing small streamers.
One of the first things I noticed is how light the Hydrogen is compared to some of the other 6 wts I use. At only 2.7 ounces, I checked the label to make sure I received the right rod. But the light weight didn’t impair the performance. I gave it plenty of opportunities to handle larger fish. And while it bent over sharply a few times, I never lost confidence in its ability to perform.
My first stop with the Hydrogen was the Housatonic River, where I used it to catch smallies on streamers. It cast the size 8 Orange Blossom Special conehead smoothly, but I probably wouldn’t recommend going much heaver.
Soon after arriving, I had on the first smallmouth. The rod bent nicely, but never felt weak or uneven.
This guy was on the other end of the line. He definitely felt and looked like a football.
My next stop was a local farm pond for some kayak fishing. The Hydrogen had no problem with the foam poppers, and a 6 wt was the right choice for largemouth bass.
Later in the week I took it to the Farmington River, where I caught brown trout on nymphs and dries. I was especially impressed with the way it delicately delivered a size 24 BWO dry to a waiting brown.
My last trip with the Hydrogen was back to the Housatonic. I cast a size 16 peacock caddis during the evening hatch to hungry browns, mostly in the 14″ – 16″ range. A few were bigger, and again the rod had a chance to show it could handle large fish.
In all, I used the Hydrogen to catch smallmouth, panfish, largemouth and trout. I threw streamers, nymphs, poppers and dries. It handled every situation with no problems.
Here are a few other reviews on the Hydrogen to compare:
Overall, I would recommend the Hydrogen. Its light weight, strength and price (~$300) make it a great choice. While it is positioned as a trout rod, I found it quite capable while chasing other types of fish.
Note: I received a 6 wt Hydrogen to test, but no compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.