Back in 2013 I reviewed the Redington Butter Stick. To see that review, click here. In the 5 years that have passed, they’ve made some nice improvements that I’ll mention during this review.
I’ve always been a fan of fiberglass rods, especially for kayak fishing and small streams, so I was very interested to see what updates they would make to a pretty solid offering.
Last time I worked with a 3wt. This time I went with a 4wt for better distance casting and a little more backbone. The 4wt kept the flexibility that I expect from a Butter Stick.
One of the first things I noticed is that the rod has a new look. I would call it retro, since it reminds me of some of my barn finds. That said, the quality of the blank, guide wraps, grip and reel seat reflect the benefits of modern technology and quality control. It’s a good looking, well made stick.
For this test, we paired the rod with a Redington ZERO Reel and RIO Gold fly line.
If you’ve read my other reviews, you know I am a big fan of RIO lines. The Gold line is no exception.
The RIO Gold product sheet says that it has incredible loop stability, a unique taper that easily loads fly line at close range and perfect presentation of flies between sizes #22 and #2. I would agree with these statements, and add that the overall quality is in line with other RIO products.
The ZERO reel is light for a large arbor reel, and the click system is smooth and easy to use. The Dreamcicle Orange color is an added benefit and compliments the colors of the Butter Stick.
I started by taking the Butter Stick to the local paddling lake, my go-to for rod testing. It allows me to cast from different perspectives. The wind kept me from staying long, but using a thin mint woolly bugger, I caught this perch.
Next stop was a nearby farm pond. The winds subsided, and I proceeded to pick up a string of these. The Butter Stick’s sensitivity allowed me to detect the subtle takes.
What I noticed about the new Butter Stick is that it has the backbone to bring a fish to the net quickly, while delivering the soft presentation you’ve come to expect, even when chucking streamers. Distance casting is solid and straight for a fiberglass rod, yet it still has that familiar waggle.
The ZERO reel complements the Butter Stick, both functionally and aesthetically. It’s light and effortless to retrieve. I did give it a chance to play a fish and it was happy to see how smoothly it performed.
I attribute some of the softness of delivery directly to the RIO Gold line. The quality and performance of these lines is undeniable.
What I like about this combo:
- The Butter Stick did well even in windy conditions. I used it to cast dry flies, nymphs and streamers. It delivers a smooth presentation, solid distance casting, but never lets me forget the forgiving nature of fiberglass
- The ZERO reel feels like it was made for this combo. The simplicity of the click system adds to its appeal
- RIO Gold line loads well for short range but also shoots effortlessly for distance and target casts
The bottom line: If you’re a fiberglass rod enthusiast, or are looking to add glass to your collection, the Butter Stick is a great choice. I thought it would be hard to improve on the original Butter Stick, but Redington has done it.
I’m not the only fan of the Butter Stick. Check out the reviews below.
As I finish this post, I realize that it will probably be my last of 2018. Hope this year was a good one for you, both on and off the water.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours. All the best in 2019!