Redington Claymore Fly Rod Review: An In-Depth Hands-On Look

Explore the Redington Claymore Fly Rod – exceptional power and precision, redefining the art of fly fishing with style.

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This Redington Claymore Fly Rod Review is an in-depth, nothing-faked review. This is a real-life, on-the-water testing of this rod that has been personally cast many, many, many times.

The Redington Claymore is a performance line of 2-handed rods (switch and spey) that claim to offer a high-end feel for less money than the competition. This review of the Redington Claymore 12’6” 6wt will put the rod to the test and see how it stands up.

As an avid fly fisher for 35 years, a professional guide for the last 15, and an experienced fishing destination traveler, I’ve seen my share of rods come and go. I’ve seen those that can handle the situation and those that fall flat. This is my honest review of a rod lineup that I have gained plenty of experience with.

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Why Trust My Redington Claymore Fly Rod Review?

This review of the Redington Claymore is a proper and true review. There is no speculation here. Hours and hours, days, and days have been logged. It’s been cast in every configuration and scenario we could think of.

Also, as an avid angler and a professional guide, I get to see firsthand the true performance of a lot of equipment and how each item stacks up against another option. 

When guiding, not only do I get to test things myself, but I also get to witness how these items work for a myriad of styles and anglers, green and seasoned.

Redington Claymore Review: How I Reviewed & Tested The Rod

The Redington Claymore has been around for a couple of seasons now and is the newer version of the acclaimed Redington Chromer lineup of two-hand rods.  I have owned and cast other Sage and Redington two-hand rods, but this is my first ever use and review of Redington’s Claymore.

Using my Redington Claymore

I had the pleasure of fishing a few different Chromer configurations and have been waiting excitedly to get to do this Claymore review.

When it comes to a spey rod, you have to do a water-loaded cast. It’s really hard to get out on your local soccer field or in your backyard and try to make casts with these because those heavy lines require a water loading. 

So, for these rods, I like to head to the river to make some casts, current and all. I was also fortunate to time this review with a steelhead trip to get some very good, real-life experience on this rod.

Redington Claymore Pros

Redington is known for making decent, cost-effective fly gear for the masses. Lately, it seems their aesthetic and marketing are geared toward younger fly fishers who may have limited income or folks who wish to pick up a few different rods vs. spending all their available funds on one higher-end rod.

After a lot of casting, here’s what I found for myself:

Cost Effective

It’s hard to beat the price. You’re getting a very nice rod-to-cost ratio. The performance of the Claymore, even as a higher-priced rod in the Redington line, is definitely beyond its price tag.

Compared to other companies’ higher-end rods (ie Sage R8 Spey at $1300), you’re getting a pretty high-performance stick at a very reasonable price.

Good Performance

As I just alluded to in the previous paragraph, the performance of this rod outweighs its price tag.

As someone who’s spey-cast with a myriad of rods, entry-level and high-end, the feel, cast, and overall performance of the Claymore is hard to beat. It may not exactly compare to a rod that costs $1,200 and up…but it’s not far off!

Plenty of Power

The power of this rod, especially after fishing the lesser-priced Redington Dually, was very noticeable. Casts were crisp, line sailed, and water was covered!

If you had any experience with the Chormer before this, you may have had trouble with finding the sweet spot. The Chromer felt almost “ultra-fast.” 

The Claymore, however, is still a fast action rod but scaled back from the Chromer a touch. Finding that sweet spot and launching a good amount of line wasn’t difficult at all.

Redington Dually Cons

Not everything can be peachy-keen, especially with budget-friendly rods and the Claymore is no different. There were a lot of upsides but a couple of negatives added some variables to my Redington Claymore Fly Rod review.

Scaled Down Components

To make a high-performance weapon (the Claymore name comes from a Scottish battle sword), Redington needed to save some money somewhere. If you ask me, this is acceptable to be able to fish a performance rod that doesn’t require a second mortgage.

Accuracy Isn’t Perfect

Again, vs high-end rods where tech and materials are highly scrutinized, you may find the Claymore a touch less accurate compared to high-end two-handers. For most of your spey needs, it won’t be a problem.

What’s In The Box?

The unboxing of the Redington Claymore Fly Rod is pretty straightforward. At this price point, you’ll get the 4 piece fly rod that comes in a Cordura fly rod tube with a zippered end.

Redington Claymore on table

The Rod

A first glance at the Claymore tells you it probably belongs to the Redington family.  The cork handles are a nice light-colored cork that contrasts well with the gray blank.  

Brown rubber hand grips at the top of the foregrip and the back of the rear grip contrast the cork well and add wet-weather grip. Charcoal and copper thread wraps are a nice, less in-your-face compliment compared to other Redingtons.

Charcoal anodized aluminum hardware rounds out the rod’s sleek look.

Rod Tube

The rod tubes at this price point will almost always be Cordura (a long-lasting, abrasion-resistant woven nylon) over a hard plastic tube. The Redington Claymore sticks with that tradition.

The Claymore’s rod tube is a light gray Cordura and the zippered end (opening end) has an easy-to-read label.

The inside of the tube is pre-divided into sections to keep your rod pieces separate and scratch/ding-free. This is different from other rod tubes where you’d have to pull a separate rod sleeve out of the tube to open and retrieve your rod.

This is both a blessing and a curse depending on the situation. It’s nice not to have to open multiple items to get to the rod or to misplace a rod sleeve. However, when traveling, I often leave the rod tubes behind in lieu of my rod case (carry-on sized) that can hold many rods at once.

Using a rod sleeve in the travel case is a must. In my situation, I had to buy a separate rod sleeve for traveling with my travel rod case.

Redington Claymore Specs

Understanding all you can about a rod before making a purchase is a big help. The technical specs for each rod help give some real insight into what you might expect from the rod while fishing. Nothing compares to real-world experience, however.

  • Available Lengths & Weights: Trout Spey: 12’ 3” 5wt, Switch: 11’ 6” 6-8wt, Spey: 12’ 6” 6-8wt, 13’ 6” 8wt
  • Action: Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Measured Reference Weights:  Redington doesn’t list the Claymore weights. The 12’ 6” 6wt in this review weighed in at 5.9oz
  • Stripping Guides: Anodized Aluminum, zirconium inserts
  • Snake Guides: Anodized Aluminum 
  • Reel Seat: Anodized aluminum
  • Handle: Material and style: 2 Hand style, cork handles with composite handle ends and no-slip rubber grips
  • Rod Tube: Materials Cordura nylon with interior rod section dividers, zipper, and label
  • Rod Sock: Not included.
  • Price: $449

Redington Claymore Fly Rod Review: How The Rod Feels

I ended up taking this rod on a steelhead trip to get plenty of casting practice. I set up the aforementioned casting scenarios and did a ton of fishing with this rod. If you know anything about steelhead fishing, you get A LOT of casts in a day. 

Overall Weight

The overall weight of this 11’ 6” 7wt was 5.9 oz.

Swing Weight

I found no information on the swing weight of this Claymore. With two-hand rods, the longer length adds swing weight but the technique itself means that swing weight is a bit less important than a single-hand rod.

A lighter overall rod can save you energy in a day but also, lines, reels, and rods in the two-hand game are just inherently heavier.

Action

Redington lists this rod as a fast action. After lots and lots and lots of casts, I’d have to say this is an accurate description.  

The previous Chromer was even faster and more technical. The Claymore is a friendlier-casting fast-action rod.

Power

Most casts felt rather easy and powerful. A big rod like this is made to handle heavy setups, lines, flies, etc, and must be built with a good amount of power behind it. 

There is plenty of punch in the Claymore to hit the far bank and make long swings.

Presentation

Water entry is less of a worry with two-hand rods. It’s going to be splashy! For swinging purposes, this isn’t going to be a problem. 

Holding my redington Claymore

Lighter swinging setups (dry/skating flies) were surprisingly less splashy than I’d assumed they would be.

While swinging, this Claymore rod had great feel. The rod-to-line feeling is solid and the tip is sensitive enough to feel the fly without being a noodle on the cast.

Redington Claymore Warranty

Redington is always great with their unconditional lifetime warranty. Of course this is covers workmanship and materials. After that,  $25 gets you a new tip. $50 covers any other repair. Discontinued models will cost $95 to repair.

Casting The Redington Claymore

Like all rods, casting the Redington Claymore two-hand fly rod at different distances produced some varied results. This Redington Claymore rod review showed the following: 

0-20 Feet

Anything under 20 feet isn’t gonna be doable as far as loading the rod. After all, your rod is approaching 20ft itself.

For close-in shots, one can simply roll cast to hit close-in pockets. The best thing to do for close-in targets, however (and I’ve hooked plenty of steelhead 10-20 feet out in front of me), is to start well upstream of your intended target and let the current bring your swing down and into your target.  

40-60 Feet

40 ft is finally enough of a shot to have the full shooting head (30ft length) outside the end of the rod tip to make a proper cast. This proper starting point (near the back of the head) is almost always clearly marked, and my Rio Skagit Max Launch is no different.

Simple roll casts or quick D Loop casts will easily launch 40-60 feet without any trouble. This casting distance is almost effortless and easy to control. 

60+ Feet

60-foot shots are no trouble at all with the Redington Claymore.  I’ve had spey rods that top out around 60 and start to feel a bit wimpy as you approach 70.

With the Claymore, this wasn’t the case at all.  70+ foot shots were really no worry. The only slowdown in casting distance came when you started to pass the 100+ft mark. Now, you’re getting close to shooting the entire running line as well. 

(30ft shooting head, 100ft running line)

Here, the previous, slightly faster/more technical Chromer seemed to have enough punch to shoot into your reel backing. 

Cast Styles

There are plenty of spey casts one could make…and even variations of those casts. Here ar three typical casts and how they feel on this 12’ 6” 7wt Redington Claymore rod:

  • D Loop Casts: Great feel, great load, best for shorter to mid/mid-long casts
  • Snap T Casts: Very crisp. My favorite long-distance cast on this rod
  • Perry Poke: Similar to the D loop in feel…best for intermediate length shots on this particular Claymore.

Other Rods That Compare To The Redington Dually

If you’re looking at the Dually, you’re probably looking at a bunch of other rods too. You might be looking at the TFO PRO III-2 hand model or you might be looking at the Echo Swing Switch.  Both are reputable rods and, of course, are comparable to the Dually.

  • Orvis Clearwater II- 2 Hand: $398. lt’s available in an 11.5 ft three weight up to a 15ft 10wt. Some folks love the Orvis name. For this price, it’s going to be another foreign-made rod and don’t get all of the components that you would on those higher-end Orvis rods.
  • Loop Opti NXT: $520. Again, you have a much broader spectrum of available models, but nothing in that switch or the trout spey category. You’re gonna pay a little bit more than you will than the Claymore.
    • No comparable 12.5 ft six weight. There is a 12 ft 6 wt and a 13 ft 6 wt. 
    • Mid/fast action (slower than the Claymore)

Who is the Redington Claymore Fly Rod For?

Intermediate spey casters should really like this rod.  If you have a little bit of experience with two-hand casting and don’t want to break the bank, this is a solid rod for you. It has enough performance that you’ll be able to grow your spey game with this rod.

Redington Claymore

Some advanced casters will also get good use out of this rod. Those who don’t want to spend another $1000+ on another spey rod but want something situationally-specific to fill the quiver will enjoy the Claymore.

Because this is a fast-action rod, I don’t recommend it for beginners. I would suggest starting with something like the Redington Dually instead as it’s a little bit softer/slower flex.

Redington Claymore Review: My Personal Thoughts

As a fan of the previous Chromer, I was very excited to get my hands on the Claymore and see how it performed comparatively.

I have to say, it didn’t disappoint. Aesthetically, it’s not as sleek and refined as the Chromer was but it’s not offensive and is very much aligned with the current Redington look.

Regarding casting and performance, it also was a pleasant surprise. I felt Redington had knocked the performance spey out of the park with the Chromer but, after more practice casts and steelhead swings than I can count, the Claymore has made a very solid impression.

I’m not sure I would say it’s an improvement on the Chromer, BUT, its slightly scaled-back action all but eliminates f***ed-up-cast-frustration! 

FAQs About Redington Claymore Fly Rod

Here are some FAQs about Redington and the Predator lineup:

/yoast

Is Redington a good brand?

Yes. Redington is a reputable company that makes quality gear for the masses. It looks good, fishes well, and costs less than most of the big names.

Are Redington rods made by Sage?

Redington, Sage, and Rio are all owned by a parent company called Far Bank.

Where are Redington fly rods made?

Korea. While the parent company is in Washington, cost-effective rods are not made there.

Is the Chromer or the Claymore a better two-had rod?

This is a bit of a subjective question. The Chromer was a super solid rod! If you’re really good at spey casting, the uber-technical Chromer action may be better for you (although you’d have to search secondary markets for a Chromer). 
The Claymore is still fast action but a bit friendlier that the Chromer as far as casting. More folks will probably appreciate this aspect of the Claymore over the Chromer.

Is the Claymore better for Skagit or Scandi casting?

The Clayomore’s weight and flex are actually very conducive to both styles! Seems like a cop-out answer but that’s the truth. 

Conclusion

My Redington Claymore Fly Rod review reaffirmed my faith in Reddington’s ability to offer performance two-hand rods without having to sell off your car or first-born child. 

Shop The Redington Claymore Fly Rod

View the Redington Claymore Fly Rod and compare prices on AMAZON.

Compare At:
TRIDENT

After the many, many casts made on this 12’ 6” 6wt Claymore, I would confidently put this rod up against many more expensive rods and be happy with the results. There isn’t an intermediate or moderately advanced spey caster I wouldn’t recommend it to. 

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Born and raised in Billings, MT, Nic was blessed to be brought up in an outdoor-minded family. Fishing and hunting were a part of his familial culture. Blame it on my Aquarius birth or some divine design but, from as early as he can remember, he had to be near or in the water. Guiding since the early 2000s, Nic has thousands of hours of fly fishing and guiding experience and has helped hundreds of people get into the sport of fly fishing, or better their skills as anglers.

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