Redington Crosswater Rod Review (Hands-on & Tested)

Read this review of the Redington Crosswater fly rod before you make your purchase. It’ll help you solidify your decision to buy it.

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After using, testing, and fishing with the Redington Crosswater, we bring you this full, hands-on review.

Throughout the past few decades, Redginton has continued to produce quality gear for extremely reasonable prices. Some of the most underrated products they sell are their fly fishing rods. The Redington Crosswater is near the top of the list for the ideal beginner or backup fly rod.

We tested the 9′ 5-weight Crosswater. It’s built to be fished on a few different types of freshwater, so anglers can take advantage of its versatility.

The reviews on Amazon are high with over 80 people giving the rod 4.5 stars. We wanted to see if the rod lived up to the hype.

Redington Crosswater Rod

Order the Redington Crosswater Rod on Amazon.

Redington Crosswater Rod

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Why Trust My Redington Crosswater Rod Review?

First, we purchased the rod ourselves, so we had no expectations to provide any bias. Plus, at Into Fly Fishing, we pride ourselves on giving fair and accurate reviews. We don’t review any gear we haven’t personally used.

I was able to spend time casting the rod at a local park for a while before I even hit the water. Once I got to the water, I spent the morning and afternoon fishing with it in a variety of situations.

Redington Crosswater Fly Rod (1)

I was able to get a good feel of this rod on a windy day in water that was flowing around 1000 CFS. They weren’t the easiest fishing conditions, so I felt as if I gave it a good test.

What’s in the Box?

When you receive the Crosswater, you’ll get a rod bag as well as the rod. It does not come with a rod tube, so keep that in mind before you purchase it. I placed the rod in an extra rod tube I had because I didn’t want the rod floating around my car and garage in just the rod bag.

Redington Crosswater Rod Review

I’d recommend doing the same.

Redington Crosswater Price

Depending on the sales on Amazon, anglers are able to get this rod for anywhere from $60 to $100. This is a phenomenal deal for how high quality this rod has proven to be.

Few entry-level rods are this affordable. Those that are generally don’t have the same quality as the Redington Crosswater.

Redington Crosswater Rod Features & Specs

Build Quality

The Redington Crosswater is made with graphite. The graphite itself has alignment dots, so you have a bit easier time assembling the rod. The reel seat is made of anodized machined aluminum, so it not only has a stylish look, but it locks down smoothly.

Redington Crosswater Fly Rod Review

The threads and blank are covered in a decent layer of resin, so if you do happen to drop it on a rock or in the parking lot, it’s not going to get too scratched. Redington understood that many beginners do accidentally drop rods or get them snagged in trees or bushes.

Redington Crosswater Rod

Order the Redington Crosswater Rod on Amazon.

Redington Crosswater Rod

The guides and cork are both solid and hold up after many uses. The guides are made of light aluminum, so they have plenty of strength, but they don’t add too much to the overall weight of the rod. Even on the hottest days, the rod doesn’t slip out of your hand, so the cork is definitely a positive.

Overall, at 3.9 ounces, anglers are getting a fairly light rod that is clearly built with care.

Action

The Redington Crosswater has a medium-fast action. As a result, it’s a more versatile option that can fit in well in a variety of different fishing conditions. After spending a day with it, I’d say that it sits more on the medium side of a medium-fast action rod. The windier conditions give it some trouble unless you’re using a bit heavier flies.

When hooking into a fish, you get a great bend in the rod, and most sized fish are a blast to fight. You’re able to get them into your net in a reasonable time, so the fish aren’t harmed, but you definitely feel every head shake and movement.

You aren’t going to punch through winds directly into your face or fight a salmon with this rod, but you’ll hold your own against a 15-20 inch trout and a decent breeze. It definitely has limits, but that’s understandable due to the medium-fast action. As long as you understand its strength and weaknesses, you’ll love the rod.

Presentation

The Crosswater is able to present flies softly and well. I could throw my nymphs, dries, and even streamers without too much trouble at all. Whether it was the calmer sections of water or more rough sections, I could get my fly to where I wanted and make my mends.

I’m not always the most accurate caster, so I tend to rely on my ability to mend. My rods need to respond well, so even if my presentations aren’t perfect, I can make a quick mend and get everything on the right track. The Crosswater responded extremely quickly, so I had a few issues with how it presented flies even after my poor casts.

I tend to fish in mountain streams, rivers, and lakes that are extremely clear with spooky fish. As a result, I need a rod that’s going to lay down my flies gently. Since this rod was so easy to cast, I had more time and energy to focus on making sure my flies were in the right place.

Short Distance Accuracy

At short distances, the Crosswater thrives. Anything 30 feet or shorter is easy. Streamers, nymphs, and dries are easy to get wherever you would like. Roll casts, river loading casts, and traditional casts weren’t hard to do.

I could pick my spot, make a few back casts and get the fly exactly where I would like. It was more accurate than almost every other entry-level rod I’ve used.

Long Distance Accuracy

I was able to cast the Redington Crosswater upwards of 55 or 60 feet in calmer conditions with few issues. The rod loaded very well and I was able to shoot my line with ease. When the wind picked up or I was using heavier flies, the Crosswater ran into some issues.

The rod would struggle to punch through those tougher conditions. I really had to force my fly into a few different areas, but for the most part, the rod is going to handle everything within 50 or so feet quite well.

I really enjoyed the challenge of trying longer casts with the Crosswater. It always gave you the feel that it was able to make longer casts than you thought. I definitely had confidence in it.

Watch the Redington Crosswater Review Video

YouTube video

Redington Crosswater: My Personal Thoughts

Redington Crosswater Rod

Order the Redington Crosswater Rod on Amazon.

Redington Crosswater Rod

As soon as I started casting the rod, I knew it fit me well. The more beginner-friendly build felt like some of the extremely affordable rods I used in my early fly fishing career. I was able to shoot the line with ease, pick any spot within 60 feet, and put my dries and nymphs exactly where I wanted. I needed little effort to get the flies where I wanted. The rod felt like an extension of my hand.

I found that the rod lacked power when I started throwing some of my streamer patterns in windier conditions. Yes, it’s a more budget-friendly build, but it’s still a 5-weight, so I was hoping that it was going to have a bit more of a backbone. The medium-fast action was plenty sensitive, but I felt as if it was lacking in the “fast” part.

I felt like the rod had a bit of wiggle when I was making my forward casts with heavier flies or on longer distance casts. This small wiggle can make a big difference in how the flies are presented. It wasn’t every time, but when the wind would pick up or if I was using a heavier bead-head, the rod became its own worst enemy.

There are certain rods that I know I’ll always use regardless of my skill or budget. I couldn’t help but love the bright blue finish and smooth feel. I’m not always excited to pick up a rod and cast it. I care more about landing fish. However, the Redington Crosswater made me excited to cast. I found myself making extra back casts just for fun. Finding the rhythm with this rod was easy right from the beginning.

I would recommend this rod to anyone looking to enjoy the beauty and art that casting a fly rod becomes. You’ll have all the tools to land the fish, but the casting becomes just as fun of a test.

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My name is Danny Mooers and I’ve been fly fishing for five years. As soon as I went to college, I dove headfirst into my obsession for fly angling. Every spare weekend or long break was dedicated to finding fish. I’ve fished all over North America in search of trout, salmon, steelhead and everything in between. I currently write articles for Guide Recommended and Reel Adventure Fishing. Fly angling is one of the most challenging yet rewarding hobbies any person can have. Don’t be afraid to give it a try.  It’s an addicting activity that tests everything from your fine motor skills to your patience, but it’s well worth your time.

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