Redington Rise III Fly Reel Review (Hands-on Tried & Tested)

Dive into our brief Redington Rise III Fly Reel review, highlighting its standout features and performance for avid fly fishing enthusiasts.

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This Redington Rise III Fly Reel review is an in-depth, real-world review after hours and hours, and days and days on the water.

As a professional fly guide for the past 15 years and a fly fishing-only sportsman for the past 35, I’ve seen plenty of reels come and go. I’ve seen a lot of situations where some reels really perform and others fall short.

For this review, I’ve paired the reel with different rods and lines. I’ve tested and tested, disassembled and reassembled, did drag pulls, and fished this reel hard. After about three years of using this reel, here’s what I’ve found…

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Why Trust My Redington Rise III Fly Reel Review?

You won’t find anything in our reviews that we haven’t personally tried and tested. We’re not rinsing and reusing found information…we’re putting in the time and effort to get a real-world feel with this gear.3

Photo of my Redington Rise III

This reel has been in the personal armory for three years. For this Redington Rise III Fly Fishing Reel review, I fished it and used it pretty hard. I use it with friends and clients. As a guide, I get to see how others handle and interact with the reel and see it get a lot of use and abuse in a short period of time.

How I Fished The Redington Rise III Fly Reel

I’ve been using the Redington Rise III Fly Reel in a 9/10 configuration for my spey setup. More discussion will follow on available sizes but, this particular reel is paired with my 7wt 13ft Redington spey rod.

Skagit spey line is a very thick and heavy line to carry your spey (water loaded, D-loop, Snap-T, etc.) cast long distances. This line takes up quite a bit more space in the reel than a standard trout floating or sinking line. For this reason, I paired the 9/10 Rise reel with my 7wt rod and line.

The reel has seen long days in the boat, miles and miles of walks on the rocky shores of northwestern rivers, and plenty of travel crammed in the back of the vehicle or spot-hopping tucked under the wiper blade on my windshield.

It’s been handled, dropped in the boat, dropped on the rocks and in the water, and has seen a lot of handling from a lot of folks. It’s been cast and cast and swung and swung and has battled some very feisty steelhead along the way.

What’s In The Box?

The Redington Rise III Fly Reel comes in a box similar to most fly reels. This one is a craft style box with the typical red Redington logo, tucking tab type box lid.

Redington Rise III What's In the Box

The Reel Caddy

The first thing you’ll find is, as usual, the reel tucked into a reel caddy. The Redington reel caddy is a quality black nylon caddy with a bit of padding sewn in. It is a little bulkier and less “pretty” or sleek than other reel companies but it offers great reel protection.

The caddy is a velcro-flap closure style caddy which, to me, is a superior design vs a sock or drawstring bag/sack.

The velcro flap allows the reel to be attached to the rod and the caddy to be placed over the reel with the flap wrapping over the rod handle. This offers great protection when storing or transporting your rod/reel setup.

The Reel

The Redington Rise III Fly Reel is contained within the reel caddy. First feel and impressions are pretty good. the weight of the reel, for as big as my reel is, isn’t overbearing at all. The Rise III is a definite aesthetic step up from the Rise II with long, thin spool spokes, an open spool (porting) design, and a dramatic V-shape housing on the drag side of the casing.

The reel looks modern, clean, and looks like a true large-arbor reel. The Rise II version was listed as a large arbor but its measurements were a little more medium to medium large in reality.

This newer Rise III definitely has a bigger diameter than the previous version. The Rise II had a somewhat classic look where the Rise III is undoubtedly a modern looking reel.

Redington Rise III Review Features & Specs

In my review of the Redington Rise III Fly Reel, the main objectives were to assess the available configurations, weight, warranty, sound, reel handle, drag knob, retrieval rate, spool changing, build quality, ergonomics, and price point. Here’s what I found:

Redington Rise 3 photo

Available Configurations

Redington offers four weight options for the Rise III reel: a 3/4wt, a 5/6wt, a 7/8wt and (my reel) a 9/10wt.

Each of the four weight options are available in some classic colors and some fun, “very Redington” colors.

  • Classic colors: Silver, Black
  • Other Colors: Olive Green, Amber (a gold/orange color), and Amethyst (lighter purple frame with a black spool)

Keep it clean and classic, match your reel to your rod, or simply let your personality show.

Weight

The physical weight of the reel is not as heavy as I’d imagined a large size, large-arbor reel to be. With the 9/10 weighing in at 6.3 oz, it puts itself in the lighter of the pack of the below-mentioned comparison reels (see “How The Redington Rise III Fly Reel Compares”).

The 3/4 weighs in at 4oz, the 5/6 at 4.6, the 7/8 at 5.5oz. The open design and build process/materials (discussed below) make it a great candidate for those wanting a lighter reel, especially at this price point.

Warranty

Redington offers a limited lifetime warranty to the original buyer. And defects in materials and workmanship are covered. This does not include negligence, neglect, abuse, or alterations of any kind.

Sound

The Redington Rise III has a rather pleasant, light sound. Personally, I’m a fan. I’m not a loud, screaming reel kind of guy. I prefer to disrupt the natural feel of being on the water as little as possible. Also, in stealthy situations, there’s nothing more annoying than needing to quickly strip a bunch of line off a loud reel.

Those who really like to hear their reel scream as a fish pulls line might look elsewhere. For me, the light retrieve and pull out sounds are both good, subtle indicators but not annoying or intrusive a all.

Reel Handle

The reel handle on the Redington Rise III is a firm plastic handle with a rubber surrounding grip. The grip flares at the end making holding on easier and the tacky feel of the rubber keep sweaty or wet fingers from slipping.

Redington Rice 3 face down

If you demand a bombproof metal handle, a higher end reel is probably what you’ll want. For most, this handle is very comfortable and works just fine.

Drag Knob

The drag knob is large and easy to turn. It’s an aluminum wheel with good grip and just the right amount of touch (not too hard or too easy to turn). It does take a bit of turning to adjust the drag up or down but there are other reels that take even more turning than this one.

This one won’t bite or release too quickly either. I find “quick engage” dials a bit cumbersome as it’s easy to add too much drag or to lighten the drag too quickly. The Rise III’s drag knob is a good middle ground.

Retrieval Rate

The upgraded large arbor over the Rise series II reel in much improved. Depending on the model of Rise III, each turn will pick up 6-8 inches per full turn.

Redington Rise Spool

Changing Spools

Changing spools on the Redington Rise III Fly Reel is a breeze. The logo on the front of the spool is actually a push button. With a push of the button, the spool pops right out.

I prefer this Redington Rise III spool mechanism over a twist dial any day. If your not careful with a twist dial spool release, parts could drop into the water, rocks, etc. and be difficult to find.

I have stated that I like the non-mechanical spool release of Lamson reels too. The downfall for Lamson spools is, if you’re not ready, you can easily drop/smack/chip/dent your spool when popping it out. This Redington system seems to be a good compromise.

Finish

The Rise III’s finish is a pretty decent one. It’s got a bit of shine and aids in the protection of the aluminum spool and housing. As I’ve had my reel for years now, I can tell you that the finish does add decent protection but it’s not the best finish on the market.

This reel will scuff over time and maybe a little more than a harder finish on another higher end reel. However, for what you’re paying on the Rise III, it’s hard to complain about the finish.

Drag System

Redington’s Rise III employs a fairly compact carbon fiber disc drag system. The drag housing is fully sealed keeping it protected from dirt, debris, and saltwater use.

After many off-water drag pulls and lots of fish caught, I can say that the drag is definitely decent for the price. You’re not going to get a ton of stopping power but it’s more than adequate for most freshwater applications and light saltwater use.

Build Material & Durability

The Rise III is a fully machined bar stock aluminum body and spool. The rigidity of the material is quite nice as it’s resisted any sort of warping over the years of use.

The machined aluminum and the modern, thin-spoke, open-spool design helps keeps this reel surprisingly light. Additionally, all the openness allows air to contact even the deepest wraps of backing cutting down significantly on line drying time.

The overall material and durability has so far exceeded expectations.

Overall Ergonomics

The ergonomics of the Redington Rise III Fly Reel are fairly good. The above mentioned reel handle is quite comfortable and the drag knob easy enough to find and engage with.

In hand and during on-rod-use, the overall ergonomics are pretty decent. Its narrower spool width, overall reel shape, handle, and drag knob are definitely more comfortable than most reels in its price point.

Price Point

With all the features listed above and the fact that it’s lasted me years and years with no downturn in usability or performance, one might overestimate the cost of the reel.

Knowing Redington, however, you might already know that you’re not going to pay a moth’s wages to acquire this reel.

The 3/4 and 5/6 retail for $219.

The 7/8 and 9/10 retail for $249.

Seems like quite a fair deal, even paying more for the larger size reels (as they require more material and machining).

How The Redington Rise III Fly Reel Compares

If you’re looking at the Redington Rise III fly reel, you may have also looked at the Lamson Remix, the TFO NTR, or the Spectrum or Spectrum C from Sage.

Redington Rise III Pouch

I’m always a fan of Lamson, however, with the Remix, you’re getting a cast spool set into a machined frame. The Rise, on the other hand, is fully machined aluminum.

The NTR is also in the same price point as the Rise III. If you’re a cork drag fan, the NTR is your reel. I do like the Rise’s carbon fiber disc though, and the NTR is quite a bit heavier too.

Sage does make decent reels. If you want the fully machined Spectrum, you’ll have to pay about a hundred bucks more than the Rise III. If you want to save some money and go for the Spectrum C, you’re dropping that machined aluminum for an all cast reel and spool and gaining some weight to save a bit of dough.

Redington Rise III Review: My Personal Thoughts

Pros:

  • All machined bar stock aluminum
  • Tons of performance for the price
  • Great looking, large arbor, modern reel

Cons:

  • Drag isn’t super tough
  • Finish does help prevent dings but it’s not as good as other reels
  • Can’t decide on rubber handle grip

It’s hard to name a reel at this price that performs as well as the Rise III. You’re getting a lot of reel with good features at a very reasonable cost.

However, if you need stopping power, look elsewhere. The finish doesn’t seem as tough as other reels and the rubber grip does feel alight (and prevents slipping) but it looks a little cheesy.

FAQs About Redington Rise III Fly Reel

Getting more answers usually raises more questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Redington and the review of the Redington Rise III Fly Reel:

Who owns Redington?

Far Bank Corp owns Redington, Sage, and Rio. Both Sage and Redington are headquartered Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Why is Redington less expensive?

Redington is designed in the US but is made overseas with contracted manufacturers. Redington still upholds high manufacturing standards but has better access to less expensive parts and labor.

What makes a machined reel?

Machined reels are cut/formed/sanded (machined) from a solid chunk of aluminum.

What is a cast reel?

Cast reels use molten metals (aluminum) poured into a form/cast.

What makes a machined reel better/more expensive than a cast reel?

Machined aluminum retains its rigidity and lightweight characteristics while the melting process of casting a reel changes the physical properties of the aluminum. The machining process is more labor intensive than casting, thus the price differences.

Is reel drag the most important factor?

No. Drag is a factor for sure but personal preference does play a part. For most freshwater applications, a light to moderated drag is just fine. For big, hard-fighting species, especially big saltwater species, drag is a much more important consideration.

Look at the situation holistically. A sealed, tough drag will increase the price of the reel. For trout and bass, many don’t rely on drag to stop a fish. A little drag and fighting finesse go hand-in-hand. Price, arbor size, weight, etc. may be just as important.

What are the biggest differences between the Redington Rise II and Rise III?

The Rise III is a definite upgrade from the Rise II. The Rise III’s arbor is much larger. The fully machined spool and frame of the Rise III are lighter and more modern compared to the Rise II’s fuller coverage and more classic look.

The Rise III has a bit better drag, better line pickup, and better line drying (due to the open-spoke design).

The Verdict

The overall bottom line on the Redington Rise III Fly Reel is pretty solid. As per usual, you’re going to get some good bang for your buck when choosing Redington. The Rise III, however, sets itself above the rest with a higher-end look and decent drag.

Shop The Redington Rise III

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Photo of my Redington Rise III

While I wouldn’t call it bombproof, the machining and finish are pretty solid on this reel. The large arbor is a huge upgrade from the last version, and the modern aesthetic/colors will get looks from other fisher-folks.

The Rise III should suit intermediate fishers who want a great reel for a great price and don’t want to outgrow their reel in just a season or two. Guides and Advanced fishers who want some decent performance and looks while saving some dough can also appreciate it. I draw the line just above light saltwater though, and would recommend stepping up into a better drag/better reel for serious salt fanatics.

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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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