Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fly Product: TLTFF Review of the Redington Dually Switch

A few months ago, Redington's news of a spey/switch hit the interweb and spread like a wildfire. The Dually was announced in June through Pitch Engine and released a month or two later. Having only used a spey rod once or twice before, I wasn't too sure how this review was going to go. But then the perfect trip unfolded for the Dually...Pulaski, NY.

Here's a little bit about the Redington Dually from their site...

Our new collection of switch and Spey rods are built for high-end performance and sweet style at less than half the cost of the competition. Half the cost! The Dually offers an array of modern cosmetics, with a traditional cork handle and reel seat, and a burgundy matte finish. This thing casts and flows tips like fine wine. Two hands are better than one.

  • Two handed series with offerings in both heavy and lighter weights
  • Custom full-cork handles/reel seat
  • Suggested grain weights on all rod artwork
  • Alignment dots
  • Lifetime Warranty

Click below to...

Redington gave this rod the name Dually because it is offered in both Spey and Switch models, all 4-piece. With the slogan "Two Hands and Better Than One", I think Redington is headed in the right direction for marketing this product. But what makes it all that much better...its half the price of most of the competition and comes in at only $249.95. All models come in at that low price. I like the fact that the price isn't prorated from a base price so that the customer has all the options open for a new rod while shopping and won't make a selection based on price, but rather necessity.

The Dually is offered in an 10'9" 4wt, 11' 5wt, 11' 6wt, 11'3" 7wt, and 11'9" 8wt for the switch models and 12'6" 6wt, 13' 7wt, and 13'6" 8wt for the spey models. The switch models come with Handle A and the spey models come with Handle B for the 12'6" 6wt and Handle C for the other two spey models, all shown below.

I received the Dually in the 11' 4-piece 6wt switch model, ideal for the type of fishing Mike Percelli had in mind for us up in Pulaski, indicator fishing. With the Dually being the first switch rod I had ever used, it was an excellent one to not only hone my skills on, but get a feel of the type of fishing we were doing with. At first look, I was impressed by the color scheme of the rod and lightweight design. I also LOVED that the suggested grain weights were on the rod artwork. For those of you with big shooting head or spey/switch line wallets, I'm sure you'd appreciate this too. Looking right on the rod rather than finding a cell/internet signal on your phone to look on Redington's site for suggested grain weights, is pretty ergonomically ideal. The rod comes in a custom cordura rod sock and tube that matches the color scheme of the rod, awesome.

For the length of the rod I knew I was putting together, I imagined it to be significantly heavier, but once it was put together and in hand, I realized I was completely wrong. While putting it together, I couldn't help but notice and smile at one of my favorite features for any rod, alignment dots. I'm always one who loves a hook minder/holder near the handle, but as I review and try more and more rods, I realize that this feature, although on of my favorites, is being fazed out. Its not a huge downfall, and this feature comes down to personal preference, but I felt this took away from the rod, minimally. I love a 4-piece configuration on any rod, single or double hand, primarily because of its ability to travel well and with the longer length of this rod, thats ideal.

Photo via Red'FlyFishing.com

I wasn't too impressed with the traditional cork handle and reel seat either, its really just not my cup of tea, but that was my personal opinion as well and I wasn't going to let that get in the way of the review, especially when it comes down to performance.

I spooled up with Sage EVOKE 8 reel with RIO's Switch Rod Series Switch/Spey #6 line. Its a 420gr Switch Chucker that matches up with the 11' 6wt in a perfect marriage since the recommended grain weights of this model are 375-425gr. I've grown so used to lining up my rods (8wt line on a 7wt rod, etc), that I was a bit hesitant throwing a #6 line on a 6wt, but it was extremely comforting having a line and rod match up as they were designed to when the "weight designation" system came into place.

I then thought back to my initial impression of the lightweight design and wondered if maybe this would actually be a disadvantage when casting a heavier (420gr) line, that the overall weight of the line would translate to a lack of backbone, my presuppositions were completely off. This rod, when given the proper space and lined correctly, can cast a country mile. It can also fight a Steelhead as if that was its sole purpose through design.

While casting this rod, I realized that if I had a blindfold on and were handed this rod without knowing the make, I would be able to say it was a Redington rod. I own about 4 or 5 rods from Redington and the feel of one of their rods is unique to the brand, the Dually fits that mold perfectly. What made it all that much more sweeter, was the fact that Farbank (maker of RIO, Redington, and Sage) apparently gave this rod a touch of Sage, giving you a higher quality than what you pay for. Needless to say, I was extremely comfortable with the Dually in hand.

While up on my trip to the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY, I took the Dually and my single-handed Redington Path 9wt with me everyday giving me the opportunity to try both types of fishing on water and fish I had never fished (salmon and steelhead). I fished the Path for the beginning of the first day, to get a feel for the fish. Within the first hour, I had hooked, landed, and handed my first Steelhead. I had an amazing feel for their power and was ready to switch over to the Dually (no pun intended).

Before long, I was shooting line and comfortably swinging flies on the river. With flows slightly higher and the fish running fierce, the RIO Switch line did its job perfectly bringing one hookup after another (unfortunately not nearly as many fish to hand). When we moved and fished other water, that wasn't ideal for spey casting, we began to indicator fish and having that 11' length was more than perfect for casting the line out, mending it, and keeping distance between me and my fly.

When it came to casting the Dually, I could feel the power of the cast transfer from the bottom to the top of this rod with an amazingly fluid flow. Again going back to the weight of the rod, compared to other models I've used such as the Allen Fly Fishing Olympic and TFO Deer Creek, the Dually does have a slight disadvantage with power, but that said, it gets the job done, for sure. There is a bit more flex in the tip than I expected, again compared to other brands I've used, but it did not hinder the cast and stroke one bit. When given the "wiggle test" (holding the rod out assembled and wiggling it to see how quickly it snaps back into alignment), it snapped back straight faster than most of my single-handlers, putting yet another smile on my face.

I was able to match the Dually up against my second Steelhead and a few salmon which gave me an amazing idea of the backbone and fighting ability of this rod. I was a bit underpowered against the salmon I hooked which is probably why, out of fear of breaking the rod, I broke them off. When it came to the Steelhead, wow. What an fair fight! The backbone of the Dually allowed me to break the fish and maneuver it into a safe landing zone but also gave me the pleasure of feeling the power behind the fish and enjoyment of a 5+ minute fight up and down the river. Having the bottom handle was perfect for pressing against my forearm and getting the leverage I needed to give the fish a good, controlled fight. I never found fault in the cork handle and reel seat, performance was flawless.

Overall, this rod is perfect for those just getting into the two-handed game or who have fished two-handers their whole life. For your money, you can't go wrong by picking this rod. From the design down to the performance, this rod hit the nail right on the head. I think this rod may have jump started an addiction for me, into the two-handed game. Up until this review and my Pulaski trip, I had only casted a two-hander into salt from a jetty or beach and once or twice into a stream just to learn casting technique. After having the pleasure of casting the Dually and knocking two fish off my bucket list with it, I can honestly say its a technique within the sport I am very comfortable with now (and I attribute that comfort to the Dually). Ascetics were the only downside to this rod in my personal opinion from the perspective of the lack of hook minder and presence of a cork reel seat. Putting my saying of "Look Good. Feel Good. Fish Good." aside, I couldn't think of anything, not one fault that would hinder the rating of this rod. That all said, and with the review in mind, the Redington Dually Switch received a perfect 5 out of 5 stars.

A huge thanks goes out again to Kara from Backbone Media for setting up this review and to Redington for making one of the best two-handed rods we've had the privilege of casting (and for helping make my Pulaski experience above and beyond what I ever expected).

Be sure to check out Redington on their site and through their social media outlets of FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Vimeo for more updates, photos, and promos.

*This review was completely unbiased and this rod was lent to us for review purposes only. This review, as with all of our reviews, was completely fair with no intentions coming into it of giving it a "good" or "bad" rating. We do our best to keep all reviews as fair as possible with biases being thrown out the door.


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