Expert Review: Redington Behemoth Fly Reel

Published on 08/15/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in August 2018.
Danny Salinas, Fly Fishing Expert
By Fly Fishing Expert Danny Salinas

All photos courtesy of Danny Salinas

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in August 2018.

My take

The Redington Behemoth is a value-based reel that will put the brakes to almost any fish one may encounter. It is a great reel for the beginner to intermediate angler.

About the reel I own

  • Model: Redington Grande 5/6
  • Reel Size: 5/6 weight
  • Backing Capacity: 125yds/20lb
  • Arbor Size: Large arbor
  • Construction: Cast aluminum
  • Drag System: Unsealed but capped carbon-fiber drag
  • Drag Pressure: 16lbs

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): All around, including nymphing, dry flies, streamers, both in freshwater and saltwater
  • Experience: 10+ years of fly fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: August 2018
  • Rod Paired with Reel: Various—TFO Legacy, Blue Ribbon, Moonshine Drifter, Fenwick Aetos, and others
  • Line Paired with Reel: I have used this with Scientific Anglers MPX WF5F line and Scientific Anglers Sonar Titan Sink Tip WF-5-F/S
  • Days tested: 40 days
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater lakes and rivers
  • Species targeted with reel: Trout and bass

How it performs


What I was looking for

After fly fishing on and off for a few years with my entry level gear, I was looking to finally upgrade and do a lot more fishing. I was looking for something budget friendly that was better than the composite (plastic) reel that came with my beginner setup, and I wanted a reel that could handle fishing in Texas and Colorado.

Why I chose this gear

I ended up choosing the Redington Behemoth for a few different reasons: first, it fit my budget for a reel under $130. It also had a large arbor reel, a ton of drag, and, well, it looked cool to boot! I also considered the Lamson Liquid reel, but I liked the appearance of the Behemoth more.

What I love about it

  • Performance: I have used this reel with so many rods over the last few years as I upgraded and tried out different rods. This reel is big and bulky, but it never felt out of place with any of the rods I tried. The reel drag can be adjusted to where I can pull line off easily without creating a backlash.
  • Quality: The reel is made from cast aluminum that looks fantastic and feels solid in my hand. I never have to worry if it will fail me when I need it most.
  • Versatility: This reel has handled every situation so far and with more than enough drag to handle every fish I’ve caught. These include: bass, trout, sunfish, and one random spotted gar. This reel should be able to handle any size fish one is targeting for the appropriate-sized reel. But I wouldn’t try catching huge pike with a 5/6 wt reel.
  • Durability: While cast aluminum can be a little fragile, this reel is still in good shape besides some scratches and nicks. Redington offers a lifetime warranty on their reels. In the event it’s damaged beyond use, they will repair it for a small fee.
  • Use Case: This reel can be considered an all-around reel for just about any situation. However if one is looking for something ultralight, look elsewhere.
  • Size: This large arbor reel in a 5/6 configuration matched up well with my 5wt rods. Though if something slightly smaller is necessary, the 4/5 size might be a better fit for a slightly lighter reel.
  • Build: These reels are made in Korea utilizing a cast-aluminum construction.
  • Aesthetics: The reel comes in several color options, but mine is a matte black that is eye catching with its beautiful porting.
  • Features: This reel can be swapped between left or right hand. I use a spare spool to easily switch between floating and sink-tip line.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Drag System: The Behemoth has made a name for itself by having one of the strongest drags of any reel! The drag, however, is capped, but not sealed, and will need maintenance when fishing in dirty conditions.** **Though the drag strength is second to none, if one is looking for a sealed drag, maybe consider the Lamson Liquid instead.
  • Feel: This reel is a tank. And while it balanced well with the entry-model rods I was initially using, it feels much heavier compared to the higher-end reels and rods I’m using now. This reel is certainly a bit heavier than say a Redington Run or Lamson Liquid.

Favorite moment with this gear

I have a lot of memories with this reel, as I used it with multiple setups before I ended up upgrading into higher-end equipment. One of my favorites was when I hooked into an almost-five-pound largemouth bass while in my kayak. The extra drag was helpful to keep the fish from heading into some sticks and breaking me off.

Value for the money vs. other options

For their price, these reels are hard to beat—especially for an angler looking for a reel that can handle bigger species who might actually test the drag. While not a sealed drag, with some normal maintenance this reel will last and handle saltwater if needed. If a sealed drag is necessary, the Lamson Liquid Reel has this feature for a similar price point.

Final verdict

The Behemoth Fly Reel is a tank of a reel that will put a stop to any fish who wants to test its drag. It is a great entry-level reel for most applications that will last for several years to come.

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