Expert Review: Redington Behemoth Series Fly Reel

Published on 09/15/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2019.
Marshall McDougal, Fly Fishing Expert
By Fly Fishing Expert Marshall McDougal

All photos courtesy of Marshall McDougal

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2019.

My take

The Redington Behemoth is the best bang-for-your-buck reel on the market. For those who don’t want to sacrifice performance but don’t have the budget to spend big money on a reel, this is the perfect reel.

About the reel

  • Model: Behemoth Series Reel
  • Reel Size: 5/6 and7/8
  • Backing Capacity: 200yds/20lb
  • Arbor Size: Large
  • Construction: Die-cast
  • Drag System: Carbon fiber adjustable drag
  • Drag Pressure: N/A

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Dry fly, streamer and saltwater
  • Experience: 16 years of fly fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: April 2019
  • Rod Paired with Reel: TFO Pro III
  • Line Paired Reel: Rio Smallmouth Bass
  • Days tested: 100+
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Rivers, lakes and saltwater flats
  • Species targeted with rod: Bass, trout, carp, redfish, bonefish and striper

How it performs


What I was looking for

When I was looking for a new reel, I wanted something that was reliable and going to be a workhorse to use for seasons to come. Price was a factor, as I use most of these reels to guide with and needed something that fit my budget but did not sacrifice performance.

Why I chose this gear

I ended up going with the Redington Behemoth due to its incredible drag system. These reels were going to be put on 7wt and 8wt rods to target bass, striper, and carp, and they needed to be capable of fighting these fish. I also loved how lightweight these reels were compared to others in their price range. The combination of quality performance, lightweight, and an affordable price point ultimately had me buy four of these reels.

What I love about it

  • Performance: These reels have an incredible drag system. Like all reels that are used for fighting bigger fish, the drag is the most important aspect of the reel. I want to be able to get fish to the net as quickly as possible so they still have energy when I release them. The drag system on the Behemoth is plenty capable of stopping fish in their tracks and getting them to the net.
  • Quality: The quality of the die-cast material is pretty standard for reels in this price range. The drag cap and spool cap are both made of plastic and the reel handle is made of soft touch mold. The quality of the reel is pretty exceptional considering the amount of abuse these reels take each year.
  • Versatility: I believe these reels are very versatile with offerings from a 4wt all the way up to a 12wt. They can be used for both freshwater and saltwater, however, freshwater is going to be a lot easier on them. They do not have a sealed drag system, which knocks the versatility of them down a little. For use in saltwater, one has to take them apart and rinse thoroughly for them to last.
  • Durability: These reels have taken a beating and still perform great. I have had no issues with these breaking on me after three years of use and many days on the water.
  • Use Case: I use these reels mostly for streamer fishing and targeting bass, carp, and striper in freshwater. The drag system is one of the best features on these reels and stands out compared to other reels in its price range.
  • Size: The overall size of the reel is standard for a large arbor 7/8wt reel. It gives me plenty of room for extra backing and is not oversized for a 7wt rod.
  • Drag System: These reels utilize a carbon fiber drag system that is not sealed. This has never been an issue for me and continues to perform exceptionally well.
  • Feel: The Redington Behemoth feels great on the rods I have paired it with. I currently use them on TFO Pro IIIs but have had these reels on many different rods in the past.
  • Build:I have beat the heck out of them day in and day out and they continue to function flawlessly.
  • Features: These reels offer a large arbor, powerful drag, and easily convert from left- to right-handed retrieve.
  • Aesthetics: The Redington Behemoth looks great on rods and comes in six different color options.
  • Warranty: Redington offers a lifetime warranty on the Behemoth.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Versatility: I would not recommend this as a saltwater reel, which keeps these from being as versatile as they could be. If Redington were to make these with a sealed drag, like they do in the Grande model, they would be the most versatile reel on the market. With that being said, I can get away with using it in the salt; I just have to make sure I am cleaning it really well after every use.
  • Drag System: I would prefer a sealed drag on these reels to keep any junk out of them. When using it in freshwater, I clean it after every season. For saltwater, be sure to clean it well after every day.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite memories with this reel have been bass fishing on the Brazos river. These lightweight reels let me cast big flies all day long and allow me to fight fish that are aggressive and like to run. The Behemoth was the perfect choice, as it typically takes a beating when bass fishing and will stand up to any abuse I put them through. The drag is a fish stopper and will help me land any aggressive fish on the fly.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Redington Behemoth usually starts out at $129.99 for the 4/5, 5/6, and 7/8 wt models. It then jumps up to $149.99 for the 9/10 and 11/12wt models. For the money, I think these are the hardest-working reels on the market and are very affordable for the performance I get from them. The Redington Behemoth out performs other reels such as the Orvis Clearwater or Lamson Remix that are similarly priced.

Final verdict

I will continue to use these reels on most all of my guiding set ups. They have excellent performance and are priced exceptionally well.

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