Expert Review: Redington Grande Fly Reels

Published on 03/30/2023 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2021.
Danny Salinas, Fly Fishing Expert
By Fly Fishing Expert Danny Salinas

This was when I first got the reel and it paired up great with the TFO Axiom II-X. 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 May of 2021.

My take

The Redington Grande Reel is a great reel for anglers of all skill levels who are looking for a budget-friendly option that is made from fully machined aluminum, includes a fully sealed drag system, and can handle the biggest of fish and the toughest of conditions.

This is a redfish I landed with the Grande

About the reel I own

  • Model: Redington Grande
  • Reel Size: 7/8/9wt
  • Backing Capacity: 200yds/30lbs
  • Arbor Size: Large arbor
  • Construction: Full-machined aluminum
  • Drag System: Fully sealed carbon fiber drag
  • Drag Pressure: Not advertised

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Freshwater and saltwater, but I prefer the Redington Grande for saltwater.
  • Experience: 10+ years of fly fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: May 2021
  • Rod Paired with Reel: TFO Axiom II-X 890-4
  • Line Paired with Reel: Rio Premier Summer Redfish WF8F
  • Days tested: 20
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Saltwater—Texas Gulf Coast
  • Species targeted with reel: Redfish, speckled trout, black drum

How it performs


What I was looking for

I was in search of an upgraded saltwater reel that didn’t break the bank. I was upgrading from the Redington Behemoth, which is a good reel to start with but doesn’t come with a sealed drag and is made from cast aluminum.

Why I chose this gear

I picked this reel because it was fully machined, had a sealed drag, I loved the color, and it wasn’t going to break the bank. There are not a whole lot of options for a fully machined reel with a sealed drag meant for saltwater under $300, but I did look into the Orvis Hydros and Lamson Remix as well.

This is what my Grande looks like after two years plus of use

What I love about it

  • Performance: The reel is on the heavy side, so one does have to make sure it balances well with the chosen rod. It’s a perfect fit for my TFO Axiom II-X. It feels solid and is easy to adjust the drag.
  • Quality: While made overseas, this reel is solid and sharp looking. It comes with a fully anodized paint that hasn’t peeled, nor has it allowed any rust to form.
  • Versatility: This reel is meant for big-game fish and fish that will test the drag. The fully sealed drag and fully anodized coating make it ideal for saltwater and other tough conditions.
  • Durability: While this reel does come with a lifetime warranty, I’ve had no cause to use it so far.
  • Use Case: I use the Grande as my saltwater reel, and I mainly target redfish here on the Texas coast flats. The reel has a strong drag system that can slow down a redfish run but still can be adjusted to protect my leader.
  • Size: I went with a 7/8/9wt reel, as it pairs best with my 8wt fly rod and gives me enough backing capacity to handle the fish I’m targeting.
  • Drag System: The Redington Grande has a fully sealed drag that feels smooth when used; the drag knob is easy to grab on to during a fight and can be tuned in to ensure I land a fish. The benefit of having a sealed drag is that it can handle the tough conditions of saltwater or muddy waters. However, it should still be rinsed off with freshwater afterward to ensure a longer lifespan.
  • Build: These reels are made overseas by Redington but are made from fully CNC machined aluminum; the build quality on mine is great and features no defects.
  • Aesthetics: Aesthetics don’t catch fish, but I’m still a sucker for a good-looking reel. I went with the Redington Grande for the look of its eye-catching marine color that matches my rod.
  • Features: One can purchase spare spools for this reel, with easy instructions on how to switch the retrieve.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Feel: While it feels like a solid reel, the Reddington Grande is heavy—weighing in at 7.9oz for the 7/8/9wt reel. It pairs great with my TFO Axiom II-X but not so much with my Douglas Sky G. In comparison, my newest 8wt, the Lamson M8, comes in at 5.7oz. I can certainly tell the difference after fishing with it all day.

Favorite moment with this gear

I was fairly new to saltwater fly fishing when I got this reel, but with it, I caught my first redfish and, subsequently, many more. I always take this setup (Redington Grande/TFO Axiom II-X) when I head down to the coast.

Value for the money vs. other options

I recommend this reel to those looking for a trusty, budget-friendly saltwater option that can handle big fish and tough conditions. Reels made in the USA, such as the Orvis Mirage, Ross Evolution Salt, Tibor, or Lamson M, cost two to three times as much—but sometimes the budget just doesn’t allow it. However, more expensive options are generally lighter weight.

Final verdict

For those looking for a quality reel that is made to handle big fish and tough conditions and who aren’t looking to spend a fortune, the Redington Grande is certainly an option to consider.

  • We price match
  • Returnable

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