Expert Review: Redington Zero Series ReelPublished on 04/06/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the fishing reel, which I purchased with my own money in July of 2019.
All photos courtesy of Nathan Campanelli
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the fishing reel, which I purchased with my own money in July of 2019.
The Redington Zero Series Reel is a fun-to-use and well-made reel. It is ideal for beginners to very experienced anglers.
About the reel I own
- Model: 2019 Redington Zero Fly Fishing Reel
- Reel Size: 4/5wt
- Backing Capacity: 100 yards of 20lb backing
- Arbor Size: Large Arbor
- Construction: Durable Die-Cast
- Drag System: Clicker Drag
- Preferred fishing style(s): Dry fly, nymphing, streamers, saltwater
- Experience: 10+ years of fly fishing
- When I bought this: July 2019
- Rod Paired with Reel: 4wt “The Drifter” Moonshine Rod
- Line Paired with Reel: Scientific Anglers Amplitude 4wt fly line
- Days tested: 50+
- Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater, rivers, and lakes
- Species targeted with reel: Trout
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was in the market for an affordable reel that could hold its own in small to medium rivers and streams. I did extensive research and eventually found the Redington Zero. I was sold when I saw its price and the amazing reviews online.
Why I chose this gear
I decided to go with the Redington Zero because the price was amazing, and the specs of the reel matched the use I was planning for it. While on the search for a new reel, I came across many different 4wt reels; one that almost stole the show was the Redington Run. I chose the Zero over the Run because the price was better, and the reviews were just as positive.
What I love about it
- Performance: This reel pairs well with my rod: the weight of the reel really evens out the weight of my rod, making for a smoother cast. The retrieval is also very smooth. The only issue I have encountered is when stripping the line off the reel; sometimes, if I pull too hard, more line comes out than necessary due to the clicker drag system.
- Quality: The materials are high quality, and the look is amazing. It's very clean looking, and my specific color looks great with bright-colored fly lines.
- Durability: The reel has held up great throughout my three years of use. As can be seen from my photos, there is only minor wear and tear. I can see this reel lasting many more years to come. There is also a lifetime warranty on the reel that covers defects and craftsmanship errors.
- Use Case: I love to use the Zero when dry fly fishing or dry dropper fishing. I have used it nymphing with an indicator as well as streamer fishing, in which it can definitely hold its own.
- Size: The 4/5wt size is perfect for this type of drag system—any higher could cause problems. The large arbor also makes for fast retrieval in fast water.
- Feel: This rod feels proportionally great when paired with a 7’6” 4wt fly rod, which can sometimes be a problem with smaller setups.
- Build: When looking at new gear, I also look into where the product is made. Redington rods and reels are handcrafted in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
- Aesthetics: The matte finish and “sand” coloring fits well with a bright orange fly line.
- Features: Spool replacement is very simple: I can detach the spool with only the push of a button in the middle of the reel.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Versatility: The versatility of this reel isn't crazy good. I think it's great for small- to medium-sized rivers and some pond and lake fishing. When the fish begin to get big, the drag system is not the greatest, as the fish can pull and pull with little pressure.
- Drag System: This drag system is not the best for larger fish, as one will need to use one’s hand to slow down the outtake of the line. The clicker system is also very loud.
Favorite moment with this gear
I was fishing in the foothills of Colorado, where I knew there was decent-sized fish in the pond. I was using a dry dropper with a hopper and a small zebra midge under it. A fish swooped out of the water and swallowed my hopper, so I set the hook, and the fish took off—the drag was screaming! I was skeptical about catching a big rainbow on such a light setup. After around 15 minutes of fighting, reeling the line in, and then the fish taking it back out, I landed it. That was the moment I realized that this reel could really hold its own against bigger fish and smaller ones.
Value for the money vs. other options
In my mind, this reel is 100% worth the money. Another option I considered was the Orvis Battenkill ll, which is slightly more expensive than the Zero. Though I did not like the design of the Battenkill, and the reviews I read did not create a good image. So, I would recommend the Zero over any other clicker-drag-system reels.
There are so many reels on the market today. So my philosophy is: when finding what's right for one, one needs to both trust one’s instincts and listen to the folks who have used the product. I love this reel for its price and the way it performs on the water.