Redington has been hitting some solid home runs the last several years with the introductions of many cool, hip, innovative, and affordable products. When I stopped by their booth at this year's IFTD show, I noticed that the hit streak was definitely continuing. One item, however, really caught my eye. Can you guess what that was?
In addition to offerings like the CRUX rods and desert-sand-colored BEHEMOTH reels, the new Redington i.D. fly reels are going to get a lot of attention in fly shops. While these aren't top-tier or crazy high-performance reels, they are priced right and deliver some very unique customization options!
The i.D. reel is pretty simplistic in stock form. The satin black cast-aluminum construction is accented only by some understated logos and a bit of red visible on the handle and inside the frame where the drag is located. There's quite a bit of porting on both the inside and outside of the spool, but it does not flow through the center of the arbor.
At this point, the reel looks like just another run-of-the-mill affordably-priced offering. It's certainly a nice-looking reel, but nothing really sets it miles apart, right? Wrong. The huge difference in the reel's design comes on the solid back of the reel's frame.
The frame's rear surface is flat and sits slightly lower than the rim. Doing so makes for the perfect surface to attach decals. Did I just say DECALS? Yep. It sounded kind of cheesy at first, but once I saw the total package in person my mind changed. Currently, Redington offers 34 different decals (priced at $4.99 each) featuring designs ranging from goofy to artistic. Any of these decals can be easily attached to the back of a reel to create an eye-catching look all your own.
When you get tired of a decal it can be removed in favor of another, or the new one can simply be stacked on top of the original. Redington was cool enough to gift us our very own Demystifly i.D reel at the IFTD show. While time constraints didn't allow them to nail the sizing perfectly, it still looks absolutely awesome and was much appreciated! Also of note, customized decals may be offered in the near future...stay tuned.
Our reel didn't exhibit any abnormalities in its design. The finish has a smooth, somewhat soft touch to it both inside and out, with both the cosmetics and construction looking fine right out of the box. For a cast reel, it's quite nice.
The drag of the i.D reel is made from a combination of Rulon and stainless. I did notice some startup inertia/stickiness when slowly pulling line from the spool, but once the line starts to move beyond a snail's pace it flows nicely with no jerking or binding. The system is shielded a bit but is not fully sealed, so be wary of that during the fishing day.
The maximum drag setting isn't extreme, but it's plenty for a 5/6 reel. The drag knob protrudes out from the frame quite a ways which makes for easy manipulation, and there's an audible clicking throughout its range. It takes about two turns of the knob to go from zero to maximum drag.
Spool removal is really straightforward here—just unscrew the center cap and slide the spool off. I was able to both remove and put the spool back on the frame with ease, but as a precautionary note the center cap can come off if you keep unscrewing or give it a tug once the spool is free.
The i.D. 5/6 retrieves line at a good rate. The handle design is simple and appears to be the same as what's on the RISE, ZERO, and BEHEMOTH reels. It sports a very, very slight taper along with two red rubberized soft-touch inserts for added grip and comfort. The reel exhibits a loud clicking sound both when cranking and when line is pulled off.
For a sub-$100 reel I really like what Redington did here. They kept the basic reel's design simple and functional, yet at the same time made it FUN by giving the customer full customization power for just a few bucks extra. I can see this reel being a hit on social media!
Keep it stock or stick a pink frosted doughnut on the back—it's your call! The i.D. may not be an $800 ultra-precise powerhouse of a fly reel, but it's a pretty neat new product in my book. Sizes include a 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8/9. Models in BOLD are also available pre-spooled with RIO Mainstream line for $109.99. Each reel includes a protective pouch and one standard decal, both shown below.
Line Size: 5/6
Backing Capacity: 100 yards/20 pound
Weight: 6 ounces
Diameter: 3.5 inches
Arbor Diameter: Approx 2 inches
Overall Spool Width: Approx 1 1/4 inches
Drag: Rulon/Stainless (unsealed)
Machined/Cast: Cast Aluminum
Spool Removal: No Tools Needed
Colors: Satin Black only
Reel Pouch: Yes
Reel Price: $89.99
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