Redington BUTTER STICK 6-Weight Fly Rod Review
Personally speaking, I never really had a huge interest in fiberglass fly rods up until just a few years ago. Nowadays, there's some really high-quality options out there ranging from soft, slow trout rods to snappier saltwater-specific models that can easily handle an adult tarpon. Since starting Demystifly in 2016, I've been able to fish a few glass rods and it really changed my perception. No, they aren't super lightweight and ultra crisp like some graphite sticks, but that's kinda the point. You fish these for different reasons—to get that more relaxed, old school feel. After catching fish on glass rods, I totally get it. It's fun as hell!
The first-gen BUTTER STICK went untested here on the site, but when I first received the media email with images of the gen 2 rods, I got really excited. Upgraded and in my opinion better looking, I made getting one of these in my hands an absolute priority. So, here we are, with a review of the brand-new Redington 680-3 BUTTER STICK!
Line Weight: 6
Material: T-Glass Fiberglass
Measured Weight: Approx 3.89 ounces
Stripping Guides: Stainless frame/Titanium Oxide insert
Guides: Chrome snake guides
Reel Seat: Aluminum
Rod Tube/Sock: Divided tube/no sock
The creamy-white blank of the BUTTER STICK is accented by a black logo area with colorful trim around the hook keeper/logo and at the two ferrules. I really like the mixture of colors here because it's just enough to add some spice without going overboard. In my opinion, Redington absolutely NAILED the graphics of this rod. It's fun, vibrant, and gives off a retro vibe that's nice to admire in between fish catches.
This 6-weight uses two small titanium oxide stripping guides and chrome snake guides/tip top wrapped in matching white thread. There's tiny black alignment dots (they could be bigger) at the ferrules, and as mentioned and pictured above, a small hook keeper just above the grip that offers a convenient spot to secure a fly.
The cork grip is slimmed down a bit which is a nice touch. It's very comfortable, shaves a hair of weight off compared to a thicker grip, and amplifies the feel of blank flex through the grip. Below, you'll find a black anodized-aluminum reel seat with "BUTTER STICK" adorned on the top, double up-locking rings, and a small fighting butt. From end to end, overall fit and finish was very good—I'd rate it at a 7 out of 10.
Since the weather is still hot and humid here, I used the rod mostly with a (discontinued) WF5F RIO Bonefish line which is 160-grains at 30-feet (spot on to a 6-weight line per AFTTA standards) which worked very, very well. I also lawn casted with a RIO Gold WF6F (168 grains at 30 feet) that was equally as good.
With this rod you realllllyyyy neeeeeedddd toooo slowwwwwww dowwwwwnnnnn. The "Heritage Taper" as Redington calls it is just a cool name for a soft action that works best with a smooth, very relaxed stroke. My casting stroke is typically the complete opposite of what this rod demands, so it took me some time to adjust. Although the rod is on the slow side and has a shorter-than-average length of 8-feet, I was really surprised how well it performed. As expected, the rod loads easily at short and mid-ranges, but long-distance casts weren't difficult. I was especially delighted that it didn't have a big issue with tossing larger flies like one of my personal favorites for largemouth, a size 1 jig-hook Clouser.
Glass rods can sometimes feel hefty, but the BUTTER STICK wasn't bad at all. I measured the rod on my scale at about 3.89 ounces—not too shabby! As a comparison, the 9-foot 6- weight Redington CRUX is advertised at 3.6 ounces and my personal 6-weight from another brand checks in at 3.5 ounces, so this one is right in there with its slightly-longer graphite companions. The shorter length of the butter undoubtedly saves some weight while also adding a bit of punch to the blank. If this rod was a standard 9-footer, it would feel heavier and maybe a bit sloppier.
I don't fish glass often, so it's always a fun experience catching fish on something fresh. The rod bends deeply with even a smaller bass on the other end, and the feel is accentuated through that slimmed-down grip I mentioned earlier. I really enjoyed the rod for chasing local largemouth and I could see this series being great for protecting lightweight tippets in more delicate scenarios, too.
If you're a glass addict or simply want to satisfy your curiosity without spending a ton of money, the BUTTER STICK is a stellar option. This rod really stands out with its own unique flavor and delivers the goods on all levels. Graphite will always be my top pick as it just fits my casting style better and feels more familiar to me, but I'd sure like to have one of these on the rack for those times when I just feel like mixing it up. Give one a try—I think you'll really be pleased!
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