At this year's IFTD show in Orlando there were a lot of great products. Rods. Reels. Clothing. Various other gadgets. A lot of the new stuff on hand was very impressive to say the least, but as I noted here what excited me the most was the surprising number of 5-weight rods now equipped with fighting butts. Granted, the number of them is still not that big, but I was thrilled to see manufacturers starting to build these kinds of rods. For chasing carp, hefty trout, light saltwater pursuits, and the like, a fast action 5-weight equipped with a fighting butt is a welcome addition to the market. In this review we are going to hit the water with one of these new sticks: the Redington Predator 5-weight!
Length: 9 feet
Line Weight: 5
Rod Weight: 3.8 ounces
Stripping Guides: Black aluminum oxide
Guides: Black snake guides
Reel Seat: Anodized aluminum
Rod Tube/Sock: Yes/No
I really like how Redington built and finished these newly-redesigned Predator rods. From butt to tip, there's honestly nothing I don't like—and for me that's not very common! The blank itself is a kind of matte blue color that looks great while minimizing fish-spooking glare. The guide setup includes two aluminum-oxide stripping guides and generously-sized snake guides and tip-top, all of which are finished in black. The black wraps are all tidy with no epoxy drips or overruns. The ferrule wraps are a bit more unique and include some extra thread accents. In addition, each joint has alignment dots and each ferrule tip is coated with epoxy to prevent the pieces from sticking together—a smart feature!
The cork grip appears to be of good quality and has a bit of composite cork at the top end for durability. There isn't a super-distinct taper to it but that's of little concern to me since it's sized nicely and feels plenty comfortable in-hand. Like the blank, the machined anodized-aluminum reel seat has a non-glossy finish and features double locking rings and laser-etched lettering. Down below, you'll find a low profile cork fighting butt with a composite cork end. The size and shape are excellent for this rod model.
At 3.8 ounces the 590-4 Predator for sure isn't the lightest 5-weight going, but it's built for stouter applications as opposed to just your standard trout fishing. It doesn't feel overly heavy or "clubby" in my hands and doesn't warrant any complaints in this regard. Where it for sure doesn't warranty any complaints is while casting. Redington markets this rod as having an "intuitive fast action" but I'd be more inclined to label it as a "butter smooth fast action." With a WF5F RIO Bonefish fly line, the rod feels wonderful and is simply fun to cast. While it is a powerfully smooth and accurate little 5-weight that can throw long and casts a chunky fly very well, it surprisingly still maintains plenty of feel at short range. The way this blank is tuned deserves two thumbs up!
Every Predator rod is 4-pieces and models are available in line weights 5–12 and lengths from 7'10"–10'0". In the mix are also a specialized rod for Pike and another for the Muskie angler. Just like our test rod, each rod is priced at $299.95 and includes a lifetime warranty and cordura rod tube with inner dividers. This is a rod I'm sad about giving back because it's both unique and simply a ball to fish with. It looks cool, casts great, has ample fish-fighting power, and is priced modestly. For more demanding fly fishing duties, the Predator 590-4 is a real winner and has claimed our latest "Fly Gear Top Pick" choice in the fly rod category!
Interested in a Redington PREDATOR fly rod?