Fly rods are many issues, however one factor they aren’t is handy for air journey. You want a particular case to haul them as a carry-on, and I do know few anglers who’ve sufficient religion in baggage handlers lately put a couple of thousand {dollars} value of rods, reels, and line in checked baggage.

Over time, loads of producers have tried — to various levels of success — to construct a travel-sized fly rod. The issue with constructing journey rod is getting it to solid appropriately after breaking it into 6 or 8 items. Fashionable fly rod designers have mastered constructing four-piece rods with nice motion. Including extra ferrules, nevertheless, introduces new design hurdles that often depart journey rods with a less-than-desirable casting motion.

The Redington Trailblazer doesn’t solid like a four-piece rod, however it’s definitely one of many smoothest-casting journey rods I’ve ever used. At its worth level, it’s arduous to seek out fault with something Redington did right here. The graceful medium-fast motion makes the Trailblazer simple for each new and superior anglers alike to coax out its finest efficiency. That it suits inside a carryon is an excellent bonus.

In the long run, it’s a no-frills rod that’s greater than able to dealing with itself in quite a lot of fishing conditions. I absolutely anticipate to succeed in for it usually as soon as the backcountry opens up right here in Wyoming.

What Works

Nice Motion
The downfall of many journey rods is their clunky motion. The Trailblazer doesn’t endure from this illness, definitely at its $249 worth level.

The 9’ 5-weight mannequin I examined boasts a medium-fast motion that’s nice for work in shut, or reaching out and hitting longer-distance targets. I had a straightforward time lobbing a three-nymph rig in sub-freezing temperatures with the Trailblazer right here in Wyoming.

This rod actually excels at about 40 ft, hitting a candy spot the place it casts easily. That’s to not say it’s dangerous at different distances. I simply felt it carried out finest when used at a standard trout fishing distance.

Loads of Energy
As I alluded to earlier, the Trailblazer packs sufficient punch to deal with all kinds of fishing conditions. As a journey rod, it must be a jack-of-all-trades, and I felt like this 5-weight achieved that.

Whether or not I used to be fishing a heavy nymph rig or streamers, I had greater than sufficient energy to place my flies the place I needed them. Even in opposition to a tricky Wyoming headwind, I didn’t need to work tougher than I anticipated to make this rod carry out. Once more, at its worth level, the Trailblazer actually outdoes itself, particularly the place energy is worried.

For those who’re considering of getting a journey rod for backcountry excursions to lakes and ponds, however are apprehensive a 5-weight may not have the spine to throw the lengthy, heavy rigs lakes usually require, that shouldn’t be a priority should you get the Trailblazer. It may possibly execute lengthy roll casts (such as you’ll want to make use of should you’re on a lake with minimal room for a backcast) with out an excessive amount of work, though it actually performs this finest with a half-weight heavy fly line.

I didn’t really feel undergunned when preventing fish with the Trailblazer, both. It’s no Sage R8 Core, however few rods are. It needs to be as much as the duty of wrangling any actually huge fish you encounter, particularly within the backcountry.

Delicate Tip
The mark of a well-built rod is how mushy its tip is. Stiff rod ideas are a recipe for catastrophe should you fish lighter tippets or small flies. The tip on the Trailblazer is delicate sufficient for dry fly work — I wouldn’t hesitate utilizing this rod on a callibaetis hatch, for instance. After all, you’re not getting top-tier tippet safety right here, however bear in mind, the Trailblazer is a journey rod, and designed with these fisheries in thoughts. You not often want to guard 6x tippet in locations that necessitate packing a six-piece rod.

I’ve had the chance to guarantee a couple of rods with Redington, and the method has at all times been wonderful. Redington presents a lifetime guarantee with the Trailblazer, which presents a terrific worth because the possibilities of harm to a journey rod are in all probability larger than for different rods.

What Doesn’t Work

The one actual knock I can level out with the Trailblazer is the burden. I hesitated to convey this up, as a result of it’s an inexpensive rod with packability in thoughts. That mentioned, the Trailblazer is a contact heavy in hand, and it undoubtedly feels heavier than different 5-weights in its class. Once more, although, that comes with the caveat that it’s a pack rod, and what you sacrifice in weight, you make up for in usability and packability.

Redington says the Trailblazer is the lightest journey rod they’ve ever constructed, and I’ve no cause to doubt them. Within the general image, the burden of the Trailblazer isn’t a dealbreaker. It’s value being conscious, although, {that a} journey rod will nearly at all times weigh greater than a daily four-piece counterpart, and the Trailblazer is not any exception. This isn’t a lot a knock on the rod as it’s a reminder to have life like expectations.

Last Phrase

For $249, it’s arduous to beat the lifetime guarantee and fantastic efficiency the Trailblazer presents. Its medium-fast motion is nice for rookies and superior anglers alike, and it packs the ability to each struggle the wind and land giant trout. At six items, it breaks down sufficiently small to slot in a carry-on, which makes it a winner for anybody searching for rod to tag alongside on adventures with out plunking down a mortgage cost.

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