Redington Minnow

Olive & Redington in the News

Several months ago I pitched an idea to the folks at Redington and it was a good enough idea that they enthusiastically agreed on a joint venture to promote kids and fly fishing. You see, Redington makes the Minnow Fly Fishing Outfit which is a great outfit geared toward kids. My series of Olive fly fishing books are also geared toward kids, so it seemed like a reasonably excellent idea for Olive and Redington to team up and give fishy kids some added value, as if getting the Minnow wasn’t awesome enough!

Now when your lucky little fishing buddy opens their brand new Minnow, they’ll find the following coupon inside, good for ordering all three Olive books at half off the retail price of $12.95.

Recently a friend, Sarah, pointed out to me that Northwest Fly Fishing magazine announced the Redington/Olive partnership in their March/April 2011 issue.  I’ve not yet had a chance to get the latest issue of the magazine so Sarah sent me a scanned copy of the page featuring the announcement. Thanks, Sarah! The article is here:

Reading for Redington

By the way, Sarah works for The Wild Salmon Center, doing great work on behalf of our Pacific Rim salmon.

So run on over to your local fly shop and pick up a Redington Minnow for your kid, and don’t throw the box away!  In addition to there being some great casting games and cut-out targets printed on the box, there is also a coupon inside for some books.

Get kids started with the Redington Minnow

A while back I listed a few fly rods geared toward young anglers. There are many offerings worthy of consideration, with prices that range from below $100 up to nearly $200.  Undoubtedly any of these rods will serve your child well as they enter into the world of fly fishing.

With the Holidays now upon us folks may be looking for that perfect gift for a young angler in their lives. I’d like to highlight the Redington Minnow, which is targeted at kids ages 6-12.  It’s not just a rod, but a complete outfit that includes a two-piece, 8-foot graphite rod with a line weight designation of 5/6 and a Redington Crosswater reel. The Minnow Outfit retails for $99, which is a very attractive price point for a rod, reel and line. As a whole I’m very impressed with Redington as a company. They combine quality with affordability, and their warranty covers the cost to repair or replace the Minnow rod and Crosswater reel for one year. Check their website for specific warranty information.

Eight feet is plenty long enough to cast efficiently, but it’s just short enough to not be overly cumbersome in the hands of a young angler. The two piece rod makes sense for youngsters as it’s less to worry about. Face it, younger kids are not always detail-oriented, so only having to align and secure two rod sections simplifies things and reduces the chances of ferrules coming apart when casting. Redington thoughtfully includes alignment dots on the Minnow, which is a nice feature I wouldn’t mind having on my rods! Another nice feature of the Minnow is its shortened cork grip that makes the rod easier to keep a hold of for smaller hands. A 5 weight is widely considered the all around rod for most fly fishing, and it’s safe to say that if a person is going to have only one rod, a 5 weight is the right choice. The Minnow is heavy enough to handle good sized fish, but light enough to still feel the tug of smaller quarry.

The Redington Crosswater reel included in the outfit is described as “tough and unfussy”. It’s a large arbor design which makes for easier and quicker retrieves, and it converts easily for left- or right-handed reeling. It has a strong, disc drag system should your small fry hook up with a big fish. The Crosswater comes spooled with Rio backing and Weight Forward fly line, and also includes a knotless leader. Right out of the box, your child will be ready to tie on their favorite fly and hit the water. The reel and line alone retail for $59, which makes the Minnow Outfit really shine as a value-added package.

The Minnow comes with a rod sock but not a hard case, which really should be something you’ll want to get in order to protect the setup. You have many suitable choices available, so ask your local fly shop for help with selecting a case.  It might be a good idea to choose one that is capable of storing the reel attached to the rod (be sure to have your child inspect the reel seat before each outing to make sure it’s locked securely).

I’ve not personally cast the Minnow, but I have cast other Redington rods and they all feel good in different ways, based on the type of action each rod possesses.  The Minnow is a medium-action rod, which is easiest for beginners of any age.  New casters will be able to feel the rod load, which makes it much easier to develop a proper casting stroke.

The Minnow box includes cut-out targets to a make learning to cast fun, and also includes additional tips, techniques and games to get kids started. The goal of this entire package is to make it fun for kids to get started in the sport. Getting kids into fly fishing is very important to Redington. Kids are the future of the sport and will become stewards of the resource one day.  We need kids to become fly anglers, and that’s exactly the point of my series of children’s fly fishing books featuring Olive the Woolly Bugger.

Conveniently, each Minnow outfit includes a coupon for ordering Olive the Little Woolly Bugger, Olive and The Big Stream and Olive Goes for a Wild Ride at 50% off retail (that’s only $6.47 each)!

Get your little fishing buddy a Minnow Outfit from Redington, a set of entertaining and educational books, and they’ll be hooked for life. You’ll be giving the gift that will pay back dividends for years to come!

Check out the comprehensive listing of kids fly fishing gear, including more from Redington, at Take Kids Fly Fishing

Fly fishing rods for kids

Let me start by saying that I’m no expert teaching kids to cast a fly line. I’m always amazed that some folks seem to think that just because I’m an author of fly fishing books for kids that I know a thing or two about teaching kids how to fly fish. Remember the old adage: If you can’t do something, write about it. Or something like that ;).

That being said I wish some of the current kids’ fly rods were available when I started my own son out on his journey into fly fishing. He began by using a 9 foot 5wt graphite rod that had been relegated to backup status in my quiver rods. I was a bit hesitant to have him use this rod partially because it might’ve been a bit long for him to handle at first. But I’ll be honest:  my real hesitation lie in the fact that I was worried he’d break or otherwise trash my equipment! Fortunately my son has always had a knack for anything involving movements of the arm that resemble a throwing type motion (rocks, baseballs, etc).  He was always pretty coordinated as a youngster, and the basics of fly casting came fairly easily to him and my gear suffered no serious damage. He was 11 years old when he first went fly fishing with me, and while he could have done so earlier, I felt this was a perfect time to introduce him to the sport.  Maybe it was the perfect time for me to introduce him to the sport. He already liked fishing (catching, that is), and I felt that he had the patience to deal with the inevitable pitfalls of fly casting: line tangles.

Today’s kids have a selection of quality offerings specifically geared toward the younger angler. Something shorter than the “standard” 9 footer can make a rod more manageable in the hands of a child, and a medium action blank ensures that young casters can feel the rod loading (that is if you can get them to slow down and “feel” the rod!).  At first, my son just started to wave the stick back and forth without regard for what the rod tip, and subsequently the line, was doing. This is probably something most youngsters will do at first, but giving them a good piece of hardware that isn’t a broomstick will greatly improve their casting once they get the hang of it. If you have kids you know that they like having their own stuff, so if a fly rod to call their own makes them more excited to get out there and use it, I’d say that’s a good thing.

I’ve assembled information about several good bets for the budding young fly anglers in your lives. These are not fly rod reviews, as I have not tested any of these products. The point here is to offer a few good options for you parents to consider, and I recommend you visit your local fly shop to check out their selection of kid’s rods first. Please note than any information included here about these rods/outfits comes directly from the manufacturer’s/retailer’s websites and do not reflect the opinion of this reporter.

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REDINGTON offers two different outfits geared toward young anglers. The Minnow is targeted at kids ages 6-12, while the Crosswater Youth is aimed at pre-teen/teen anglers.

REDINGTON MINNOW OUTFIT:

Length: 8′
Line weight : 5/6
Number of sections: 2
Includes Reel:  Yes
MSRP: $99

The Minnow outfit was precisely designed and tuned to meet the needs of a younger, beginner angler. The goal is for these kids to have fun and success when fly fishing so they want to continue with the sport. The packaging design is kid and parent friendly with additional tips, techniques and games for kids to get started fly fishing.

MINNOW FEATURES:

• Updated cosmetics
• Alignment dots
• Targeted for ages 6-12
• Easy casting 2-pc 8’ 5/6 wt. graphite rod
• Tough and unfussy Crosswater reel
• Quality RIO backing, WF fly line, and knotless leader pre-spooled onto the reel
• Includes fun casting games and cut out targets in the box design
• Red rod sock included
• Each Minnow outfit includes a coupon for ordering Olive the Little Woolly Bugger, Olive and The Big Stream and Olive Goes for a Wild Ride at 50% off retail (that’s only $6.47 each)!

REDINGTON CROSSWATER YOUTH OUTFIT:

Length: 8′ 6″
Line weight : 5/6
Number of sections: 4
Includes Reel:  Yes
MSRP: $139.95

Similar to the Minnow, the Crosswater Youth Outfit was designed and tuned to meet the needs of a younger, beginner angler. However, this outfit is a little larger in size for the pre-teen/teen angler. The packaging and rod/reel case was designed to attract the teenage angler. The entire package is a legit fly angling package to a teen, but looks cool and “not like dad’s.”

CROSSWATER YOUTH FEATURES:

• Medium-fast Action
• Attractive trim details and cosmetics on outfit and packaging for younger demographic
• Alignment dots
• Versatile 4-pc 8’6” 5/6 wt. graphite rod
• Durable Crosswater reel
• Backing, RIO Mainstream WF fly line, and knotless leader pre-spooled
• Rod/Reel Case included

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ECHO GECKO

Length: 7’9″
Line weight : 4/5
Number of sections: 3
Includes Reel: No
MSRP: $99

Echo Gecko Fly Rod helps to make fly fishing easy for kids was Tim Rajeff’s goal. The Echo Gecko rods have a special diameter handle and a small 2″ long fighting butt that allows the smallest anglers to use two hands to cast. A bright yellow blank and a fun colored handle make these rods as much fun to look at as they are to cast. No longer do children have to learn to fly fish with a rod that is too long or too stiff or use a rod with a handle designed for adult hands. The rod is a great length for trout, pan fish, and bass. The rod can handle a short belly WF5 or a standard WF4 line. A great fly rod for children and kids just beginning.

GECKO FEATURES:

• Three piece travel design
• Alignment dots for quick assembly
• Wild colored EVA extra small diameter full wells handle w/small 2″ long fighting butt
• Fuji style fast-tighten reel seat
• Bright yellow gloss blank with orange thread wraps
• Hard chrome snake guides
• Rod sock and sturdy rod case
• Super durable rod design

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ROSS JOURNEY

Length: 7’6″
Line weight : 4
Number of sections: 4
Includes Reel: No
MSRP: $119

The Journey® youth series fly rod is the only fly rod designed for youth anglers, by youth anglers. Instead of taking an adult sized rod and trying to fit it into a youth sized package, we took everything we’ve learned from fishing with our own children and designed the Journey series from the ground up; arriving at what is arguably the finest youth fly rod ever built! The rod is a 4wt. design so it can be fished on most types of water, but the length is only 7’6″ so it is easy for a youth angler to control. In addition, the premium grade cork handle is crafted to perfectly fit a child’s hand and allow for comfortable casting without fatigue. This 4-piece rod series helps families to introduce their children to the sport of fly fishing with the right sized equipment, and without breaking the bank. The Journey series proprietary R-1 graphite design is a medium-fast action taper that is perfect for any casting style, and forgiving for those anglers just starting out. These are smooth casting rods that are sensitive, precise and effortless to cast; making it easier for youth anglers to learn the sport of fly fishing.

JOURNEY FEATURES:

• Ross proprietary R-1 graphite design
• Medium-fast action rod taper, perfect for youth anglers
• 4-piece design – great for travel!
• Smooth casting, sensitive and precise
• Titanium oxide, super strong guides
• Rod piece alignment dots
• Anodized aluminum reel seat
• Youth sized half wells handle
• Cordura rod case
• Available in blue, pink
• Lifetime Warranty

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ORVIS STREAMLINE KID’S FLY FISHING OUTFIT

Length: 7’9″
Line weight : 5
Number of sections: 4
Includes Reel: Yes
MSRP: $198 (on sale at the time of this writing for $159)

A fly rod and reel combo specifically designed for the junior angler. 7′ 9″ Mid-Flex rod is the perfect length and weight for smaller frames. Rod features smaller and shorter grip tailored for smaller hands. Clearwater® III Reel. 150 yards of 30 Dacron® backing. WF5 chartreuse floating line and a 9′ 2X leader. Just add a fly to this kids rod and reel combo. Ages 13 and older.

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LELAND SONOMA EMERGER PACKAGE

Length: 7’9″
Line weight : 4
Number of sections: 4
Includes Reel: Yes
MSRP: $199

Offered in blue and pink. This outfit will have your little one throwing darts and dreaming of fly fishing adventures! Trust us, you’ve never seen a youth rod and reel like this.

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L.L. BEAN ANGLER FLY ROD OUTFIT

Length: 7′, 8′, 8’6″, 9′
Line weight : 5 and 6
Number of sections: 2
Includes Reel: Yes
MSRP: $80

At L.L. Bean, we’ve always been committed to introducing newcomers to the sport of fly fishing – in the easiest and most affordable way possible. Our Angler Fly Rod Outfit comes loaded with backing, a floating line and a leader – just tie on a fly, and in minutes you’re ready to fish. We worked closely with both beginning fly casters and our Fly-Fishing School instructors to develop a smooth medium-action rod that makes it easy for anyone to learn the graceful art of fly casting. A quality composite reel with a click and pawl drag and high-quality graphite ensure that you, your kids and your grandkids can learn from the same outfit. Includes handy rod carrying tube for storage and transport. Imported.

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SCIENTIFIC ANGLERS TROUT FLY FISHING STARTER KIT

Length: No information available
Line weight : 5/6
Number of sections: 4
Includes Reel: Yes
MSRP: $95

This Trout Fly Fishing Outfit includes a high quality 4-piece 5/6 weight graphite rod for smooth and easy casting. Preloaded disc drag reel ready to fish with the specific line and flies designed to work well for panfish.  Also includes a special 2 in 1 DVD with “Fly Fishing Made Easy” and “Panfish and Bass with Larry Dahlberg.”

Included in this kit:

• 4-piece, 5/6 weight graphite rod
• Lightweight for smooth and easy casting
• Pre-Loaded Scientific Anglers Concept 2 Fly Reel Loaded with backing, Scientific Anglers fly line and leader, and is ready to use
• Fly Box with Flies
• 2-in-1 Instructional DVD (the contents of both of the DVD titles below are included on a single special-issue DVD)

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Based on these offerings from reputable manufacturers, young anglers don’t have to fish with junk equipment that’s little more than a colorful toy, and parents don’t have to break the bank to get quality gear for their kids.  Kids are the future of the sport, so get them away from their video games, get them a rod they’ll be thrilled to call their own, tie on a woolly bugger, and take ’em fishing! You’ll be glad you did, and so will they.

Check out the comprehensive listing of kids fly fishing gear at Take Kids Fly Fishing. In addition to rods and reel outfits, the site lists waders and boots, vests, hats and clothing, books and DVDs as well as fly fishing camps and clinics for kids and kid-friendly fly fishing guides. It’s a tremendous resource!