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