Redington CHROMER Switch and Spey Rod ReviewDecember 21, 2015
I took the river with a Redington CHROMER Switch Rod and a Redington CHROMER Spey Rod few days ago and did some casting in order to get more familiar with this line up of rods. A few things jumped out at me right away with these rods.
1. Lighter mass weight than expected. These rods are built exclusively for chasing Salmon and Steelhead, so I sort of expected the rod to be heavier in mass weight. I think the hybrid grip system also gives the impression that it might be heavier, but it definitely is not. Its a nice light rod.
2. The grip makes sense. I'll admit, I didn't fully understand the grip system until it was pointed out to me. The rubber grip high and low is nice for a variety of reasons, but it sure makes gripping MONO Running line a lot easier. They are pinch points for grabbing your line.
3. Lots of POWER. These rods are built with a lot of power. They are a fast action and seem to recover very quickly in the switch rod (which I like). They naturally get more progressive as you work into the full spey family. The 7136-4 Spey Rod with a RIO Skagit MAX at 575 Grains has a deeper bend and is a bit more of a catapult.
I did a video that included a few casts with the 6116-4 Redington CHROMER Switch Rod and I have also cast the 7136-4. Here is a video with an overview of the rod family and a few slow motion shots of the rod in action.
Overall Product Review - Redington CHROMER 2 Handed Rods
When you pick it up, inspect the workmanship, including the grip system I think my feeling was that it is a "high end" rod. It has a great finish. I really like the reel seat, rings, and the finish on the blank isn't fancy but its very clean. Kind of a "no bs" type finish. I also noticed that the male ferules have some type of slick finish on them which is good.
$400 is not chump change. This is a lot of coin for some you guys and you certainly want to make the most out of your investment. When I cast this rod I liked the way it cast, it definitely cast like a $400 rod. I don't mean this as a negative, I expect a lot from a $400 rod. I believe that this rod suffers from some unfair expectations, because I think the appearance of this rod is just such a positive that it overshadows the casting. It just looks bad ass. Straight up murdered out. Did I just say all that? Ok, just trying to keep you from falling asleep. It is a good looking rod. When you make the financial jump up to the next tier of rods like the Hardy JET Switch Rods or the Sage ACCEL Spey Rods you'll feel the difference in the cast. A lot of what you pay for are the ingredients in these rods. The more you spend... the more you get. No getting around that.
Where does this rod fit? This rod fits for anyone looking for an 11'6" switch rod and is in poking around in the $400 price range. These rods aren't the best overhand casting rods so I would plan to spey cast it exclusively. They are built on a chassis designed for big fish and even the 6 weight doesn't have the same "trouty" feel of some other 6 weight switch rods. As switch rods get over 11' they are much tougher to throw single hand.
The Spey rods are a stronger version of the switch rods with a slightly deeper bend and more power. I believe could fish for Steelhead anywhere with the 7136-4. It has some mega distance potential. I haven't personally put time on the 12'6" 7 weight but anticipate it to also be a good choice.
The rubber "pinch points" on the grip are really cool. This has tangible value with the growing popularity of mono running lines. They can be hard to grab and the surface on the pinch points is tacky. This makes it so much easier to hold them.
In closing, this rod is a definite "buyer". It casts well in the 2 models that I tested and the appearance and finish exceeds expectations. The other thing I will mention is that this rod has been out for nearly 1 year, we have sold quite a few and have seen no breakage or returns. You can shop online at Red's for all these models: Redington CHROMER Spey and Switch Rods