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Fly Reel Review

Rising To The Occasion With The Redington Rise 7/8 Fly Reel (continued)

Retrieve: Retrieving is performed without drama. Some reels are either too noisy or too quiet, but I find the Rise to incorporate just the right amount of “click” when line is brought in. On a loudness scale, I'd rate it as a 6 out of 10. The resistance upon retrieval is also light enough where you can effortlessly “smack” the spool to quickly put line back on the reel in a pinch.

The large drag knob is easy to grab and offers a nice range of  drag settings for a variety of tippets.

One little thing I'd change here is the design of the handle knob. My fingers rarely slipped off of it, but it's surface is totally smooth and doesn't have a lot of contour to it. Some type of grip pattern or added shape would be welcome here for a touch more confidence when reeling at blazing speeds with wet fingers, such as during winter Steelhead fishing. On a positive note, reeling at those blazing speeds produces no noticeable spool/frame wobble or play. Feel is quite solid, and there are really no cheap qualities about how the Rise 7/8 feels while bringing in line

The semi sealed drag system is protected from water and grit, but not fully immune to it.

Drag: The drag on this reel is pretty good in all regards. Granted, it only generates a measured 3lbs or so of drag pressure (tested with a hand scale using a slow pull at maximum drag), but how much drag strength do you really need with a 7/8 weight reel? It may sound weak, but I find it to be adequate for most situations you would encounter with this reel. Made up of a combination of cork and Teflon, the drag is quite smooth despite a relatively small size. It's semi sealed design protects against water and grit, but since it's not fully protected it's best to keep the reel as dry and clean as possible. I gave the reel a hard soaking a few times with a hose then tested the drag, and found that it stayed consistent throughout it's range of settings. I couldn't detect any start up inertia when wet or dry, even when pulling off line extremely slowly under maximum drag.  

The drag is of smaller size, and as stated within the review it doesn't offer any real jaw dropping power.

Durability: I was only able to get limited time with the Rise 7/8, so I can only speculate on the durability. Featuring a fully machined aluminum frame and spool, I don't envision any issues with the actual sturdiness of the body itself. All of the components feel very solid, and the drag is up to the task of many 7 and 8 weight friendly applications. In looking over the reel as a whole, no areas of potential failure are immediately evident. Just don't put this reel on your 14 weight for Bluefin, and you should be fine!

Casting for Carp at a “secret” location in California.

Application, Warranty, Price: The 7/8 Rise is the perfect reel for a multitude of species. Capable of handling both freshwater and lighter saltwater applications, it's well suited for species like Steelhead, Stripers, Snook, and Bonefish. You can tackle these species with the added peace of mind that your reel is covered by a lifetime original owner warranty. Priced at $189.95, the 7/8 Rise is a very attractive value. In my opinion, there is no other sub $200 reel that has this potent combination of light weight, refinement, excellent dimensions, and pleasing performance. Some reels come close, but the Rise does an admirable job of covering all the bases well.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Redington Rise 7/8 Fly Reel Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Quality construction throughout. The reel is fully machined, and the machining is clean, with no cosmetic blemishes. This is not a high end reel, however it's quality exceeded my expectations. 8
Performance Excellent retrieval characteristics, and the drag is smooth and consistent. The drag could offer more maximum pressure, but it's really not that important for most 7/8 weight applications. 7.5
Price For $189.95, this is a sweet value. 8.5
Features Solid features for the money. The larger arbor, easy release spool, and easy to grip drag knob are especially nice. As mentioned, the handle could be slightly improved. 8
Design (Ergonomics) I really like the feel and dimensions of this reel. Not only is it one of the lightest reels out there, it has excellent dimensions both in terms of diameter and width. 9
Application An 8 weight rod is one of the most versatile fly rods money can buy, so a 7/8 weight reel will be equally as versatile. This reel is great for a wide variety of freshwater and saltwater species. 9

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Extremely lightweight - Drag could offer more maximum power
+ Smooth, consistent performance - Handle could use minor changes
+ Attractive cosmetics  
+ Great dimensions  
+ Quick release spool  
+ Affordable price  


My largest fish on the 7/8 Rise during the test period was this awesome Carp sight fished in about a foot of water!

Photo credit: David McKenzie


Conclusion: Fly fishing doesn't have to cost a fortune. As fly rods and reels continue to reach absurd costs, it's refreshing to see quality gear offered at down to earth prices. Redington has been selling affordable products for many years now, and with the second generation Rise 7/8 they really got it right. Reels like this make it easier for people just getting into the sport to attain quality gear that won't fall apart after one season. This is not simply just a reel for newcomers, it's quality and refinement make it a satisfying choice for more seasoned fishers as well. Although my standard 7/8 weight reels are from much more expensive brands, I don't feel like I'm sacrificing much of anything when fishing the Rise. This reel truly rises above it's competitors! 









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