Product Review: Long Live the CDL

Product Review: Long Live the CDL

Several years back, I set up a few new spey rods with Redington's CDL reels in the 10/11 weight size. Since then, those reels have been a marvel of top-shelf performance at bottom-shelf pricing. In fact, those CDLs are the only reels I've owned and fished that haven't failed in some way during five seasons of fishing--including the top-shelf reels in my bag.  

The success of the CDLs has led me to recommend them to anglers far and wide who are looking for an economically priced reel for their new spey rod.

This winter, I began testing Redington's new Delta reel, which is a fully machined aluminum reel with a cork-teflon drag system. In the hand, this reel looks like it will live up the the CDL's performance. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

The drag system in the Deltas I own seizes whenever the air temperature drops below thirty degrees. I lost a fish one morning because of it. The drag also slips during the course of the day; it will be tight at 9 am and loose by 3 pm.


And maybe more problematic, the spools have repeatedly fallen off; one minute the spool is attached and the drag engaged, then the spool is sliding off its axel and into the river. The latest time, I was waist deep in a fast run. My only chance of retrieving the wayward spool was to pinch it between my boots and hop like the Energizer Bunny to the shore where I could bend over--my cheek touching the icy water--and grab it.


Even high-end reels have problems from time to time. But the Delta has proved itself no match for the demands of winter steelheading.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done. Fly Tying

Tying the Kamikaze Sculpin

Charlie Craven

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done.

Fly Fisherman's documentary Industry

Fly Fisherman Magazine Documentary Recognized by Outdoor Writers Association of America

Fly Fisherman - June 24, 2019

Fly Fisherman's documentary "One Path" was recognized with two awards.

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Master fly tier Charlie Craven discuss the tools and materials needed to tie the Black Beauty.

Breaking the Surface

Breaking the Surface

Attack of the Bass continues as Breaking the Surface attacks bass with fly and lure 12:30pm ET Sunday, April 17th.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range. United States

Wind River Range Wyoming

Greg Thomas - July 27, 2015

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range.

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water. How-To

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel - January 22, 2018

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

See More Stories

More Reels

The success of the CDLs has led me to recommend them to anglers far and wide who are looking for an economically priced reel for their new spey rod. Reels

Product Review: Long Live the CDL

John Larison - March 12, 2012

The success of the CDLs has led me to recommend them to anglers far and wide who are looking...

Abel licensed the Abel Steal Your Face Reel artwork from Rhino Entertainment and Grateful Dead Productions to produce 250 of these limited-edition Super Series and Classic Series reels. Reels

Abel Steal Your Face Reel

Ross Purnell, Editor - October 23, 2013

Abel licensed the Abel Steal Your Face Reel artwork from Rhino Entertainment and Grateful Dead...

Find out what kind of reel that is, and why that steelhead on the cover of Fly Fisherman magazine looks so white, and so unlike a rainbow trout. Reels

What's that Reel?

Ross Purnell, Editor - October 19, 2015

Find out what kind of reel that is, and why that steelhead on the cover of Fly Fisherman...

See More Reels

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.