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

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.

Fly Tying

Tying the Strong Arm Merkin

David W. Skok - July 09, 2019

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly.

Bass

How to Catch Smallmouth Bass on Topwater Flies

Dave Karczynski and Tim Landwehr

Modern methods for catching smallmouths on topwater flies.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Breaking the Surface

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

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Flies

The 15 Best Carp Flies

Jay Zimmerman - September 27, 2016

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are are eating to select the best carp...

United States

Indian Peaks Wilderness Area Colorado

Steven B. Schweitzer - May 03, 2016

Read about Colorado's backcountry fly fishing in " Indian Peaks Wilderness Area Colorado."

Fly Tying

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris - October 17, 2016

Best Panfish Flies

See More Stories

More Reels

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...

Reels

Ross Evolution R Salt

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 21, 2017

The original Evolution R has a braking system derived from 7 stacked stainless steel and...

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...

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.

×