When it comes to tossing big, bushy flies on small, tight streams, Redington’s Butter Stick is undefeated. The new-age rod offers a fairly inexpensive portal into fishing with fiberglass rods, an older and more classic style of fishing that has recently been dusted off and put to use by the fly-fishing community. Upon holding this rod, you will be able to feel why it has become such a popular choice for anglers across all water!
After graduating from Eagle Claw’s Featherlight glass rod, the Butter Stick sparked my interest as an affordable, attractive, small-stream rod. It allows for a more comfortable grip, accessible casting motion and action, and a more reliable rod overall. Eagle Claw’s glass model exceeds preformance for the miniscule price point ($20 on some websites), and can spurr someone considering getting into fishing with glass. However, after fishing over a hundred days a year with Eagle Claw’s cheaper rod, the cork grip had disintegrated, and the rod was beginning to be uncooperative and unreliable. After my switch to the Butter Stick, I experienced a considerably higher quality grip, rod action, balance, and overall presentation. Fishing almost exclusively small streams, the rod excells in areas where a bow-and-arrow cast necessitates streamside success. In addition to the twig water of the Mid-Atlantic, I have found that the Butterstick has been able to hold its own on slightly bigger rivers, being able to make 40-50 foot casts with accuracy and ease. While the rod was not build to be fished from bank to bank of a larger river, it certainly has the potential to cast extended distances. The rod has incredible flex, and allows fish under ten inches to put a bend in your rod, while also being able to manage the occasional larger fish.
The aesthetic of the rod is reminiscent of older models of glass rods with a hue of modern design. The rod’s color, feel, and overall balance makes fishing with it a blast, catering to many different species of fish and habitats. Small mountain streams, medium rivers, ponds, and creeks for trout, bass, and panfish are all easy with the Butter Stick. The three piece set up makes it an easy rod to travel with, aided by the clean, slick look and lightweight feel of Redington’s rod tube that comes with the rod. Taking my Butter Stick into remote backcountry destinations has been easy due to its packability, and easy, compact setup.
There is a slow action that will come alongside any glass rod, but this slow action is especially deliberate and soothing on Redington’s Butter Stick. While the rod makes the user take his or her time on casts, it certainly does not fall short in its aptitude for casting longer distances. The ability of this rod to crank out tight loops at these farther distances with ease is outstanding, and for someone who fishes medium to small rivers exclusively, this could be the all purpose, lightweight rod you are looking for. As an owner of the 3 weight model, I fish this rod with Rio Gold WF Tapered fly line, and I often stop myself after casts to admire the beauty and proficiency of the rod. While using my Eagle Claw, I found myself putting in a lot more physical work while casting, straining to make decent casts at medium to long range. With Redington’s Butter Stick, I often catch myself letting too much line out on my longer casts. This rod makes it easy to get carried away, a fairly decent problem to have.
The downsides of this rod, while they are slim, are prevalant. This 3 weight rod stands at seven feet, and while casting dry flies is a breeze, mending line while nymphing and even casting dries over a run or riffle leaves me longing for more. I find myself reaching with this rod, and while it is great in cramped, brush-filled streams, a few extra inches would have been appreciated for mending and high stick nymphing. Often times, the drift one receives from attempting to high stick with this rod are slightly lopsided and uneven. The Butter Stick, however, was made for the delicate presentations that one must make on a crowded stream, and in this category, the rod delivers.
Not surprisingly, this rod is an astounding dry fly rod, and while fishing with a dropper rig is possible, nymphs make your presentation and casting a little clunkier than you might like. While possible, nymphing with this rod is not as fun as fishing with dries. Streamers and larger flies are fairly difficult, and slightly dangerous for this rod, as they put in unnecessary flex to the rod. If you primarily fish streamers, I would not purchase this rod, for it is a stellar dry fly and decent nymphing rod. In my experience, this rod produces consistent, dreamy loops with dry flies.
The Butter Stick is an exceptional rod, and for $250, an angler can experience this orthodox, traditional approach to fly fishing without having to dip into their life savings. I absolutely recommend this rod for someone who is interested in exploring and experiencing fiberglass. Thankfully, Redington has made it available in several weights, ranging from two to five, so the slow action beauty can be bought for several species of fish and aquatic habitats. Have fun on the water, and don’t be surprised by the pleasant casting motion and heavy bend in your rod!