The Lightest Reel In It’s Class Without A Huge Price Tag – The Redington Zero Fly Reel

The Redington Zero line of reels have been around since 2015 so you have probably seen them in your local fly shop or while shopping online. If you haven’t you may need to get out more. In all seriousness these reels are sticking around for a few reasons… They are just good little reels that do exactly what you need them to do, weigh a crazy light 3 oz. and will set you back right at $100…. actually $99.99! And.. they come in multiple colors – Black, Sand, Teal, Dreamcicle and Avocado… I have two – a Black 2/3 and a 4/5 in that funky Dreamcicle color!

Let’s jump back to that weight topic.. The Zero weighs in at only 3 oz. and in all my research of lightweight reels I can only find one that “claims” to be lighter and that’s the Ross Colorado LT. There are multiple websites that say the Colorado weighs 2.9 oz. So for all intents and purposes they weigh the same thing. One of the main differences in these two reels is that the Zero has an Un-machinable, unique die-cast construction (from the Redington site) and the Colorado is a fully machined reel. The other main difference is the price with the Zero coming in at $99.99 and the Colorado at $295.00. Two different reels at two different price points. It’s really hard to compare the two of them except that they both get the job done for the most part the same way.

Being that the Zero has a click-pawl drag you know that it will have that ever popular clicking when line is being stripped out as well as when you are reeling it in. So for all you Fly Fisher Folk (FFF) that love the clicking sound you are in luck! Although this reel has one of the loudest clicking sounds I have heard it really doesn’t detract from the reel and I actually like it. The drag does exactly what it’s supposed to do which is give a little bit of tension and you do the rest yourself.

The Zero comes in a 2/3 or a 4/5 and in my opinion that makes them a great choice for your small stream fishing. So what are you really looking for when fishing a small stream for smallish fish? A kick butt sealed drag system that gives you a 10 pound drag pressure? Heck no you don’t need that. Can you buy it and be the king of the stream with your $600 reel, sure you can but is it needed… Once again no.. Speaking for myself what I need for small stream fishing is basic, dependable and a reel that holds line for me. And the Redington Zero fits that description perfectly. Pair the Zero with a great rod in the 2wt – 4wt range and you are in for a great time.

  • 2/3 Reel & 4/5 Reel
  • Colors – Black, Sand, Teal, Avocado and Dreamcicle
  • Reel Diameter – 3 inches on the 2/3 and 3.3 inches on the 4/5
  • Backing – 20 pound at 100 yards – Small stream fishing says you will hardly ever get to the backing….
  • Drag – Click/Pawl – Yes the beautiful sound of a click/pawl reel!
  • Construction – Un-machinable Unique Die-Cast Construction
  • Weight – 3 oz. – Super-Lightweight – Lightest Reel In It’s Class
  • Large Arbor Design helps reduce line memory
  • Converts from right hand retrieve to left hand easily.
  • Nylon Reel Case
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • $99.99 Reel
  • $49.99 Additional Spool

So to wrap it up.. If you fish small streams and absolutely love the sound of a reel clicking as line is going out, the Redington Zero might be the reel for you. Actually I would say the Redington Zero IS for you! And.. at $99.99 how can you go wrong giving one a try. I tried one out and bought a second one… I now need a third in that cool Avocado color….

Check out the Redington Zero at your local fly shop, just about anywhere online or Redington’s website –

The General Fly Reel

Big Y Fly Company – The General Fly Reel 7/8wt- $129.99 – Ferrari Red Backing and Yellow Line

This review could honestly be done very quickly simply by saying – This reel is a WORKHORSE!! But since that doesn’t give much information I’ll refrain from opting for the short and sweet version and give you a little more information.

A few weeks ago I picked up the 7/8wt version of this reel and was extremely surprised when I opened up the box. After I tore down the reel and looked it over I still have no idea how they are putting together a reel of this quality and selling it for $129.99. It’s a bargain if you ask me. When the reel and additional spool hit my front porch I pounded out a quick initial review so look down a few posts for some more information.

OK… back to the reel. So I broke it down, looked it over, tested it in the backyard and just flat out abused the drag on this reel trying to see what it could do. Nothing I did could make it stray from what it’s supposed to do and that’s two things. (1) Hold backing and line and (2) STOP FISH. Did I mention I love the drag on this reel? Just in case you missed it I do. The drag knob doesn’t click like a lot of reels but rather it’s a smooth dial so you can set it without having specified increments like other reels I own…with one company putting out crazy expensive reels and they don’t perform any better than the General… Yep I said it.. this $130 reel goes toe to toe with my $700 (insert that expensive reel brand here) and can easily match it.

And… today I took the reel out and paired it with a Scott Tidal – 9’ 8wt and it worked perfectly. I used the reel chasing large mouth bass today around a farm pond in dirty murky water and mud everywhere (Cows watching me). I dropped it, slipped and fell in the mud around the bank (yes I fell), and it was fairly abused in those two instances and it didn’t miss a beat.

From the Big Y website – description of The General

The new General Series Reels from Big Y Fly Co is the latest in our product lineup of quality fly fishing gear. This reel actually takes off where our Nano left off. Milled specifically to decrease weight and increase backing capacity, this awesome reel is manufactured using 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum for hardcore durability that will stand the test of time. We even designed in a sealed drag to keep out those nasty elements, whether in salt or freshwater. Whatever you can throw at it, this reel can take it. It is available to match 5wt-10wt rods (including Switch and Spey models). A great option for the trout bum, all the way up to the die-hard saltwater fisher. At this price point it is damn near impossible to beat, so buy two! The General Series Reels are sure to be a top mainstay in our lineup for a long time.

So, when it really matters, make it a General Series Reel from Big Y Fly Co. Designed in Hood River, Oregon.

A sealed drag using multi carbon disc system.
Machine cut out of cold forged 6061-T6 aluminum.
Oversize handles and drag knob making it easy to use in wet and cold conditions.
Increased backing capacity.
Caged frame.
Includes mesh reel pouch.

So in summary.. The General can stand up to just about whatever you throw at it and at a price point that doesn’t even make sense it‘s so low. Pick one up or at that price pick up a few of them or some extra spools. Trust me it’s a steal.

Only thing I would change is the name to The Gladiator.. because it’s just a beast of a reel… and that logo on the dial looks like Russell Crowe’s helmet in the movie!! Picture below is a large mouth that was brought in on the General! Great fish although my camera man needs a little more work on getting the entire fish in the frame!

Great job Big Y Fly Company – check out the reel at the link below or visit them on Facebook and Instagram.

Big Y Fly Company and The General

Big Y Fly Company – The General Fly Reel – $129.99 – Ferrari Red and Yellow Line & Backing

Up today is a reel that I posted about a few weeks ago when it first came in – THE GENERAL.. Good looking reel put out by Big Y Fly Company… the good people at Big Y spooled it up with some awesome bright red backing and I had Tom at Backwoods put on some Rio WF8F Bass/Pike/Panfish line. Just so happened the line was yellow so the red and yellow combo gives it the Ferrari color look!! This weekend I’ll be pairing the reel with a Scott Tidal 8wt rod and chasing some Oklahoma farm pond Large Mouth Bass… From my initial messing around with the reel it seems to have a fantastic drag so we will see how it does this weekend when out on the water. Review and on the water pics coming this weekend…