Review: Redington Butter Stick Fly Rod

Redington's fiberglass offering is a joy for small-stream angling
Redington Butter Stick
Redington Butter Stick

So, that sweet little “crick stick” wasn’t under the tree, huh? The family is under the mistaken assumption that you already possess enough fly fishing gear — and plenty of rods, in particular.

Yeah, you asked for a tight little backcountry rod — a supple, glass number that’s almost as intuitive as you are when it comes time to read a little hidden stream somewhere well off the pavement. But you got a sweater, instead. Or a pair of fuzzy slippers.

Whatever. You knew this would happen, right? You ask for something to enhance your “vice,” and instead get a bottle of cologne and a beef stick. Such is life.

Don’t fret. That little implement isn’t too far out of reach, and, frankly, it’s not nearly as pricey as you might think.

No, don’t think about the “big boys” in this instance — as impressive as their glass rod offerings are these days. Instead, think about Redington’s new Butter Stick. For a fraction of the price of some of the more “snooty” models on the market, this rod delivers a performance that is easily comparable to its competitors.

I got my hands on the 2-weight version of the Butter Stick late last summer, and it quickly moved to the top of my list of rod choices when it came to hitting small water off the beaten path. The rod comes in weights 2 through 5, and at $249, you won’t find a better tool for small-stream angling.

Here in eastern Idaho, I’m lucky to have access to some of the best backcountry streams in the West (when they’re not covered in a ice, of course). The light-weight Butter Stick (the 2-weight version weighs less than two ounces) allows for delicate casts in tight quarters while at the same time offering enough backbone for longer casts when needed, or when big terrestrials are on the menu — it throws fat foam hoppers with ease. Judging by the versatility of the product line’s lightest rod, I’m guessing the 5-weight version — the heftiest of the Butter Sticks — would easily cast streamers.

I’m not a true-blue fiberglass convert, but I do love the way a glass rod feels, particularly on small water. The Butter Stick answers that “throw-back” call of the backcountry, but, truth be told, it’s no less effective than your average light-weight graphite rod. Yes, you have to slow your cast, and be a bit more deliberate — but that’s to the beauty of glass, right? And, when a sizeable trout comes calling, the fiberglass rod lets you truly feel the head shakes and the runs. It gives a trout a bit more heft … a bit more … honor.

I possess other glass rods — including one from a well-known, high-end brand that I truly adore. But the Butter Stick is its equal, especially when you consider the price of the gorgeous little implement.

Take it from this creek freak. The Butter Stick is no slouch, and if you get your hands on one with one (you know what to do with that gift card, my friend), you won’t be disappointed.

Of course, you’ll have to wait for the ice to melt.



I'm not a true blue glass rod fisher either, but I do have a nice 4wt glass. And they are a lot of fun! Great review and fabulous price on that Butter Stick!

The Butter Stick IS a great rod.

But, truth be told, the Cabela's CGR is THE finest value in fiberglass rods. Full price they are $130, but they're almost always on sale. I think right now they're running about $60. That is an absolute steal for what I consider the best value fiberglass rod you can buy. It does everything the Butter Stick can do, and at that price point it is flat out unbeatable. I own 4 CGRs in different sizes and love them all.