Redington Butter Stick: A Real Review

A month ago, I wrote that I wanted to buy the new Redington Butter Stick based solely upon the marketing.

Today, I’m writing that you should buy the new Redington Butter Stick based solely upon my experience fishing with the rod for a few weeks.

That might be enough for you. But I’ll elaborate.

The first thing that strikes me about the Butter Stick is how light it feels in hand. Scratch that. To be honest, the first thing that strikes me about the Butter Stick is the cosmetics. Which, again, I have written about already.

Anyway, the first thing that strikes me about holding the Butter Stick is how light it feels in hand. Fishing a number of modern fiberglass fly rods, I’ve gotten used to the general contrast they offer to their graphite counterparts. The best description might be tip-heavy, which is truly hyperbole for the quality glass rods being made today. Redington’s updated glass truly mitigates this stereotype.

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Last Cast of the Week, 11/16/2018

Every now and then, Fridays on Casting Across are  devoted to other people’s contributions in the fly fishing community. Articles, pictures, social media accounts, videos, podcasts, products, and more are featured on The Last Cast of the Week.

Today, I’m sharing items from:

  • Vedavoo – Adding Weight (and Micro Swivels) for Better Fishing
  • Sage – Swing Season / The Ghost of Steelhead Future
  • Blog Fly Fish – Embrace Our Streams

If you’d like to be featured in the Last Cast of the Week, or have seen something that others might be interested in, use my  contact form  or shoot me an email (matthew[at]castingacross[dot]com). Also, be sure to  subscribe to Casting Across to never miss a post.

Check out the links, along with my thoughts, below:

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Rising Fear and Trout

The first half of this story can be read here on Casting Across.

Immediately, the ascent was treacherous. I plodded up the loose forest floor in my wading boots, every step strengthening my resolve to get to the top while simultaneously increasing the force with which I asked myself “why?”

Mind you, this was a time when most wading boots were little more than thick canvas socks with laces and felt soles. The combined effect of the terrain and my footwear put me in a position in which Sisyphus would have been at an advantage. It was precarious, to say the least. About two thirds of the way up, I grabbed on to a sapling for a brief reprieve. It was then I looked down.

They say to never look down. In this spot, here’s why: I saw how many trout were really in the pool.

There were more fish than I had thought there were. Lots more. Most were undetectable from where I had been casting. Many were facing in the opposite direction than I had assumed. Some were enormous. It was perplexing how fish could be so cool, calm, and collected after I had thrashed their pool for hours on end. It was equally disheartening and exciting.

Yet no fish was going to get me to retrace my steps and descend the cliff. I’ll do a lot to get into casting position, including being slightly reckless. But life and limb? (And the safety of my fly rod?) That is where I draw the line. And the situation I had scurried myself into passed that line. It was dumb. It was unnecessary. It was frightening.

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Rising Trout and Fear

Thought number one: “Well, that’s where the trout were the whole time.”

Thought number two: “I’m pretty sure I’m going to fall to my death.”

Looking back, all these years later, the latter is clearer. In my mind’s eye, I can see the pool. I can see the fish. I can see where I was when I was fishing, where I had been casting, and where I should have been fishing and standing. At the time, I was just trying to not tumble down a boulder strewn cliff into the icy waters below.

Priorities, I suppose.

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Growing up in and around fly fishing circles, certain locations take on a more than mythical status. For all anglers, there are rivers which hold a special allure. And then within these streams there are particular runs or pools that have built their own reputation. These spots are known because people could frequently be found there. Or, and better, a fish or many fish are always found there.

Add a teenager’s zeal to all the hype and spilled ink and you have what is tantamount to a holy fly fishing pilgrimage site.

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Casting Across 3 Year Giveaway Winners

So who won the ten prize packages from the Casting Across 3  Year Giveaway?

It is true that giving is better than receiving. I get a lot of gear, which is nice. But being able to send off these ten packages in the mail was a lot of fun. Plus, I fish with all of the gear that I gave away, so I know that the winners are going to truly enjoy what they get. (I don’t fish with the exact gear I give away… you know what I mean,)

As I’ve written about ad nauseam, gear is inseparable from fly fishing. Sharing good gear is a cool way to share fly fishing with people I only know through comment sections and social media. In a way, mailing these leaders, fly boxes, stickers, etc. to ten spots around the country is a tangible manifestation of what happens when I hit publish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on Casting Across.

Anyway, all that probably isn’t why you’re here today.

Here are the 10 prizes I gave away, and who won:

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5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Fly Tying Tools

Hardcore, devoted fly tiers own and use good tools. If you are tying every fly you fish or offering dozens upon dozens of patterns up for sale, you’ll get a lot out of premium tying accessories. To any fly fisher, that makes a lot of sense: we want the best tool for the job.

But what about the novice, the person who might tie some simple flies every now and then? Which tools should the person who simply dabbles in fly tying use?

Most everyone who ties flies usually begins with a kit. Along with a rudimentary vise and enough materials to tie a few basic patterns, you’ll get a pair of scissors, a bobbin, and a whip finisher. They will work. You’ll be able to figure out how to palmer hackle, spin dubbing, and create fishable flies. However, whether it be the manufacturing, materials, or design, most of these starter kit-level tools aren’t the best tool for the job – even if that job is a handful of woolly buggers or a couple Clouser minnows. They work, but they don’t work great.

Anyone who has fly fished beyond the beginner phase has seen the value in investing in a rod or a line that offers more precision, durability, efficiency, or ergonomics. Why would fly tying tools, even if only used sporadically, be any different?

Why should you spend money on better fly tying tools, even if you don’t tie a lot? Here are 5 reasons:

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5 Questions with The Fly Fishing Show CEO

Looking for something fly fishing related during the coming winter doldrums? I think that one of the best ways you can spend your non-angling time is at a good outdoor expo. Recently I talked to Ben Furmisky, President and CEO of The Fly Fishing Show, about the 2018 Show circuit. Read what he had to say about his favorite parts of the Show, what it has to offer fly fishers of all experience levels, and why you should attend.

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What was the first day after the Lancaster Show, the final stop on the 2018 Show circuit, like for you personally?

I appreciate you asking that. The first actual day after Lancaster is usually finishing up packing supplies and then a travel day. On occasion I try to go visit my Grandmother in Pittsburgh. Once I get home, I look forward to sleeping in after 3 months on the road and many 20-hour work days.

How would attending the Show be beneficial for a brand-new fly fisher?

I personally recommend attending the Show to new fly fishers because it offers a unique opportunity to get an idea of what the sport has to offer. They are all jam packed with information for the beginner from casting lessons to techniques to information about local waters. But the most unique opportunity for the new fly fisher is to see what encompasses the sport as a whole: all the amazing fish, places you can fish, the people, the products, the flies and how they are made, and more. There is no better opportunity to really get an idea of what the sport has to offer and make a truly educated decision on if the sport is something they want to pursue and what direction they would like to follow within fly fishing.

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Last Cast of the Week, 11/2/2018

Every now and then, Fridays on Casting Across are  devoted to other people’s contributions in the fly fishing community. Articles, pictures, social media accounts, videos, podcasts, products, and more are featured on The Last Cast of the Week.

Today, I’m sharing items from:

  • Casting Across – 3 Year Giveaway
  • International Fly Tying Symposium –  IFTS 2018
  • Loon – Fly Tying Videos

If you’d like to be featured in the Last Cast of the Week, or have seen something that others might be interested in, use my  contact form  or shoot me an email (matthew[at]castingacross[dot]com). Also, be sure to  subscribe to Casting Across to never miss a post.

Check out the links, along with my thoughts, below:

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My Fly Fishing Journey: 30 for 3

By nature, writing is introspective. It is nearly impossible to not insert yourself into what you write about. Words betray objectivity. Experience influences everything. And people, by and large, are nostalgic and sentimental critters. (Coincidentally, Trout don’t have that burden.)

A lot has transpired over the course of the past three years in and through my fly fishing journey. Maybe even more than in the previous 20 years.

If you have been reading Casting Across for any period of time, the following list of observations isn’t going to surprise you. That being said, I don’t blame you if you haven’t been waiting at your computer with baited breath every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for my latest bit of writing.  So I’ve compiled 30 things that have happened over the past 3 years.

Over the past three years…

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A Fly Fishing Party & You’re Invited

Today marks three years of  Casting Across!

For three years I’ve been writing about the quarry of fly fishing: fish, rivers, and personal achievements. I’ve been writing about  the culture of fly fishing: literature, podcasts, and gear. The people, places, and things  are as much a part of Casting Across as I am. It is fun to  tell stories and share knowledge and attempt to be funny all within the same theme, It is even more fun when it spills over the edges of a website and into real rivers and restaurants.

Through Casting Across, I’ve been able to form some great relationships. I appreciate comments, emails, and social media chirps – and I do my very best to respond right away. I’d probably still write if no one was reading… but having people read makes it that much better.

Also, I’ve had a chance to collaborate with some amazing people who represent the best of what is out there in the industry. Some of these companies have graciously offered up some of their gear for a giveaway. To celebrate three years of Casting Across, to say thank you for reading, and to spread my writing to a wider audience, I was able to  give away hundreds of dollars worth of flies, leaders, packs, and more to ten winners.

Here are the 10 packages I gave away, and who won:

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