Choosing a fly fishing setup for beginners is a challenging task, and this is a question we get quite a bit. So in this article we’re going to be putting Cabela’s Prestige up against the Redington Crosswater Combo to compare which is better for beginners.
Really, both brands are phenomenal. They have very inexpensive fly fishing gear, but the quality is going to leave you impressed. However, if I was to suggest one fly rod combo over the other right now, I would recommend buying the Cabela’s Prestige fly rod combo over the Redington Crosswater Combo.
Stacking the Cabela’s Prestige up vs the Redington Crosswater Combo
Breaking down the Redington Cross Water Combo
The Redington Crosswater is actually a solid setup if you are a beginner fly angler. The biggest issue that I have with it is that it doesn’t come ready to fish. The combo only include the rod, reel, case and line. It doesn’t come with extra leaders or tippet line, so you’ll have to purchase that separately. Which in reality isn’t that big of a deal, but the Prestige already comes with everything you need to get fly fishing. Including dry flies…
So yes, you will be saving a couple bucks if you buy the Crosswater, but you aren’t getting that extra gear that is necessary to fish with.
Biggest Pros: It’s an easy to cast, medium/fast action fly rod that does suit itself well to beginners. It does come with a cordura rod case and it is pre-spooled for the water.
Biggest Cons: It doesn’t come completely ready to fish. The rod and reel are of high quality, and this combo has great reviews on amazon, but you’ll have to get extra accessories before you can actually start fly fishing.
The bottom line is this, if you want a quality fly fishing combo at a reasonable price, go with this one. It doesn’t come ready to fish like the Cabela’s Prestige does, but it’s still a solid beginner combo.
Why the Cabela’s Prestige Collection is a much better option for beginners
Look, the Cabela’s Prestige fly rod combo is going to include more of what you want and need. It comes with quite a bit of extra equipment (note picture), but the most important aspect here is that it come’s with everything that you need to get started, right away.
Cabela’s created this combo completely ready to hit the water. You can purchase this combo and hit the water ASAP.
This is why I am a big fan of this combo, especially for beginners.
I just don’t think that there is a better combo for you to buy right now that includes backing, line, leaders, flies, nippers and also obviously the case with the rod and reel.
Even though this combo does come with everything you’ll need to start fly fishing, there are also other reasons that I believe this combo is worth it. For one, the rod is super smooth. As a beginner you want your rod to be easy casting, which this one is. It has medium sized loops that are fairly easy to control, as fly fishing goes. The downside of a smooth casting and medium sized loop rod is that they lose power and accuracy at longer distances.
But otherwise, you should have no trouble getting the hang of fly fishing with a combo like this one.
The reel is also made of aluminum, which is rare for a combo that is under $300. Aluminum reels typically last a lot longer than a standard polymer reel, and usually are a lot smoother too. I personally believe that it is worth it to invest a little more money into a reel that will actually withstand the test of time.
The drag on the reel of the Cabela’s Prestige Combo is very easy to adjust. It’s smooth and efficient.
Biggest Pros: It includes everything and the rod itself last’s quite a long time. On a recent Colorado fly trip, I had to laugh when a buddy of mine was still bringing his along as a backup. He mentioned it was the only thing available when his had broken on a spring steelhead trip in years past and it still sees occasional use to this day. One thing, if you’re using this setup and want to upgrade something, try upgrading your fly line. There are some great options out there that improve the overall presentation.
Biggest Cons: it is slightly more expensive than the Crosswater. But not by enough for it to make it worth buying over the Prestige in my opinion.
And if you aren’t big into the first two options…
Get the Redington Topo 4 Pc. Combo
This setup comes with all the bonus things you’ll find with the Cabela’s Prestige Collection combo we discussed above.
The complete combo is more expensive than both of the first two, but it’s quality.
It also does come with Redington’s one year warranty, so that’s a major upside here.
Otherwise just buy a combo completely from scratch.
Having the option of picking the rod and reel that you will be fishing with this year is a great way to customize your setup. It gives you a little bit of your own pizzaz to the whole ordeal. If you aren’t quite sure what the right fly rod or reel is for you, I wrote articles on both of them to point you in the right direction!
Best of luck and tight lines!