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
Let me explain a little bit about why I think the way I do. I’m going to go a little bit in depth in both fly rod combos.
Breaking down the Redington Cross Water Combo
Let me just say this about the Redington Crosswater Combo, it will work for you – if you are a beginner. It doesn’t come with a leader or extra 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 (save it when you upgrade) and it is pre-spooled for the water.
Biggest Cons: I wish this rod came with the entire setup, ready to go fly fishing. That’s my biggest issue here, it’s not very expensive although. The quality of the rod and reel aren’t the greatest, which is fine since it’s so inexpensive. It’s not as though you are purchasing a 1,000 dollar Sage rod.
Just be wary that the quality might not be the greatest thing in the world. It will DEFINITELY work for a beginner fly rod combo although. If this is what your budget has set it’s standards on, this one will work.
Buy the Crosswater on Aventuron. (On sale right now, not sure how long it’s going to last)
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.
The goal here was to create a fly fishing combo with the beginner in mind – to get you on the water ASAP.
I just don’t think that there is a better combo for you to buy right now that includes backing, line, leader, flies, nippers and also obviously the case with the rod and reel.
It does not come with extra tippet line, which you don’t actually need right away, but I would recommend getting. Quick run down on tippet – your tapered leader has two feet of tippet line on the end of it. When you start changing flies and trimming tippet, the length of it shrinks. Buying extra tippet on a spool will save you money because you aren’t constantly switching out leaders, since you don’t want to be tying your flies to the tapered part of the leader. It’s complicated, but if you want to go more in depth I’ve an article here.
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 just insist on going for a Redington..
Maybe you just aren’t feeling the Cabela’s Prestige vybes… that’s ok!
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!