At the time of the review (fall of 2020), the Redington Chromer rod was available. Since then, Redington had discontinued the Chromer and has replaced it with the Claymore. According to Industry experts, the Claymore is an updated version of the Chromer with minor changes to some details and aesthetics, but the build and essence of the rod is the same and with the same price point.
Occasionally, I get surprised. Seems that the older I get the more often that happens. I have learned to embrace it as well as appreciate it. Last season, I was in the mood to go steelhead fishing at the end of my season at Rapids Camp Lodge. Several of us from the lodge pooled together to rent a house and creeper van for a week. It was gonna be epic. I figured I should treat myself to a new Spey rod. It’s a righteous end-of-season treat for me. Spend the tip money, live now pay later.
The river we all decided to venture to is small by steelhead standards. In fact, it’s damn close to being a creek. While I already owned the perfect switch rod for such a size river it just happened to be almost 5000 miles away from me. I didn’t want to make a duplicate purchase and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a rod that would be very specialized. In a perfect world, a perfect Spey rod for a small steelhead river would be 12’ long and cast a 525-600 grain Skagit head. Sage produces this very rod in the X series and I am beyond certain that it would be glorious to fish. However, I just didn’t want to spend that much money. Not for a rod that I wasn’t sure how much use it would get outside of this one trip. So, I kept searching.
I have always been partial to Sage Rods and through the years, the Far Bank Co. has been very good to me as an independent guide and treats Deneki Outdoors very, very well. I had remembered seeing other guides and a few guests use a Redington Chromer Spey rod and rave about how great it was. I decided to take a look. The exact size rod I wanted wasn’t in the lineup but, a 12’6” rod that performed with a 525-625 gr Skagit head was. I took a chance and ordered one. I figured worst case I would donate it to the lodge if it didn’t perform. Little did I know how that would go.
Some 10 days later, the rod arrived at the lodge. Just in time for swing season on the Naknek. “That’s convenient,” I thought. Late season giant Naknek rainbows will be a great test to just how good this rod performs. 12’6” is probably a little short for the Naknek but why not give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? Turns out, with a 600gr Skagit head and 12’ of T-14 it’s a freakin’ cannon. The rod will cast as far as I want it to. The rod tip is forgiving enough to make solid hooksets at long distances. Longer distances than a 12’6” rod should be able to. What was the most surprising was how comfortable it felt in hand. Granted my Hardy Cascapedia 4/0 reel was a little heavy on it. One size smaller reel would be perfectly balanced.
Notably, what was also impressive was that every guest that fished with the 12’6” Chromer remarked at how easy it was to cast. Novices were banging out 60-70’ casts within 15 min. Seasoned Spey anglers were pleased with how easy the rod produced a 100’ cast. The rod performs well beyond its $400 price tag.
The Redington Chromer is a discontinued rod and availability is limited. That being said the new Claymore comes in the following rod sizes and currently available at www.redington.com:
- 2110-4 2 wt
- 3113-4 3 wt
- 4116-4 4 wt
- 6116-4 6 wt
- 7116-4 7 wt
- 8116-4 8 wt
- 5123-4 5 wt
- 6126-4 6 wt
- 7126-4 7 wt
- 7136-4 7 wt
- 8126-4 8 wt
- 8136-4 8 wt
Thanks for reading,
Chad Bryson, Head Guide, Rapids Camp Lodge
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Thomas Cappiello says
What are the differences between claymore and chromer and why would someone choose a switch say a 5wt over a spey of the same wt?
Jim Kim says
Hi Thomas, The Claymore, and Chromer is the same rod, with only a name change and change to the aesthetics. As for choosing Spey over a Switch, it is more about the type of fishing you’ll be doing, line and tip preference, and what kind of flies you want to fish. Check out this post here about Choosing a line. Specifically, a 5wt Spey rod can turn over larger flies, require a heavier grain weight line, and cast further than a 5 weight switch rod.