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Redington Zero Fly Fishing Reel Review – Bargain for Trout

Arguments on the perfect fly fishing reel won’t stop soon. Each angler has what they term as a ‘perfect reel’ for them. If you were to research or conduct a survey, you will discover that almost all reels are perfect.

However, there are just those that stand out no matter what. An example is the Redington Zero Fly Fishing Reel.

It is an undeniably economical fly reel and for those avid buddies who love the click and check reels, this one will sweep you off your feet.

Redington Zero Fly Fishing Reel

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Does the Hype Count?

Sure. The Zero works excellently in small waters where there are lots of fish. Those who expected a flamboyant reel were disappointed. The manufacturer kept the reel design as simple as possible but the performance in this area is top-notch.

It is one of those classic trout-specific reel designs with features that you would want in a standard reel. We love that it is relatively cheap and designed to be very lightweight.

The significant increase in the retrieval rates is from the large arbor design. Like the Behemoth and Run reels by Redington, this one sports a die-cast construction that is advanced to incredibly reduce its weight.

Wrangling trout or other species needs a good drag system like the spring-loaded clicker system in the Zero.

The Zero comes in two models- size 2/3 and size 4/5. This enables the fisher to choose a preferred option for their adventure. All the sizes come in black, sand, teal, and avocado colors that are attractive. We love that the schemes suit the angler’s mood perfectly as you cast.

What’s the Construction Like?

Still, nothing flamboyant but a simple reel that does what it has to do. The reels weigh considerably less thanks to the die-cast construction that also makes the reel relatively inexpensive.

As you trout fish, the type of handle your reel has will determine if you will pack up earlier than usual or pass the day until you are late. This one is ergonomic, twin-molded, and soft to the touch. You will not experience work fatigue as the day stretches.

This isn’t your common carbon fiber drag system like you have seen in the Run, Grande, and the likes from Redington. The Zero features the classic click & check drag system.

If you have fished reels with the two drag systems, you will agree that the click and check is an old type but still executes the job. The only limitation is that it works perfectly in small operations.

For the drag system parts, the gear is from Delrin and the clicker from anodized aluminum. The material combination also greatly reduces the weight of the drag system but still maintains being functional for smaller waters.

Even in the critical fishing moments, the old-school click and check system will not fail.

The large arbor is what most fly fishing reels have to aid the anglers in fighting trout and wrangling them with more line pickups.

We love the U-shape spool which is brilliant and works excellently in the creek lines and shorter trout lines. For this reason, this fly reel boasts versatility.

All the models of the Zero reels are relatively inexpensive and the spools too. Most fly fishers contend that the primary spending vitals should be the fly rod, the fly line, then close with any fly reel.

Well, this ‘any fly reel’ mentality is what makes most anglers purchase mediocre reels. In this case, a smart angler can get the Redington Zero Fly Fishing Reel for a lesser amount than the fly line that you spool on it.

Main Features of the Zero by Redington Fly Reel

Material and Construction – Redington takes the reel through a unique process to strengthen the die-cast material. It is one of the cheap reels but does not look like one from the construction and finish. The manufacturer ensures that the porting is enough to minimize the overall weight of the fly reel. The die-cast makes a pretty affordable option compared to its machined sisters.

Arbor Design – The Zero is designed to have a large arbor for quicker line pick up. When you land a fish, hauling in the line can be fast. Also, there is greatly reduced fly line memory which is what any angler would love. No more frequent stretches to get the line back to its length.

Drag System – Of course, the drag system isn’t closer in performance to the high – end options or some disc drag types that are extremely powerful with immense fish stopping power. This one features a click and check or click and pawl system and will handle small fish best. The choice of material for the gear is Delrin and for the clicker is anodized aluminum. These two strike a good balance between weight reduction and function.

Spool – Zero reels have U-shaped spools that are extremely lightweight and are easily changeable. We love the size of the spool as it can hold enough line for trout. This reel doesn’t come with a spare spool but they exist and you can buy them separately if you want to change fly lines without changing the reel.

Handle – The reel handle is for reeling back in the fly line when battling a fish or once you make the cast and need to retrieve back the line onto the spool. It is twin-molded and with dual density for durability. It is soft to the touch and will give enough grip and offer more control.

Retrieve – A reel that is easy to convert to either side is considered the best. However, those that are designed for use on one side only still get the job done. The Zero can be converted to the right, left, and back without any problem.

Sizes and Specifications – The reel comes in only to sizes- size 2/3 has a reel weight of 2.7oz, a diameter of 3’’, and 100 yards on 20lbs backing capacity. Size 4/5 has a reel diameter of 3.3’’, a reel weight of 3oz, and 100 yards on 20lbs backing capacity.

Case – Redington packs the fly reel in a nylon reel case to help with storage and transportation to and from your fishing location. It is washable and dries pretty quickly.

Warranty – As the new version for 2020, the Zero falls under the new Redington warranty policy published in 2019 that all reels from the manufacturer must be backed by a warranty. This one has a lifetime warranty to the original owner to cater for replacements of repairs. This is for defects in material and artistry.


Customer Thoughts on the Zero Fly Fishing Reel

Quite a perfect match for a fiberglass rod. It is extremely lightweight. The construction and lines are pretty impressive. It is very easy to change spools and make conversions from either side. 

It is a very simple fly reel and functions better than most that exceed its price. Few click and pawl reels have large arbors and for this one there is very little line memory than you can expect. 

Unfortunately, the click sound when retrieving is louder and for the bothered ones, it might be a concern. However, if you don’t mind, of course, others on the river should know that the little chap you caught is peeling line crazily. 

We loved a review from one of our buddies concerning the warranty program. Their reel had a slight issue that could turn into a big mess and they had to return it. The return was pretty quick and the guy at Redington gave a free reel pouch which was AWESOME!

For the small stream trout, we love the smooth drag and the perfect resistance that it offers. It also does well for small crappies and the feel is great. 

There is space between the spool and the frame and it needs diligence to ensure that debris doesn’t get into the gap. 

We can call it a minimalist reel because of the simplicity it beholds. Pair this with another lightweight rod, then you can badly dig this combo. 

Designing it with its size of arbor results in slow fly line retrieval unlike it would have been speedier in a large arbor reel. The backing drops as well to only 115 yards at 20lbs contrary to other models like Redington and Orvis which have backing at over 200+.


Pros – Things that shine on the Zero Fly Reel​

  • A super lightweight fly reel
  • Excellent for trout fishing especially on smaller creeks or streams
  • Excellent construction
  • Comes in various colors and sizes
  • Large arbor for quicker retrieves
  • Retrieve sides are changeable
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons – Things that are not so cool!

  • The reel’s drag power is very little to handle larger waters and fish but for the smaller trout streams, it is perfect.
  • The click sound of the drag is louder and can be irritating to some anglers while others love it.
  • The reel foot of the 4/5 reel is large.

FAQ’s – Questions about the Zero Trout Fly Reel

Q) What weights of fly rods will these reels match without affecting balance?
A) It is a lightweight fly reel that is trout-specific and meant for small rivers, creeks, and ponds. A 2 weight, 4 weight, or a 3 weight will be just fine.

Q) Since it is recommended for small fish what happens when your fly hooks a larger one? Will the reel fail?
A) For such click and pawl reels with less drag, the angler is the new drag system. Palm the spool

Q) What is the spool release like?
A) This one has an easy release spool with the help of a push button that is at the center of the spool’s surface.

Q) For the size 4/5 fly reel, what is the approximate spool width?
A) The spool width for this reel is about 1 ¼ inch.

Final Verdict on the Redington Zero Fly Reel

Anyone holding a Zero for the first time might melt in shock. The reel is quite attractive and lightweight-these two might be the shocker. As you spend more time with it, be sure it will trigger positive vibes if you pair it correctly and use it for the smaller waters.

New anglers having time with these reels might mistake it for a very ancient fly reel from a company that was in business then but collapsed and this was their only reel series left in the market-maybe to be in the museums but found a seller.

You can’t even compare it to the Ross Canyon reel of the 2000s as it was one of the best trout reels of that time. The dang-big arbor design brings more of the ancient technology but with better performance.

If you are looking for an excellent fly reel for small trout on a budget, this one is one of the top competitors. The construction is good quality and the other features put together will make an old-school lover enjoy this reel to the fullest.

We have seen questions on the lifetime warranty on a die-cast reel. It is an excellent customer reward program if you could ask us. Not all fly fishers are brutal. Some baby their fly fishing gear and still have more fun than you can think.

The ‘lifetime’ is meant for the cautious chaps as they can use these reels longer. Most anglers who have put this fly reel to test pair it with glass rods like the Redington Butter Stick Fly Rod.

You might be interested in just more than the Redington Zero Fly Fishing Rod. Check out more fly reel options, select the perfect rod, or spot everything you will need for a trip out. We have so much to learn and sample up on our website.

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