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CPX Switch Rod 11'3" 8wt.

by Brian Pitser

At first glance the Redington CPX switch rods are sharp looking with the neoprene cork inserts, top band and fighting butt, and a stylish grey color with nice rod wrappings. Great packaging, but does it fish? Anyone can package up something to make it look good, but the proof is in the pudding. In these tough economic times, it is difficult to part with hard earned money for yet another spey rod. Personally, I was not about to part with hard earned cash and experience buyer’s remorse.

The CPX 11’3”, 8 weight switch rod has proven to be a very dynamic stick and has found a place at the top of my arsenal for steelhead and salmon in the Great Lakes region. It has amazingly crisp casting action and a nice stiff upper section for drift fishing, yet easily protects light tippet. These are the main features both my clients and I are excited about in this new Redington CPX rod. The longer butt section is not only a necessity for spey casting, but it is great for fighting fish in cold weather situations when you have a couple of layers of fleece and an outer shell. “Incredibly light to hand” is how one client described it in comparison to some of the other 11’ rods I carry in the boat.

The rod will handle a variety of Skagit lines with tips. My personal favorite is a 450 grain line with a 5 to 12 foot tip; however, you may find one line or the other works better for you. The floating line I am using on it is the 8 weight Nymph Taper by Scientific Anglers with a Drennan-style float as an indicator.

Casting is concise, and a bit faster than with a longer rod. Once you get the timing down, however, the CPX Switch rod will feel like a spey rod of typical length and you will not be giving up anything in medium-length casting distance. It appears to have a bit better accuracy on casts, and it is very easy to overhead cast and put the fly in the bucket. After all, isn’t that the reason why we buy all this equipment? We head out in the cold, rain, and snow to cast to that one “player” steelhead who will find us worthy and reward us with that big grab. Once you make the cast and mend, you almost forget the rod is there and feel immediately in touch with the fly and the line. The beauty of this Redington rod is being able to sense each subtle movement of the fly in the current, the undulations with the sink tip and the river, until wham-- fish on! On fighting fish, this rod has fantastic fish-fighting characteristics on fish up to 17 lbs, and I am sure it would handle large fish. Hopefully I will find out soon.

If you are looking for a great all-around migratory fish rod that will leave you enough money to go out and chase the elusive steelhead, look no further than the Redington CPX series. Redington has really been doing a great job in delivering a high performance rod which does not sacrifice on cosmetics, quality, and feel all at a fair price to the consumer. Thanks Redington-- keep up the great work!