The Redington i.D. reel provides good functionality with a unique flair for fashion thanks to its customizable nature. The smooth, blank face of the i.D. accepts preprinted vinyl decals so users can highlight their own personality with their reel design. Though that fashionable design capability of the reel gets the most attention, the reel’s performance is worth noting as well. While it is a tad heavy compared to others in the class, the i.D. offers good line management at an affordable price.
The Redington i.D. reel offers anglers a unique opportunity to customize their reel to match their personality, and because the decals can be removed, the look of the i.D. can be changed at any time. But the new custom look is just a part of the value of the new i.D. This reel performed well under pressure, whether I was stripping line off it while fishing for big rainbows from a raft on the Yakima, or when casting for rising cutthroats on Idaho’s Salmon river. The disc drag system is functional and held up well over time, and the arbor size proved adequate for reasonably fast line retrieval.
The Redington i.D. does not dominate any category in this class of reel, but I found it to be an effective, efficient reel with a unique look, at a remarkable price. That makes it a great value.
Weight & Balance
The Redington i.D. weighs more than most of the reels in this class. That’s partly due to the closed frame back of the reel body. This solid face is needed to accept the custom decals. But the i.D. is not the heaviest reel in our test – that goes to the Cheeky – and the balance of the reel on most of the rods I used was reasonable. The added ounces really only affected performance when I was casting all day in tough conditions.
Spool Size and Line Retrieval
The i.D.’s spool size is the smallest in the class, but the difference in line retrieval speed isn’t substantial. The i.D. can haul in line quickly, if not quite as efficiently as the Sage Spectrum or even the i.D.’s sibling, the Redington Rise.
Durability and Drag Performance
As cost saving measures, Redington constructs the i.D. by die casting the aluminum components rather than machining them from aluminum stock. Casting – pouring molten metal into forms – is a cheaper alternative to machining or cutting the parts from solid aluminum blanks. But cast parts are more brittle and easier to chip or crack. I found that out first hand when I fell and dropped my rod during a scramble over a riverside boulder. The rod and reel landed butt first and the i.D. took the brunt of the hit and a small bit of aluminum fractured off the rim of the reel.
The disc drag system used on the i.D. proved to be effective but slightly susceptible to grit intrusion. I base that impression on the fact that I felt a touch of ‘grind’ in the drag after a day of fishing a creek at the base of a series of sand dunes in eastern Washington. Wind-driven sand penetrated every part of my gear (and seemingly, my body) and the i.D. was no exception. Still, a quick rinse in clean water and it was mostly back to new.
Fit and Finish
The i.D. has the potential to be the most attractive reel in your kit. I love the option to customize the look of the reel, and the ability to change its appearance as frequently as desired. Redington currently offers more than 30 decal designs, from fish prints, to state flags, to frosted donuts. I found the decals secure and highly durable. To make a change, it was easy enough to work the edge of a thin blade under the decal to lift and and peel it cleanly off. A quick wipe and I was able to apply a new decal for an entirely different look.