Jack-In-the-Bob: Bull Trout Gear


A reminder that Angling Trade’s intern extraordinaire, Jack Nickens, worked all summer in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, guiding foremost… but also doing some product reviews for us on the side. Jack is out of the “BOB” but still has some thoughts on products he used this summer. Please stay tuned for more reviews…

The opportunity to catch 35”+ trout in the lower 48 is a rare experience. The South Fork of the Flathead River is one of the few places to chase Bull Trout and this pursuit requires special equipment. Armed with an 8 weight rod and heavy sink tip, as well as big weights, big flies, and big bruises, I have become obsessed with these landlocked char.

Redington Crux 8 wt. Rod

What I liked:

Armed with a two tone cork, the Crux is a super fast, stiff rod that can punch through the wind with the ability to turn over big flies. Accurate at 30-60 feet, the Crux is a great rod for casts that do not need to be spot on accurate. This forgiving rod has brought in many bull trout for clients that have never caught fish before making it a great rod to learn on. The Crux comes with a basic finish, a basic reel seat, and a two tone cork and epitomizes functionality, a bare bones rod that is great for the price and truly gets the job done.

What I would like to see:

After just one bull trout season, the cork handle has already shown great wear and tear. The reel seat has also become scratched up. While these flaws have not affected the performance of the rod, they have come on quickly.

Who is it for?

If you are going to be throwing big streamer with the possibility of heavy winds on a budget, the Redington Crux is a great rod. Ringing up at $399.99, the Crux won’t break the bank.

Redington Behemoth Reel

What I liked:

There is no better feeling in the world than turning a big fish. This is where the Behemoth excels. In a rotation and a quarter, the carbon fiber drag goes from .02 lbs. to 16 lbs. When fishing a “mando bullie”, this feature can mean the difference between landing a fish and losing a fly. This mean looking reel specializes in whooping fish and was named perfectly. It’s V-shaped arbor can collect line quickly and holds 200 yards of 20 lb. backing. More than enough for big bull trout.

What I would like to see:

The Behemoth is a slightly fragile reel. The paint chips very easily and I have heard stories of the reel breaking after rather short falls.


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