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Fly Rod Review

Confidence is the key to winning, and the durable and muscular Redington NTiQ makes hauling in large fish look simple

Date: 4/10/03
Tackle type: Fly Rod
Manufacturer: Redington
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.25

Introduction: Fly rod manufacturers have been constantly improving their high quality offerings, and some even go one step further by incorporating exotic materials to further revolutionize the image and performance of traditional saltwater rods. Redington, having had much success with their line of NTi fly rods, introduces a brand new line that exhibits incredible performance in power, control, and strength. TackleTour field tests the newly designed NTiQ, which is the first rod to feature an outer layer of Quartz.


Redington NTiQ 890 Specifications

Length 9'
Line Weight 8
Pieces 3
Taper Fast
Weight 4.87 oz
MSRP $725


Impressions: The Redington NTiQ is a real eye-catcher and definitely stands out from the rest of the crowd in physical appearance. The first impression that many anglers first observe is the striking blue blank, a shift from the traditional darker colors of black or brown. Being attracted to its unique color, a closer inspection tells an even more interesting story. The NTiQ borrows it's technology from their award winning NTi, but uses new and exciting materials to build the complete package. Two very noticeable traits that remain on the NTiQ are the textured blank and tape spiral. 


The 3 piece Redington NTiQ 890 comes complete with a protective sleeve and a slick aluminum tube


Now with a high performing rock solid blank, Redington delivers the final product that's truly saltwater worthy, complimenting it with recoil double foot nickel titanium snake guides, a anodized aluminum reel seat, full-well cork grip, and a firm yet comfortable fighting butt.


An anodized aluminum reel seat is not only attractive but prevents corrosion from harsh saltwater environments.  Also notice the fighting butt to prevent any pain it can cause your body when battling huge fish

Field Tests: Thanks to John Brazelton from Redington, TackleTour had the opportunity to test the NTiQ 890 fishing for striped bass along the West Coast beaches and California Delta, and inshore lakes for pre-spawning largemouth bass.


Complete Rig for NTiQ 890 Tests

Rod Redington NTiQ 890
Reel Redington Brakewater
Line Rio Striped Bass 8wt. line(300 grain)

The Material-NTiQ: Saltwater fly rods have always been a challenge for manufacturers to produce because of the balance of action and power required in a good rod. High modulus rods produce the fast action needed but at the same time sacrifice overall durability. Redington addressed this problem by sourcing an exotic substance that seeks to deliver the best of both worlds.


Under the clear coat is a layer of Quartz to make the rod saltwater-proof.  The texture can still be seen and felt after the sanding and finishing


NTiQ stands for Nano-Titanium Quartz. This fly rod is built with a super fast high modulus graphite, then a layer of nano-titanium resin is used to create a complete structural bond, filling in the small pores left by the graphite. Fine particles of nano-titanium are used because of the favorable balance of weight and strength delivered when bonded together with another element. Finally to make it a true saltwater fly rod Redington applies a final coat of quartz that not only adds strength and durability, but also does a great job withstanding the harsh saltwater environments and the monstrous fish that anglers will be gunning for.


The tape spiral runs from tip to butt.  The recoil double foot nickel titanium snake guide allows your fly line to glide more freely


This ecological material, quartz, is one of the most common materials found on earth. The blue on the NTiQ is actually one of the many colors that natural quartz come in. No matter what tone it comes in, white and blue, white and purple, or white and tan, the material is arduous to work with and requires extra toil to provide a final product that is attractive and performs well. Since quartz is difficult to sand down, one can feel the texture on the rod itself, even under a clear coat finish. After more thorough inspection the quartz surrounding the graphite blank isn't completely uniform, meaning that most parts of the rod is textured while a couple of portions are somewhat smooth. At first we were not sure if the uneven surface of the rod would cause problems with large hookups but after the test the taper is smooth, and this does not effect the performance of the rod at all. The hardness of the material also provided another challenge and resulted in the visibility of the tape spirals. Both of these, the texture and tape spiral, wouldn't be considered flaws, but more of a unique characteristic that the Redington NTiQ presents.


The Feel: If you're looking for something that will deliver power right away when you cast, the Redington NTiQ would be a great choice, especially on those days when it's really windy on the big ocean, or from the beach.  This rod loads fast! The NTiQ uses high modulus graphite that's super fast resulting in a rigid lower portion while having most of the flex at the tip. Plus the addition of the quartz makes the rod stiff, durable, and strong, pushing your 300 or 500 grain sinking line forward with an easy stroke.


Designed for not just comfort, this full-well cork grip also provides a solid hold


The addition of exotic materials to make the NTiQ a rock solid saltwater rod but it also increases the weight of the overall design. Even though it might feel heavier for some, it's a welcome load to others who will find balance by pairing the rod with a larger arbor reel like the Redington Brakewater spooled with heavy sinking fly line.


Sensitivity: Unlike many freshwater species, saltwater fish strike hard and run. Some might debate that the sensitivity of a saltwater fly rod isn't as critical while others think differently. The NTiQ 890 is built from very high modulus graphite that's super sensitive. While the addition of quartz enhances the overall strength and impact resistance, it also degrades the sensitivity even though it's layered over 84 million modulus graphite.  While striped bass fishing deep the strikes were felt even at depths of over 15 feet when stripping quickly or slowly. It doesn't matter if you're fishing on the deep ocean, in the surf, or the deltas, the NTiQ has enough sensitivity for most applications.


Power: This is the category where the Redington NTiQ shines. Thanks for the materials used, the fast high modulus graphite and the solid coat of quartz, this fly rod has a good amount of oomph that will successfully shoot your line accurately every time, even in windy conditions that haunt many fly anglers that may fish lighter rods.


JIP confidently fights one of the many large Stripers caught at O'Neill Forebay


If you think the NTiQ makes casting easy, wait until you try to land a huge fish. Hooking up on many stripers, with some above double digits, the NTiQ 8 weight handled them all without any problems. This fly rod will give you confidence in bringing in the largest of fish, and at the same time the assurance that this is one rod that will not snap on you. Yes, high modulus graphite is brittle. That's why for saltwater fly rods many steps are taken to make it more structurally sound. Redington's formula to add quartz successfully increases the power, durability, and performance of this unique fly rod. The addition of this natural substance to the NTiQ give it many benefits that should be popular for hard core saltwater fly anglers.


Redington NTiQ 890 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A fast high modulus graphite wrapped with an aggressively strong quartz layer, plus the addition of the other components that's all saltwater ready tells that quality was one of the main goals in making this rod 9
Performance Overall good performance in accurate casts, ok sensitivity, and extremely powerful - great for big game where the strength key to landing big fish 9
Price A premium rod with an exotic material means the overall cost will be higher than normal 7
Features Packed in a nice sleeve and an attractively detailed rod tube says a lot about what's inside.  The saltwater components like the anodized reel seat and titanium snake guides add to the package 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Though slightly heavier, the contoured full-well grip is comfortable for many casts and the fighting butt leaves no distinct marks on your body after fighting big fish 8
Application This rod is not for everyone, but when durability and power if called for, this rod is it.  Great for saltwater big game and can be used for freshwater applications 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Powerful L Premium price
J Accurate L Heavy for some
J Lifetime Warranty  
J Uniqueness  
J Saltwater worthy  

Conclusion: Nowadays many components for saltwater fly rods are becoming standardized like the anodized aluminum reel seat, full-well grip, and low friction wide guides. Graphite is also more widely used because it holds a characteristic that's critical in fly rods, a fast to very fast action that's needed to accurately control where your line and fly drops. The challenge comes from reinforcing that super fast brittle graphite material and Redington has gone out of their way to apply an exotic material, a fine layer to Quartz, that adds durability to withstand saltwater conditions, and adds the incredible power needed to play tug-a-war with the mammoth fish that reside in the ocean. The NTiQ's price may not be for everyone, but if you are seeking a premium muscular rod that inspires confidence, you shouldn't pass up this unique blue beauty.










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