Vapen fly rod review E-mail
Written by Capt. Sean Abbey   
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 00:00

imagesCATXJBIXI was given the opportunity to test out and review the new Redington Vapen 8-weight fly rod a couple of weeks ago. Being the consummate fly fisherman, I always love getting new toys to play with, and really looked forward to giving this new rod a test. Whenever I get a new fly rod, the first thing that I want to do is throw a reel on it and head straight to some ball fields nearby my home, and that’s exactly what I did. I prefer the ball fields, as it offers a wide open space to work the fly rod. I’d had a long day of manual labor, and was excited for a little dusk casting session with the new Vapen fly rod. I loaded the rod up with my Tibor Everglades fly reel that is lined with a Scientific Anglers Sharkskin wf 8wt fly line and headed to the ball fields.

It was the perfect evening for a casting session as the weather was a little cooler than is typical or mid-September in North Florida and the ball fields had just been mowed. I love the smell of a fresh cut field almost as much as the smell of saltwater on a hot summer morning. I arrived at the park to find it empty, which is always a relief. I have practiced casting fly rods a few hundred times in public parks, and I can honestly do without the park wisenheimer and his wise crack comments of “catch anything?”

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Walking onto the field with rod in had I noticed that the rod is pretty light and well thought out. Simplistic in its rod bling, but still quite nicely put together. I couldn’t wait to strip some line out and let it fly. I stripped out about 80 feet of line and rolled out a good 30 feet of the Sharkskin so I could get a good load on the rod and see what she was made of. I didn’t like the feel of the interesting grip system on the rod at first, but I did grow fond of it after a few minutes of casting as it really is comfortable. Hauling up the line for my first back cast, and a powerful forward haul, I let it fly and the extra 50 feet or so of line zinged by my feet through the guides effortlessly. That is a good sign for distance casting, but usually a bad sign for close quarter casting.

After laying into the rod a few more times, it was time for some targets, and precision casting at varying angles and distances. I don’t claim to the best at any type of casting, but I am proficient at all of them and can hit small target windows at all ranges 95% of the time with the right set up in hand. I must admit that this rod has a nice set up, especially at a sub $400 price point. What really surprised me is it had good load and accuracy at short distances for a rod that easily could lay out all of your fly line if you needed to and are skilled enough to. It was good at 35-40 foot casts, and extremely accurate at 50-75 foot casts. The only complaint that I did have was I noticed a slight twist in long distance casting as if something may have been ever so slightly off spine, but this rod did perform very well.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to put any upper slot redfish on the rod in my window of testing it, which is what I would typically use an 8-weight for, but I was able to put quite a few healthy 2-3 pound snook on it at a nice little honey hole I have. The rod fought the fish flawlessly and I see it having no problem with any fish that are meant to be caught on an 8wt fly rod. My overall impression of the rod is favorable. It is a great rod at its price point and would be a good rod for the fly angler who is just moving up from his starter set and needs a fly rod that he can grow with for quite some time. Being a rod snob, who has too many rods, I would definitely like to have a Vapen 8-weight fly rod in the rack at my home permanently. I highly recommend the Redington Vapen fly rod, as you will be pleased with it.

 

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