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Rod Review


A Weapon For The Water: The Redington Vapen Red 890-4V Fly Rod (continued)

Power: Casting power aside, the Vapen 890-4V exhibits just fair fish-fighting power. The backbone is sufficient for many scenarios, but it's definitely on the wimpy side. I realize this isn't a 12 weight, but I could feel the lack of guts even when fighting small beach snook on a tight drag. It would probably not be my first choice if fishing around mangroves or docks.

Performance Ratings for Redington Vapen Red 890-4V

Short Overhead Cast

(1-5)

Medium Overhead Cast

(1-5)

Long Overhead Cast

(1-5)

Roll Cast

(1-5)

Power Backbone(1-5)

Total

Possible

Rating (=Tot/

Pos *10)

2

4

4

2

3

15

25

6.0


The handle is detailed with countless little Redington logos.

Features: The 890-4V features a bright red polymer grip, carbon fiber reel seat, composite fighting butt, hidden hook keeper, pac bay TiCH guides, alignment dots for easy ferrule alignment, and a canvas-covered rod tube.

Features Ratings for Redington Vapen Red 890-4V

Grip

(1-5)

Guides

(1-5)

Reel Seat

(1-5)

Hook Keeper

(1-2)

Rod Tube/Sleeve

(1-2)

Total

Possible

Rating (=Tot/Pos *10)

4

3

4

2

2

15

19

7.89


You'll find Pac Bay stripping guides and chrome snake guides on this stick.

Design & Ergonomics: Let me dig a bit deeper into the grip. What makes the Vapen Red so unique is it's non-slip polymer grip that was designed in collaboration with golf club grip manufacturer Winn Grips. The red handle sports tiny Redington logos for added gripping texture. It's feel is somewhat firm but there is a bit of softness there. You'll notice a slight tack to the grip as well, and through sweat, slime, water, and sunscreen it never gets slippery. I've seen some people bad mouthing the grip online, but I'm a fan. I think it feels great, but if I had to change something about it I'd firm it up a hair more. Oh, and I'd make it a different color! I know the name of the company is Redington, but the color is a little too loud!

 
A sliver of composite cork adorns each end of the red handle portion.

The weight of the Vapen Red is slightly heavier than some others on the market, but the blank sports a very interesting look. The rod is a glossy dark charcoal color with a wavy look to it, and the main wraps are done in black with a little red trim here and there. Other than the grip, the rod looks simple and stealthy- I dig it.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Redington Vapen Red 890-4V

Grip

(1-5)

Colors/

Graphics

(1-5)

Weight

(1-5)

 

Total

 

Possible

Rating (=Tot/Pos *10)

4

3

3

10

15

6.66


The hidden hook keeper is a neat design feature.

Application: An 8 weight is an extremely versatile tool for a variety of fresh and saltwater fish. The argument could be made that unless you are fishing for big saltwater fish, a 5 and an 8 weight are just about all you need day in and day out. The Vapen should prove to be a rod capable of quarreling with a diverse range of species, however it's weaker backbone may hurt it in situations requiring brute strength, like fishing around structure with a hefty leader or fishing for extremely hard-pulling species like big jacks or false albacore.

Fly Rod Application Ratings for Redington Vapen Red 890-4V

Freshwater

(1-5)

Saltwater

(1-5)

Floating Line

(1-5)

Sinking/

Shooting Line

(1-5)

 

Total

 

Possible

Rating (=Tot/Pos *10)

4

4

3

4

15

20

7.5


Rubber rings on the inside of the metal locking rings would help improve their feel when tightened.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Redington Vapen Red 890-4V Fly Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Nice build quality with no surprises evident. 7.6
Performance The rod performs best at mid to long range, but lacks power in the backbone. 6.0
Price About the upper limit of what I'd want to pay for this rod, but still a good price. 7.0
Features Unique handle design and I've always liked that hidden hook keeper. 7.89
Design (Ergonomics) A good looking rod with a comfy grip, but I'm not too sure about the red coloring of the handle and the rod weighs a tad more than some others. 6.66
Application An 8 weight is a versatile stick, but heavy duty situations will make you wish for more backbone. 7.5

Total Score

7.10
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ A nicely put together fly rod - Not good for short casts
+ Throws well at medium to long range - Lacks backbone
+ Affordable - Feels a bit heavy during casting
+ An alternative to cork that works well  
+ Cool looking blank  


Small, but fun!

Conclusion: Redington continues to march on as one of the premier fly fishing companies when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck. For me, the Vapen 890-4V certainly had a few negatives, but overall I still enjoyed my experiences with it. The grip is nearly perfect in my book and I wish other manufacturers would experiment with similar non-cork grip materials. Cork has a great look and feel when it's fresh, but after it's exposed to friction, water, fish slime, and sunlight, it can quickly deteriorate and cheapen the look of even the most high-end rod. Personal opinions vary greatly when it comes to fly rods because of individual preferences, casting styles, and the like, but if you are looking for a new 8 weight check out the Vapen Red because it may be exactly what you're looking for!

 

 

 

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