Redington is a division of Far Bank Enterprises, a very large US based company with a research and development team containing highly talented individuals who are passionate about the sport. Generally when you think of Fly Rod R & D you think of basic blank construction, new composites to achieve better casts, better break resistance, while reducing weight of the rods. Redington has come up with something new and never seen in the Fly Fishing industry specifically with their Vapen Red edition fly rod. Collaborating with Winn Grips, which is well known in the Golfing Industry, they’ve created the PowerGrip, which is a non-slip, polymer grip that reduces angler fatigue and amplifies the power of your casts.
This is a fly fishing first; we’ve seen many rod blank material upgrades since the original fly rods made of Yew, Green Heart, and Split Bamboo. But we have not seen any changes to the grip since the introduction of cork handles. Redington has truly stepped up their game and possibly raised the bar for other companies as well.
The blank on both versions of this rod features X-Wrap graphite technology, which helps to reduce the vibration, at the same time increase the strength of the blank. The X-Wrap technology consists of two 3 mm high density carbon ribbons inside the blank traveling in both directions throughout, which gives the rod it’s fast action and power, without tiring you out. The rod also features dead on alignment dots, hidden hook slots in the reel seat, and also comes with a lifetime warranty.
When testing we found the rods to be fast action, with more of a tip flex. They were built for power casts, and further distances even with weighted flies. The 6wt rods performed well when catching Pink Salmon in the 4 to 6 pound range, and didn’t over work the rod even in faster flows of the river. Ideally this rod is best suited for large Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, and various other small fish in the 2-5 pound range. However, this rod ranges 3 to 10 weights in the cork handle version and 5 to 12 weight in the Red version, so you can pick your favourite weapon for battle.
The Vapen Red Winn Grip handle is extremely comfortable. It has almost a cushiony feel which makes casting for hours just that much nicer. The Vapen Red also has an interesting look and texture, and you will most likely have other fly fishermen asking you exactly what type of rod you are using. If you find the Red version a little too extreme, or maybe you’re quite happy with traditional corks, don’t hesitate on the Vapen Cork version. It is by far the best Single Hand rod in the Redington lineup. You won’t be disappointed.
The Vapen Red was the highest award winning fly rod for 2013. We all agree that this is the perfect rod in the mid-range price point. the price tag is a modest $299.95 for the cork handled version and $349.95 for the Custom Winn Grip version. This is a rod I would recommend for an average fly fisherman who’s looking to upgrade some of their equipment without spending top dollar.
For more information on the Vapen and Vapen Red fly rods from Redington visit their website www.redington.com or check the local fly shops near you .