Review: Redington Fly Rod VICE | Outbreak Magazine

Redington’s 9-weight VICE cane arrived on my porch in all its glory about three weeks before my trip to the Louisiana swamps. Not really knowing which weight to choose, I opted for the intermediate option offered by most of the experts. With the likelihood of high winds, the extra punch of a nine would help kick off a big red drum offering that had obsessed me for nearly two months. All that pent-up dizziness poured out when I removed the rod from its included Kelly green rod case, assembled the four pieces, rolled up with the RIO Winter Redfish line, and attached to the biggest and heaviest bass popper I had. I had, without hook, of course, to practice the casting.

The cane was eye-catching with its trefoil green base, gold lettering and stripes, and all nicely balanced by black anodized snake guides. Redington builds the VICE with saltwater grade material, so sturdy quality must be fired. The VICE was handsome while looking deadly serious. Green and gold are the colors of my alma mater, Arkansas Tech University (go Wonder Boys and Golden Suns), so Redington’s new VICE rod set was already a winner in my book.

What works

Refined power

According to Redington, the VICE multimodule carbon fiber blank is fast acting but manageable. I would agree. Refined power is the best description. The RIO line threw extremely tight loops when I really pushed the rod out, quickly loading it both back and forward. This will happen when you combine a substantial butt and midsection with a conservative but still lively tip. The performance gave me complete confidence that I could cover a mile of countryside, cutting through any gale I might face in the Gulf. Softer, more open curls were easily started for short distance work which one of my guides said was the norm and what I should primarily practice.

But what does a guide know, right? Screw practice at close range. Where’s the fun in that? And I just knew that on the trip I would spot a 70ft cruising bull and angling, requiring an epic hero cast culminating with my legendary designation in the annals of southern angling. of Louisiana. So over the following afternoons I dragged an old cooler into the backyard – simulating a casting platform – rolled up 100 feet of line and tried to throw it all away.

I almost did.

Well, I got to about twenty yards anyway, and with precision. VICE just did what I wanted them to do and with little coaxing. Hitting a hoop at 30 feet was a gift. With a false plaster, 50 feet was doable. Two false throws could reach 60 and over and I regularly flirted with four-score territory. With the VICE rod and the RIO line in hand, I felt empowered. I took pity on the redfish.

Surprisingly versatile
Fast forward three weeks. It was just after dawn on a Louisiana coastal lake and that imaginary gale force wind was a reality as the White Hats stood against the dodge. Nary a rockfish could be found all morning. We just couldn’t see through the chop. But blind casting after blind casting, the combo of the VICE and RIO lines worked. He tossed spoon flies and heavy shrimp patterns into the gusts with little problem. Then, tragedy struck. Let’s just say that trolling motors and fly lines are not a good combination in windy conditions. With no emergency line on the bridge, the day was over.

I had another redfish guide lined up for the next day and only a few hours to spare before previous obligations, then a long drive to the outfitter’s lodge. The good news is that I was able to locate two spools of 9 weight yarn at a local outdoor store. The bad news is that both lines were general-purpose float lines, lacking much of the weight taper – not the best option for casting large rockfish flies moving through water – and neither were was of particularly impressive quality. I was not optimistic.

The reality about fly lines is that while the right line can make a decent rod look better than it is, a crappy fly line can make even the best rod look like a rod. piece of junk. Asking VICE to resist what was clearly the wrong line for the conditions seemed like, well, asking too much.

Photo: Ryan Lambert / Cajun Outfitters

But the 8-pound red that burst on a perfectly executed 40-foot throw proved the worries were in vain. And it wasn’t just that fish. Distribution after distribution, VICE’s performance eclipsed any shortcomings in the line and was almost to the level I had seen the day before.

Stay in power
The VICE is not as light as the more expensive fast acting rods, but the feel and weight of the rod was comfortable enough for a blind cast all day and there was never any doubt that I ‘had enough stick to fight big reds or whatever. creature might suck a fly out of brackish flats.

The VICE is priced at $ 199. If you’ve read this far and are surprised by this number, you probably won’t be alone.

Which is not

I have a hard time finding fault with equipment that does exactly what I want it to do, even with a disability. I think I could quibble a bit about the weight of VICE. He has a beefy feel that some anglers might not appreciate, however, that was never a hindrance or even a thought during two days of hard casting.

Last word

Quick but manageable and affordable to get started. Plus, green is my favorite color. Win, win, win, win.

I named my VICE ‘Wonder Boy’ and can’t wait to put it back in the salt or maybe get tangled with a freshwater striper on some local lakes. He’s a pretty boy, but there’s no doubt he can cope with a brutal wind, the meanest fin brawlers, or even a small fishing budget.


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