$200 Rod vs $900 - Redington VICE Review
April 27, 2017
The boys in the basement challenged me to review the Redington VICE. They told me it had as much energy and pop as anything in the shop. It sounded like a load of bull to me. I should know better by now! Just because we keep them locked up in the shipping department downstairs doesn't mean they don't have a voice on fly rods. To the contrary, these guys are always getting feedback from customers and testing rods to be sure lines and rods are matched appropriately. They found a winner in the Redington VICE that was flying under my radar.
Anyhow, I took the Redington VICE 9' 5 Weight out for a ride and it had a nice feel, was easy enough to cast, and after I grew accustomed to the rod I threw several casts for my best distance. In the slight breeze my average cast to the fly was a measured 89' which was pretty good for me considering the elements. My personal favorite rod right now is the SAGE X Rod, the feel, accuracy, and energy of this rod seems to come from some supernatural force because it feels way too light to be able to make the casts that it does. Anyway.... The X Rod was 90'. Essentially the same distance. I was SHOCKED. The last time I did this test it was a difference of 10'! These rods were a pure wash.
On the accuracy I warmed up and threw at 45' at a hoop that was about 16" in diameter. I didn't measure the distance but it did require a short double haul stroke in order to hit it consistently. I did a bit better with the Sage X but it was almost negligible. The VICE is legit. I got called out by the basement boys and they were right. The VICE is a tremendous rod and although I am a total rod snob on this I'll concede. This however is the first rod I have found that actually hangs with the varsity.
Naturally the Sage X is a "finer rod" the workmanship, overall feel, appearance, etc. are in a whole different league. From a pure "performance' standpoint the Redington VICE hangs in there for distance and is still competitive in accuracy. Assuming that blank to blank these rods are consistently built I can't imagine any intermediate level caster not appreciating what this rod is capable of. We sell this rod in a variety of weights and even sell some RTF - Ready to Fish packages.