$700 Fly Rod vs. $300 Fly Rod - Distance Contest
February 12, 2015
Do more expensive rods perform better? We get this question all time. I finally decided to put this to rest. I felt that the easiest and most accurate way to test a rod's performance was to cast for distance. A good distance cast requires a tight loop and it requires the rod to unload the stored energy at a high level of efficiency.
I warmed up for a minute, then I took about 10 casts on each rod for maximum distance and see what happened. I honestly didn't know what the results would be! I was as curious as you are!
I used the same RIO Gold line on a Sage ONE 590-4 and a Redington Vapen Black 590-4. The leader was exactly 9' long. I have cast both these rods a fair amount and am equally comfortable on both models.
Here are few notes that I want to make:
- I took what I felt were reasonable and relaxed strokes.
- I didn't struggle to make these casts, they were all consistent. Please know that there wasn't a "lucky cast" that was measured or a "bad cast" either. I chose to mark the cast that appeared to be my best shot.
As you can see in the video, the Sage ONE took the prize. It was about 15' more distance which would have measured out in the mid 90' range. I had about 95' of line off the reel, plus a 9' leader, there was definitely a bit of slack in the line. I personally have a tough time getting to the 100' mark outdoors.
DON'T RULE OUT THE VAPEN!
Although this rod didn't win the shootout, keep in mind it is over $400 less money! Also, it made smooth casts with very nice loops out to 80'. I didn't struggle to make 80's shots with it and I actually really like casting this rod. It has a slightly slower action (not much though) and it is a fine product..... but the proof is in the pudding. The Sage ONE is built with better materials and simply stores and reflexes with more energy.
I could fish the VAPEN for the rest of my life and be very happy. Keep in mind that they also sell the Redington Vapen in a cork grip as well. It is only $299.95 and casts great.