Redington Vapen Black 409-4 ReviewJune 23, 2015
- Modest price
- Great ‘feel’ when fishing small nymphs and dry flies
- Accurate casting
- Less casting power/distance than most of the others in this class
- Slightly heavier than others in the class
- Not made in the USA
The Redington Vapen Black utilizes the original Vapen’s synthetic grip without the gaudy colors. The fast-action taper provides good casting power with better than average accuracy. The Vapen offers a general performance similar to that of the Sage Accel, but with slightly less accuracy and overall fishing sensitivity.
Fit and feel
Redington’s Vapen incorporates a synthetic grip built with golf-club technology. The non-slip grip feels very different than traditional cork, but after a few casts, the rod settles nicely in hand and all of our testers agreed that the modernistic grip was a net positive for the rod. The rod balanced nicely in hand, and that—coupled with the soft, firm grip—created an easy-casting rod that could be used all day without effort or strain.
Distance and Accuracy
With a good bit of tip-flex, the Vapen allowed me to make gentle presentations of flies, with good accuracy. But the 4-wt Vapen lacked the pure casting power of more traditional fast-action rods like the Scott and Orvis models. Still, I was able to reach out across modest rivers when necessary, provided the winds weren’t too stiff at the time.
The soft tip-flex made the Vapen a master at letting me know when a fish was nudging my nymph and it also helped make minute mends on long dry fly drifts. After the hook set, the Vapen’s firm butt section helped control hard-charging rainbows, letting me move them out of fast water efficiently and into my net. All in all, the Vapen proved itself a truly worthy do-it-all 4-wt for anglers facing a variety of conditions and fishing demands.
The Vapen is also available in 4-wt through 8-wt versions in 9-ft lengths.
Dan Nelson- Fly Fishing Editor
Dan Nelson is GearInstitute.com's fly fishing editor. He is based in the Pacific Northwest.