The Redington Vice 890-4 offers solid saltwater performance at an affordable price. The Vice's fast-action design gives the rod power and decent casting range with the control needed to wrestle big, powerful fish into the boat. The Vice fails to win any performance category, but performs well in each, earning props as a good do-it-all option for anglers looking for a single saltwater rod without breaking the bank.
The Redington Vice 890-4 gives budget-conscious anglers the ability to fish an effective fast-action saltwater rod at a price they can live with. The Vice failed to earn top honors in any of this test’s performance categories, but it drew praise for its solid performance across the board, and the $200 price makes it highly attractive to the occasional saltwater angler. The Vice held up well in comparison to much more expensive rods, whether fishing the rocky shores of Maui, the reed-lined banks of a carp lake in Eastern Washington, or the sun-baked flats on the coast of Belize. The rod won’t win any contests in casting distance, or even casting accuracy, but it will likely finish near enough to the top that the price will make up for any performance limitations.
Weight, balance & general feel
The Redington Vice is produced off-shore and though Redington maintains strict quality controls, the fit and finish of this rod is not on par with some of the more expensive American-made rods in the test (e.g. the Salt HD from Sage – a sibling brand of Redington’s). But the quality is still exceptionally high, and Vice is an attractive rod with good components designed to perform well in salt-water conditions. The black anodized aluminum reel seat complements the brilliant green of the rod blank. The full wells grip fits comfortably in hand and provides suitable control when big fish are fighting on the line.
The fast-action taper of Redington Vice 890-4 gives the rod solid cast power, though rod lacks the punch of some of the rods that feature more advanced composite materials in the blanks. As a result, the Vice is able to reach adequate casting distances of 60-70 feet. That’s suitable for many salt species and is more than enough when targetting big, hard-fighting freshwater fish like largemouth bass and carp.
The Vice can through a line towards a broad target with good effectiveness, but it comes up short when precision is absolutely essential. The fast-action blank makes short casts difficult to control, and the basic nature of the carbon fiber composites in the blank make the rod less accurate at distance than its rivals featuring modern high-end composites. The Vice proved to be a challenge when targeting finning bonefish, where the ability to place a fly exactly where it is needed is essential to avoid spooking the flighty fish. But for general purpose use, the accuracy of the rod was adequate. When prospecting for bass, or hucking flies out over reefs to draw in whatever fish was near, the Vice proved wonderfully effective.
The Vice feels stiff and supportive from butt to tip, making it a powerful lever when wrestling up big fish. There’s little finesse offered in the rod, so control is all about power, hence, care must be taken not to horse wily fish too much or you’ll risk breaking a tippet or leader.
The Redington Vice 890-4 is a good all-around rod that will perform adequate in any situation that calls for an 8-weight rod. It may require more effort than some other rods, and it may not feature the pure performance of others, but the Vice will provide decent service. The rod was effective on less finicky fish like bass and simple reef fish, but it was also able to toss shrimp to bones, and drop heavy sinking lines into Puget Sound to pull up silver salmon. Best of all, the modest price makes it ideal for trout anglers who only occasional venture out into the salt.