Saltwater fly fishing around Auckland

Tackle Review: Redington Vapen Red 1090 Fly Rod

Just got myself a brand new fly rod for first time in about six years. In the last year I have caught the kingfish bug, particularly since landing a yellowtail bruiser at Pt Chevalier on a  7 weight outfit. Up  in Northland in February this year, with the guidance of Craig Worthington, saltwater fly fishing guide,  I managed to hook two kingfish, land based,  of at least 9-10 kilos in one day (and lost both, but that’s how it goes when your up against such hoodlums). Life changing stuff in terms of my fly fishing.

You can’t really begin to think of taking the fight to such fish with trout-scale rod and reels. In a snag free environment it can be done, and I have done it twice now, but it is better if you have tackle that let’s you do more than just hang on while the fish dictates the battle.

On that trip I used a Vapen 10 wt outfit that Craig was testing and was impressed that such a grunty rod was so slender, relatively light and easy to cast with. My birthday arrived a few weeks after that trip and I had was gifted the capital to make a serious investment into a heavy weight outfit.

My selection was for a Redington Vapen Red, so named for the gaudy red golf-style vinyl handle grip. There’s no way that rod will ever get lost! The choice of a 10 where some would get a 12 weight was a compromise as my intention was that this would become my “go to” outfit for most of my saltwater fly fishing. I wanted it to still be fun with smaller fish as well as having enough authority to handle some of the big boys that crash the party.

But in the saltwater realm, you need more than a beefy rod. You need a reel that is not only strong but has a drag system that put some serious hurt on a fish when it flees the scene. Again I was impressed at the power and smoothness of the top line Sage reel on Craig’s outfit. The partner purchase of the combo was a Sage 4210 fly reel, a more modest model, but from what I can see, the drag system is of comparable power. As with the Vapen rod, this reel is a relatively lightweight design for its heavy weight capability, with plenty of capacity yet overall it presents a compact form factor.

I will present some images of the rod for a start, and my thoughts will follow in a few days. Enjoy!

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Double locking reel seat and fighting butt and woven graphite inlay

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUpper reel seat with colour-coordinated hidden hood and dual hook-keepers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe helpful alignment dots for all those ferrules to join

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo generous sized butt guides to handle all that shooting line flying to the horizon …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow technology adavances: 20 year old 7 weight DC IM7Plus, Sage RPL+ 8 wt and the thinnest is the Redington Vapen 10 wt.

And the next outing another obliging kahawai:
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