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#23.   Redington VICE    9 foot #8     $199.95

Redington VICE fly rod
Redington VICE fly rod

George’s Notes: 

Wow, that bright green blank jumps right out at you!  Here is another attractive rod from Redington.  I just wish the performance matched the good looks – it doesn’t.  This is medium fast action rod, faster than the Crux and with a lot more power in the butt and midsections.  But the price for having more power is an even heavier swing weight!  Only the Mystic Inception was heavier.  So if you plan to fish this rod hard all day, better get into the gym and beef up those forearms.   

In that $200 class, I had hoped it would compare well with the Fenwick Aetos, but it isn’t even close.  The Aetos was FAR lighter in hand, and scored much better at all but the longest distance.  At the shorter distances, the VICE had such little feel I had no confidence in where I was placing the fly.

The bright metallic green blank has dark brown wraps, trimmed with some gold on the butt section.  The handle is a full wells, but one with very little swell in the middle – somewhat like the handle design on the Sage rods.  I felt that the diameter was a little small too, which might cramp your hand, having to deal with the heavy swing weight.  The quality of cork is not nearly as good as on the CRUX and a lot of filler was present.  The reel seat was pretty cheap too.  It is a black anodized uplocking seat, but with only one locking ring!  No way is this seat going to hold a heavier saltwater reel for very long.  Bring your pliers as you are going to need them.  A short fighting butt is used with a fairly wide composite cork ring on the end.  The guides are two SiC strippers, but smaller than what we found on the Crux.  The rest are large size, black colored, hard chrome snake guides with an oversized tiptop.  Like on the Crux, the epoxy coating on the guide wraps was good.  Like other Redington rods, the VICE is manufactured in Korea.

Performance at 35 feet:  17 points out of 20

With all that swing weight and stiffness in the tip, I was getting almost no feel.  The accuracy was terrible too – only the Inception was worse.

Performance at 60 feet:  18 points out of 20

Respectable, but I’m working a lot harder than with the Aetos or DXF.

Performance at 80 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

Finally the power in this rod is allowing me to throw some nice loops with decent accuracy.

Performance at 100 feet:  19 points out of 20

Now all that power redeems itself with the ability to form long tight loops.  The longest casts were possible, but proved to be a real workout. 

24.  Redington VICE 9’#8 4pc $199.95

Redington VICE fly rod
Redington VICE fly rod

James’ Notes:

The Redington VICE is one of the best inexpensive rods for fishing in extremely windy conditions or when trying to throw 100 feet on every cast.  Other than that, it is simply too heavy and stiff to perform at all well at the short to medium distances.  Feels like an even heavier Salt HD, but with a stiffer butt section.

At the $200 price level, it just cannot compete with other great all-around rods like the Fenwick Aetos and Loop Q.

Unless you already own another rod that performs much better in close and at mid-distances, I would steer clear of the VICE.  Fishing this rod hard all day will likely lead to other vices – namely whisky and aspirin.

1st impressions:  Strange Vampire/Grand Theft Auto font on rod blank.  The thinner grip feels good although it looks a little odd to me.  

Performance at 35 feet: 15 points out of 20

Very heavy and almost no feel. The worst performance in our Shootout in close.

Performance at 60 feet: 17 points out of 20

Again, too heavy and stiff to feel as pleasant as the lighter, more energetic rods.  Over-lining this rod with a 9 or even a 10 weight might be the way to go.

Performance at 80 feet: 18 points out of 20

I had to score the VICE a little higher at 80 feet.  When casting and punching this rod, the heavy weight was less noticeable.  Not much chance of throwing tailing loops with this rod. 

Performance at 100 feet: 19 points out of 20

Wow.  I’m impressed.  100 feet is very easy with this rod.  It is probably the best inexpensive rod in the Shootout for fishing in heavy winds or throwing extreme distances.

#23. (tie)  Redington Vice    $199.95

Redington VICE
Redington VICE

Logan’s Notes:

The Redington Vice reminded me a lot of its counterpart, the Crux.  I really didn’t like the Vice at 35 feet, but it was a nice rod at all the other distances.  I liked the look of the Crux much better than the Vice, as well as its components.  I liked the cork handle on the Vice, which seemed undersized, and actually felt comfortable.  I’d much rather have an undersized grip, than some of the bigger oversized ones.  At $200, though, I would pick the Fenwick Aetos over this rod.

Performance at 35 feet: 16 out of 20

The Vice was one of the lowest performing rods for closer distances like 35 feet.  It had very little feel.

Performance at 60 feet: 18 out of 20
Mid and long-range distances worked much better for the Redington Vice.

Performance at 80 feet: 18 out of 20

The Vice had plenty of power to deliver casts to 80 feet and beyond.

25.  Redington Vice   52.5/60     $199.95

Redington VICE fly rod
Redington VICE fly rod

JG’s Notes:

The Vice from Redington is a pretty good deal at just under $200.00.  I think this rod and the Crux had much more in common than the price would suggest, making the Vice a much better deal.   However it still falls short when compared to better rods like the Aetos.

Performance at 35 feet:  17

Weight, stiffness and a lack of feel really hurt the Vice.  It was hard for me to get any accuracy and delicate presentations were impossible.

Performance at 60 feet:  18

The Vice has the power to reach 60 ft. but it’s all over the place.  The accuracy gets destroyed if the wind kicks up.

Performance at 80 feet:  17.5

As at 60 ft. the power is there, but that’s about it.  I had poor accuracy and felt uncomfortable trying to hit 80 feet.

Performance at 100 feet:

Another rod that I just couldn’t get to hit 100 feet.