Redington VICE Review
- Great price
- Good casting accuracy
- Good casting distance
- Good versatility
- Slightly heavy
- Heavy feel/swing-weight
- Not made in the USA
- Grip wasn’t comfortable in smaller hands
The Redington VICE proved to be a versatile fly rod that (performance wise), measures up well with many of the premium rods in its class, but at less than a quarter of the sale price of some of those other models It earned our respect as a do-it-all rod at a bargain price.
The Redington VICE ranked among the most versatile rods in the class, with high marks from all our testers in accuracy, distance, and fish-fighting performance. The rod’s modest price comes from the fact that it is manufactured overseas but the design is all American, and well worth a look from anyone in the market for a new do-it-all rod.
Weight, Balance, and General Feel
The biggest knocks on the VICE come from its weight (just over 3 ounces), and its in-hand feel/swing-weight. The rod does require a touch more effort to fully load than the rods in the top of this class (specifically the Avantt and H2 Covert), but the VICE does perform about the same as its cousin, the Sage X.
Casting Distance and Accuracy and Fishing Performance
The VICE offers better casting distance and accuracy than many other rods costing 3-4 times more. There’s a bit of flexibility in the rod’s tip to allow delicate presentations close-in as well as out in the mid- to far-range (40 to 75 feet). And the power of the rod makes it easy to reach that 70-80 feet range for most mediocre casters.
With a fish on the line, I found plenty of butt strength in the VICE to hold aggressive fish in control with enough give in the mid-section to prevent breaking off big runs.
The VICE was most efficient in casting medium to large dry flies — the heart and soul of my own fishing — but was equally at home handling weighted nymph rigs, and even big heavy streamers during spring runoff on the Yakima. I even pushed the VICE into service while fishing a small mountain freestone creek less than a dozen feet wide and found I could lay small #18 BWOs onto the surface with barely a ripple. The VICE did lose some accuracy at distance, and some testers found it lacked sensitivity when dead-drift nymphing but overall, it’s a rod that could be used in a wide range of situations.
Sizes Available: 15 models, in 3-wt through 9-wt all in a variety of lengths
How We Tested It
Fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout on the Yakima and Methow Rivers in Washington, and the North Fork Clearwater in Northern Idaho. We fished from shore on those rivers, as well as rafts on the Yakima and Idaho’s Henry’s Fork. Testers included myself, as well as a range of fishing guides, outdoor photographers, and fish and wildlife professionals (fish biologists and game wardens). Both men and women participated in the test.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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