It’s Christmas break at Cedar Lodge and we don’t have guests for another week or so. It’s time for us to get some projects done around the lodge and do a little fishing.
The Vapen Red 9ft 5wt is a perfect stick for New Zealand fly fishing.
I have tried a couple of different lines on it and have found that over-lining the rod is best for easy casting. A standard Rio Gold 5wt did not load the rod very well in normal trout fishing distances (20-40 feet). On the other hand a Rio Grand or SA Mastery GPX 5wt or even a 6wt loaded the rod much better, and allowed the rod to maintain excellent line speed. Casting in wind and with multiple fly rigs was achieved easier in my experience with the heavier line.
The Vapen Red is most notable for it’s Winn Grip handle configuration. The Winn Grip is a comfortable “red polymer” synthetic grip that is utilized in the golf industry. The grip is indeed very comfortable and “grippy” the no slip claim is very true. The softer than cork grip also reduces the “death grip” tendency some anglers get when they are in deep concentration mode while casting.
There are several line weights available in the new fiberglass Butter Stick fly rod from Redington. I chose the 7.5ft 4wt version. It’s most likely a bit light for much of the fishing in New Zealand but it’s not my everyday go to rod ( 590-4 Sage ONE). I figured I would use the Butter Stick in smaller streams, backwaters, and windless evenings around the lodge. The rod is a blast to fish with, and is surprisingly effective in delivering medium to large dry flies at reasonable distances. The Butter Stick is fantastic with a fish on as it’s fiberglass construction gives you a fully loaded/bent rod with fish of any size on the line.
I have been using the Butter Stick as my instruction rod with the kids. At six and nine they are starting to really get interested in casting. The slow action of the Butter Stick makes the caster slow down and concentrate on that hard stop at the top of the stroke and smooth finish at the end of the front cast. I wouldn’t say the rod is overly forgiving on the lawn practice casting. It takes good timing and a good back cast to make things go without the “water load” one gets on a lake or river.
Overall both the Vapen Red and the Butter Stick Fly Rod models are excellent and some of the best work Redington has done in some time in my opinion.