Code Red – The Vapen’s new look (and feel)

Vapen RedRedington’s Vapen fly rod has undergone facelift (grip-lift? hmm) surgery. Introducing PowerGrip, a collaboration with Winn Grips. That’s right, baby, a golf grip on a fly rod. The Vapen Red is an alternative option to Redington’s higher end fast action rod, the Vapen. With the Vapen (or Vapen Red) you can choose to present a Chubby Chernobyl with the elegance of a ballroom dancer or huck a Butt Monkey, if you’re into that sort of thing. In other words, it’s a solid rod for a variety of uses. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We are here to discuss the grip, which I think is actually pretty sweet. The idea behind the soft polymer grip is to create something more comfortable for the angler to hold and cast all day. If you have ever experienced wrist fatigue from casting a fly rod, try the Vapen Red out. Think Tempur-Pedic. If the old way is just not doin’ it for ya, the Vapen Red will likely change that. This is definitely an item where personal preference comes into play; some like it, some love it, others aren’t fans, I think its pretty cool. You may not cast as far as Bubba Watson can drive, but you will feel as good as John Daly doing it.

Gear Review: Sharkwave GPX Fly Line

SharkwaveAll new for 2014, Scientific Anglers have come out with the worlds first triple-textured fly line.  What does this mean you may ask?  Well, the folks at SA made the front taper of the Sharkwave using the Sharkskin technology.  Sharkskin floats higher, and shoots through the guides better than conventional fly lines due to the scale pattern on the line.  Less surface area equals less resistance on the guides, and on the water.  Sharkskin was a great fly line, however there were some complaints from line burn on peoples fingers, and the noise it made on the guides, but only using it for the front taper has taken care of these issues.  The second section of this line is known as the “tactile reference point”, which is made of conventional fly line, and is a different color than the front taper of the line.  This section allows for easy mends as well as giving a visual as to where the line will want to be stripped into to pick up casts well.  The Third section, or the running line is made of the Mastery Series Textured line.  The dimpled surface of the textured line, again allows for less drag on the guides.

The GPX taper, is designed to be a half-size heavy for today’s fast action rods.  The line is designed to be fished in cold to temperate water temperatures.  SA also makes the Sharkwave in the Ultimate Trout taper, as well as a Saltwater taper, which you will definitely want for warm water conditions.  The seemingly best two features of the line are that it remains virtually memory free, which is amazing!  Also, it stays very clean.  After a couple of months of being stomped around on the floor of a sandy drift boat, the line still looks great.

A few other technologies that they have put into the line include Micro-balloons, ( proprietary microscopic glass bubbles are added to the coatings of all Scientific Anglers floating fly lines to optimize line floatation by effectively trapping air inside the core and to provide precise control over the density of each line). Dry Tip technology, which keeps the line floating higher with less surface drag.  Extra Strength Streamlined loops, for easier line to leader, and line to backing connections. Also the Advanced Shooting Technology, which is continual line slickness allowing the line to shoot farther as it moves virtually friction-free through the guides.

The GPX taper comes in WF3-WF9 and in two colors, Bright, and Stealth. The new Sharkwaves are set at an MSRP of $99.95, and is absolutely worth every penny.  Call or come by Sweetwater Fly Shop to check them out!