is one of the few rods that have become a staple in many anglers’ arsenals. For those who wanted a more premium piece of equipment over the Max series, but not as expensive as the Veritas, this was the solution. With a price tag of $80 this allowed it to be within nearly everyone’s budget. To go along with the price, it’s sporting an all black construction, with contrasting silver threads and red anodized accents. If the price won’t reel you in, its appearance will.
Starting at the handle we have a fairly typical butt section made out of EVA foam. Moving up to the foam under the reel seat is where we see something interesting. There are two flat spots, one on each side, that the palm of your hand is designed to rest on. For the most part, our hands are flat, so holding a round object all day definitely is not the best choice when seeking comfort. The Vendetta is one of the few rods on the market to adopt this feature. Next is the trigger. In my opinion this is by far one of the best styles that can be implemented onto a rod. It has a small coating of a rubber like substance which makes it soft to the touch. The actual trigger also curves a large degree upwards which contours to your finger when holding it. If you’re fishing all day long, the most important aspect of the rod is the handle area and Abu Garcia nearly nailed it. Their one flaw was using a micro click nut made entirely out of metal. The design of the nut prevents it from slowly loosening over time at the cost of some comfort. It is a rather large design and if you’re one who likes to rest your finger on the foregrip area, it may become a little troublesome when it’s rock hard solid.
A little past the reel handle is where we have our hook keeper. It is a wire bent in a “U” shape with both ends attached to the rod at the same point. This style is an open system and is one of the best you can get. Quite simply grab your lure, slide the lowest part of the hook shank over it, and tighten with the reel. There is no fumbling around trying to align a hook point through the keeper, there is no unhooking your soft plastics, simply slide it into place.
The blank material has remained the same over the different generations of the Vendetta, a 30 ton graphite is the basis for all of them with “intracarbon.” For those who do not really understand tonnage ratings, simply put, the larger the tonnage number, the stiffer the graphite becomes which means more intense vibrations will reach your hand. Being as though these fibers are stiffer, that also means less resin or epoxy is needed to essentially hold it together so, theoretically it should be lighter overall. There is one downfall though, it also becomes more brittle. 30 ton graphite is around mid-tier so having it on rods priced from around $80 to $140 is fairly common. To be able to afford selling this grade of blank at this price, they had to downgrade the guides a slight amount. The Vendetta uses full-size stainless steel frames with zirconium inserts which remind you are still plenty acceptable for this price range. If the Vendetta used titanium alloy frames or micro guides at $80, it would certainly give other brands a run for their money.
Of this generation Vendetta, I own a 7’3″ Medium Heavy with a Fast tip that weighs 5.5 ounces. It weighs more than other brands of rods with similar specs but at the same time, it weighs less than other rods by Abu Garcia themselves with again, similar specs. Full size guides, with stainless steel frames are one of the worst decisions for weight reduction but when talking about fractions of an ounce, not too many people are going to notice it. The balancing point is 21 inches from the butt section of the rod which is two inches more than the Veritas for example. When talking about an object 7′ long, that seems marginal but when fishing, having the balancing point closest to your reel seat is going to give you the best control.
Overall, one of the best things about the Vendetta is the quality you get for $80. A 30-ton blank, comfortable handle, good hook keeper and lightweight tip made this one of my favorite rods in my arsenal. The Medium Heavy is without a doubt one of the most universal rods you can get. Excellent vibration for spinnerbaits or the power to pull bass out of thick mats of vegetation; it can do it all. Of the rods I have reviewed recently, the Vendetta is the best you can get in terms of price to performance. I absolutely love the Veritas (partially because of the color scheme) but if I were to create an arsenal of matching rods on the cheaper side, I would no doubt do it with these guys. When reviewing the Defy Black, I stated that would be a candidate to make an arsenal with, but the Vendetta wins in my book hands down.
BFA’s score: 10/10. This rod is without a doubt one of the most comfortable I have ever used (apart from the handle nut). The Vendetta Gen 4 just came out though and it appears as though they had a design change but regardless this version is still plenty suitable. It retails for $80 and if you can find it for less, definitely give it a shot.
Check out the Vendetta here: https://amzn.to/3tK2yro
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