] I’ve always enjoyed testing affordable bass fishing gear. I’m not far-removed from my college days of saving for months in order to buy a new rod or reel, so I have a special appreciation for well-priced tackle. Fishing can be much more affordable than what many anglers might think.
Priced at $79.99, the new and improved Abu Garcia Vendetta Casting Rods were designed to offer increased fishability and versatility to budget-minded anglers. I’ve had an opportunity to test several of them this year and based on my experiences, these rods are a solid buy if you’re looking to add a few extra lengths and actions to your lineup.
Many rods in this particular price range tend to feel fairly clunky in your hands. Can you catch a fish with them? Absolutely. But can you rip a jerkbait or wind a big plug all day without aches and pains? That’s an entirely different story.
The Abu Garcia Vendetta Casting Rods, however, feel really good even after extended use. These rods have a 30-ton graphite blank that’s surprisingly lightweight. They’re light enough to use comfortably for an all-day fishing trip whether you’re pitching, flipping, cranking or jerking. I’ve used the previous generation of Vendettas in the past and from what I can tell, this newer model is noticeably lighter and much more comfortable.
You’ll also notice a unique EVA handle design on these rods which Abu Garcia calls the Contour Curve Handle. They’re flat on either side which translates to less hand fatigue, especially when you’re fighting the torque of medium to deep-diving crankbaits. The EVA also repels water and fish slime quite well to allow for a solid grip.
Sensitive when you need it
I’ve been fishing a lot of deep cover and structure with this rod in order to get a good idea of its sensitivity. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve been able to feel.
Although this model seems to be a bit tip-heavy when dragging soft plastics, I’ve had no problem detecting subtle bites in deep water. The reel seat design allows for a lot of blank contact throughout your retrieve which keeps you in constant contact with your bait. You can feel each branch and limb when fishing deep brush and most importantly, you can quickly detect a bite and set the hook before the bass wraps you up.
It’s also a good choice for crankbaits. The rod maintains a nice bend while you’re reeling, which acts as a shock absorber when you get a bite. It has plenty of delay in the tip, so you can give the bass a split-second to eat treble-hooked baits before setting the hook.
Handles fish with no problems
I’ve caught some nice bass with these rods throughout my testing and they’ve performed very well for $79.99 rods. The actions are a bit fast so it’s a good idea to pay close attention to your drag when a fish surges, but you’ll be able to stay in control with no problems.
Anglers who like to fish heavy cover will be pleased with the power of these rods. The blank’s multi-directional carbon fibers allow you to make hard hooksets and make quick work of big fish in potentially compromising situations such as laydowns, boat docks and thick vegetation.
Reel seat design
I really like the Micro-Click Reel Seat Hoods on the Vendettas. When you tighten this hood down onto your reel, you’ll hear audible clicks—almost like a ratchet—to ensure that the reel stays firmly attached to the rod.
Several of the less expensive rods I’ve used have had major problems with the reel seat design; I actually had a reel fall into the lake once. So I’m happy to see this innovative design from Abu Garcia.
This rod is an attractive option, especially for budget-minded anglers who are looking for versatility that’s usually found in more expensive lineups. There are 11 models to choose from and they cover every technique you can imagine.