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Rod Review

The Search For One… Abu Garcia’s Vendetta Is Anything But Cold (continued)

Sensitivity: Where we come back do the ground a little bit with this stick is at arguably the most important characteristic of a nice fishing rod – sensitivity. While the Vendetta does fish above its level in this department, it’s not quite as sensitive as I had hoped when playing with it off the rack. Just the same, I feel it will go head to head with most $150 rods I've fished.

... and thanks to the solid, 30 ton graphite material in the blank, this stick has good power.

Certainly it is still good, but I was simply hoping for more. If you’re fishing a moving bait like a crank, lipless crank, spinnerbait, etc., you can easily feel these baits moving along. Where I ran into a little difficulty was in fishing bottom contact baits. I couldn’t always tell what I was hitting on the bottom but of course, a very quick remedy for this was switching to braid.

Components include a Fuji ACS Soft Touch reel seat ...


... a custom styled reel seat locking mechanism ...

Braid can make any stick fish above its market level sensitivity wise and this is no different with the VTC69-6. In fact, this became my line of choice when fishing this stick though it did make the experience of fishing jerkbaits on this rod rather bone jarring.

... stainless steel Pac Bay guides with Zirconia coated inserts ...


... an open ended hook keeper ...

Components: As you can see from the photographs, the VTC69-6 benefits from foam grips and contemporary styling. It has a machined locking mechanism at the reel seat that while very cool to look at can prove a tad uncomfortable to your index finger should you extend your finger forward of the reel seat when gripping the rod.

... and a very stylish butt cap complete with a sealed balancing kit.

Guides on the Vendetta series of rods are Zirconia coated stainless steel by Pac Bay, while the reel seat is a Fuji ACS reel seat with a soft touch coating. Abu Garcia places a non-adjustable balancing kit in the butt of the Vendetta rods, a feature that no doubt adds to each stick’s overall weight.

Abu Garcia promises to redefine the budget rod category with their Vendetta.

Warranty: All Vendetta series fishing rods are backed by a two (2) factory warranty against manufacturer defects in workmanship and materials. Each warranty claim requires proof of purchase and a $10 fee to cover return postage and handling. Abu Garcia will inspect each rod claimed under warranty for material or workmanship failure and will replace rods at their sole discretion. For further details regarding your potential warranty claim and for an address where you can send your warranty items, please contact the manufacturer direct.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Abu Garcia Vendetta VTC69-6 Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A well built stick 8
Performance Great caster, average sensitivity, very good power 8.5
Price Only $80 are you kidding me? 9
Features Components in line with what you'd expect at this price point 7
Design (Ergonomics) Wonderful styling 9
Application A strong "all purpose" candidate 8.5

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:


J Affordable! L Guides could use some upgrading
J Attractive styling L Not quite as balanced as advertised though not bad either
J Great Caster  
J Good power  


As the sun sets on my time with the Vendetta, it's time to continue the Search For One...

Conclusion: So does the VTC69-6 have what it takes to challenge for the title of our Search For One overall winner? Perhaps not quite, but I can tell you right now, it may very well run away with the value category. At eighty dollars retail, this stick looks and fishes more like a stick at twice its value and how often can you say that about a product let alone a fishing rod? I wouldn’t even mind if they included a nicer set of guides and pushed the cost of this rod just over one hundred dollars, but it’s not even necessary. The VTC69-6 is a fine product that promises to redefine the value rod market. No longer do we have to accept unreasonable compromises to find a stick that’s fun to look at, fun to fish, and affordable to own. Abu Garcia serves up their Vendetta and this is a stick that’s anything but cold.

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