Re: Another question about a rod for the new guy.
I posted in another thread last week offering opinions on the Vapor to someone who was looking at a Sage Fli. The Vapor is in my opinion a medium to medium slow action compared to the range of products available in the market despite Winston's description. I own and have spent time fishing the Vapor in 486-4 and 590-4. They are mid to full flex with soft tips. I'm starting to believe that most series of rods have a sweetspot where a particular weight and size are ideal for the taper. Please note that I prefer a slower softer rod so my evaluation is based on realistic expectations from that kind of taper.
The 590 is just OK in my opinion. I would probably prefer something with a little more power for throwing weighted nymph rigs, strike indicators, streamers, and medium sized bass bugs. I have a seven weight for the heavier bass bugs but I prefer to fish with the lightest gear I can while still managing the flies and targeted fish. This rod is very well suited for a slower casting rythym and dry fly presentation at short to moderate distance. It is a pleasure to fight smaller fish up to 4lbs with. Where it breaks down is trying to push weighted or wind resistant flys in wind. It also doesn't have the backbone to control and redirect larger, stronger fish. I am guessing that the 7'6" 5wt. could have a very different personality.
The 486 really shines for me. It's slightly shorter length provides a stiffer action and great balance. I call on it for panfish, small bass, and trout in smaller water. I can get by nymphing with it but if that were the majority of my fishing, I would choose another tool.
As to quality, materials, fit and finish... The reel seats and handles are fine for the price. Make sure you like the tapered cigar grips. I do but it's all preference. Ferule and guides are all straight and well wraped and sealed. The 4 weight is nearly perfect but the 5 weight has a noticable scoliosis at the tip that I may have them address at some point.
I hope this helps.