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Redington Link 8-weight Review
Redington Link 8-weight Review
Published by oregonism
01-20-2014
Author review
Performance
80%80%80%
8
Build Quality
80%80%80%
8
Appearance
90%90%90%
9
Value
100%100%100%
10
Overall
80%80%80%
8
Average 86%
Default Redington Link 8-weight Review

I picked up the Redington Link 8-weight about a month ago, but have only been fishing it hard for about a week. I thought I'd give my quick impression, plus throw a review out there as it is currently on clearance at many shops and there isn't much info about this rod.

As far as I can tell, Redington released this rod as their flagship rod where it only remained for a short while. It has since been replaced by the Vapen... not sure if they were doing some sort of internal branding changes or the rod just didn't sell. As far as I can tell, the blank appears to be the same "x-wrap" blank we see on the Vapen, and is potentially the same rod in a different outfit. I'm just guessing at this, but it would make sense that they would use the same blank rather than retooling in such a short time. Anyway, continuing...

Appearance/Build: The rod looks nice. It's got a very modern look, with a carbon fiber insert in the reel seat, as well as the carbon fiber "x-wrap" (looks effectively like a piece of bi-directional carbon fiber wrapped around the butt section of the blank for about 10" above the cork). The rest of the reel seat is basic black anodized aluminum... it also appears "lengthy", in that it looks like it could take a spey reel. Some seats just look that way.

The cork is of the highest quality, with no visible filler. There is also a blue anodized ring at the base of the handle near the reel seat, which has hook holders on either side. The rest of the rod is fairly simple, with quality snake guides, etc. It should be noted that one of the alignment dots was missing on my particular rod. No biggie, but I docked a point.

Lastly, the rod tube is absolutely awesome. By far one of the best nicest I've seen, though it is very modern and not traditional in any sense of the word. The tube is solid carbon fiber with milled aluminum end-caps. The rod sock is velvet. Overall, it is a very nice touch and I really like the look.

Performance: This rod feels good. It's very, very light for an 8-weight. I don't have exact numbers in front of me, but the rod feels effectively like a normal five weight in terms of weight (as I'm sure many high end rods do these days). The older/cheaper rods I have to compare it to were much heavier. They left you feeling quite fatigued after hours of casting, where this rod simply doesn't.

The only thing that should be noted is that the swing weight seems off. Despite the very low weight of the rod, it almost feels necessary to go with a slightly heavier reel. I am using a very light reel on the rod, and it doesn't feel balanced. There are complaints about the swing weight with this particular rod elsewhere, and I felt it necessary to dock points because of it. While I'm not muscle-sore after casting this rod all day, I have found my wrist to be aching after casting it for a couple hours. Moving on...

The rod seems more focused on presentation over raw power. I've owned some ultra-fast 8 weights in the past (a couple Loomis' and an Echo Ion), and this is a much more delicate rod by comparison. It almost feels fragile compared to the Ion, which looked borderline indestructible. It also means it's a bit trickier in any sort of strong winds.

Overall/Value: For what I paid for this rod, it is an incredible value and I encourage people to seek out the various clearance sales. Heck, this would be a fine rod at the $379 MSRP. It really is a lot of rod for the money, and if the Vapen is really the same rod, I can recommend that as well (though it only comes with the standard rod tube )

I really like this rod though, and I think it's one of my favorites that I've owned. The lightness and quality of the cork make it a joy to use, and the casting very accurate and delicate. The action feels unique, and it feels a "proper" 8-weight (not an "ultra-mega-fast" 8-weight, that is actually a 10-weight). It may not be the best for super windy days or ultra-large fish, but it certainly has my recommendation.
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