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Redington Borrows from Golf Club Grips for New Fly Rod Handle

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June 21, 2013

Redington Borrows from Golf Club Grips for New Fly Rod Handle

By Kirk Deeter

I am starting to see the new batch of 2014 rods, and if what I have tested so far is any indication of things to come, this is going to be the best all-around new model year in at least a decade.

One of the rods that jumps right out at me is the Vapen from Redington (MSRP: $350). You can already see why. The "Red" model features a synthetic grip, called PowerGrip, that was created in collaboration with the golf club grip manufacturer Winn Grips. It slips less when wet (I fished it on a hot, sweaty day recently and found that to be true). It's also comfortable.

I've always felt that golf and fly fishing are essentially the same sport. One is played mostly dry, the other played mostly wet. They share the same ancestral roots, and appeal to the same personality. One thing I've never understood, however, is why the first thing a golf pro corrects on a wannabe duffer is his/her grip, yet that's the last thing fly guides and rod makers have worried about. In fly fishing, it's all about tapers, and action, tips and timing. But few have bothered to think beyond century-old cork handle designs. And I think where the hand meets the rod might be the most important factor that differentiates great casting performance from average. It's about time somebody figured that out.

I've messed around with grip tapes on some rods for years, but I think the integrated grip is probably a better solution. I am interested to hear your thoughts.

Comments (28)

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from Rhythm Rider wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

First thought is, I hope it comes in another color. That's ugly. It's the kind of rod only a Nebraska fan could love.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Cork's getting expensive, and rare. I've been on the hunt for something like this as well. Winn also makes Tour Star rod grips for spinning and casting rods, but not for flyrods. When I saw this the wheels went straight to spinning around this idea. I even paid a visit to the pro-shop to check out golf grips. I am going to drop a set of grips on a two hander, and see how they perform. Other golf playing guys I know don't like the dry-tac grips that winn is putting on their rods, but they aren't fishermen either.....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Makes my cork rods all the more enjoyable. What is the status on that new rod maker you promoted about a year ago?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Micropterus24 wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

I can't see this making a huge difference in how you hold the rod. There's something about the look and feel of a nice cork handle that I don't think a synthetic can replace.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

There is no denying the practical use but they're still just plain ugly. I have rods I have been using for over 30 years and the corks still going strong through fish slime and sweat. I have no reason to change now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Hey Dangle, I am curious. What's your oldest rod in your rod locker?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Well I had some heavy Shakespeare glass rods that I sold at a garage sale for .50Cents. Those were the oldest that I ever owned. I do own an old English bamboo rod that my employer gave me when I left...Eddie Bauer. But the oldest that I often use are the original Sage IM-6 rods, and I have an old Loomis 9 1/2 ft IM-6 rod that I use a lot. Getting to enjoy the more 'flexy" rods now over the fast action rods I was into for a period of time. I have two Sage SP rods, a 4wt. and a 6 wt. that are medium action rods they discontinued that I sure like..effortless to cast, present the fly, and play the fish well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

It is ugly, and I prefer cork, however, so is synthetic and stainless on a rifle, and that is what all mine tend to be. May be the future.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

My favorite old school blank is the Sage RPL. Caught a fat cap on it tonight. Have always been a fan of the fast action rod. Just picked up an RPL+ off ebay recently. A bit too stiff for my taste but I'll keep it and let my kids fight over it after I'm gone. As a kid I toted a Shakespeare spun fiberglas rod with a Martin reel filled with level line. Caught a lot of fish off that dang thing. It's retired to the gun cabinet now. My oldest rod is a 1938 Granger. Have never fished it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Carp, not cap.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Buck. I was going to mention my RPL rod, but it brought up bad memories. I left it on a crowded bank fishing the drift for steelhead early in the morning before all the folks came out, and then realized I left the rod with a Hardy reel on it up against the bushes in the background. Went back, and it was still there. Some months later I left it at a boat ramp after launching in a hurry. Went back, and it was gone. That was Sage's first fast action rod. It was a 9' 6wt., and would have been a streamer rod for me today.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

I have a similar story with a Thomas and Thomas Tailwater. Some things you just never get over.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Toke2 wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

buckhunter - I just joined the F&S site, as a newer but die-hard hunter, I came across an old thread where you told a guy from the south you lived in NE Ohio but fished at Piedmont?? I am on the Summit/Portage co. line and have a few uncles who have cabins down at Piedmont. I take the fam down there often in the summer to fish and cruise the pontoon. A couple of buddies and I get after it down there during bow season. We hunt public land, but in a spot nobody else even knows is there.... If you are a regular down there, we will have to hook up and compare notes!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Love redington rods for sure. The pursuit is my favorite fast action rod out of any rod that I own. Look forward to feeling the handle, but yes a cork replacement will be a hard sell to many.

however.
Golf and fly fishing are extremely different. there are similarities yes but the skill set that really make someone excel are very different. I fish a lot on a golf course pond and it blows my mind how many golfers walk right by and dont notice me fishing, or even fighting a splashing trout. Golfing takes single pointed focus on one thing, your game.
Fishing on the other hand takes focus but it is more of a situational awareness of everything around you. Being able to focus on everything at once. and be aware of the fish that just surfaced 100 feet down stream. So yes some obvious similarities but very different skill set to make a "natural" or very talented person. I also see golfers struggle with casting because there coordination is based on hitting with a stick, and it is very different to view this 9 foot stick as a whip. Anybody can be an intermediate participant at either sport, but I doubt tiger woods could be a spectacular steelheader, and I know that I my spey game far exceeds my golf potential.

Even if a golfer becomes a perfect caster, being a great fisherman is more than the cast. Theres no "hunting" in golf.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Don't think I agree with you Preacher. My observation is there are not that many good fly anglers because good athletes don't take it up. A good athlete can easily become a good fly fisher with a little time on the water. A lot of that is just experience to know what you are looking for. But many fly anglers are the get away kind of folks. They like the outdoors, and the feelie-good experiences they get, and are not competitive folks. I am an agressive very competitive athletic background person, and my primary focus is catching fish. I see myself as being in the minority of fly anglers. Tiger Woods would be and exceptional fly angler if he wanted to pursue fly fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Take2, I'll have to look you up when I'm over that way. I hit Leesville for muskie when I have time. Have been known to steelhead fish, just a little. lol

Dangle, now we have had this conversation before. Some guys like to catch a lot of fish, some guys just enjoy being on the water. There is no right or wrong here.

Golf and fly fishing are nothing alike.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

We have had this conversation before, but I want the Preacher man to know about it. My point should be well taken. Hard to get good at fly angling if you do not have that competitive edge, and a lot of fly anglers do not have it, and took it up because they do not have it. Hook and release has led to that as well. Like who cares if I land it, I would have released it anyway. A lot of fly anglers fit very well into the "smell the roses" bunch, and don't really care if they are any good at flyfishing. Athletes definitely can be very good at flyfishing. This is why I brought up Andy Mills as a high level fly angler. The guy was an outstanding athlete, and he is motivated to catch tarpon, one of the very hardest of fish to hook, and land on a fly....the big ones anyway.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 43 weeks 15 hours ago

Not for me. I like the look of dirty stained cork.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheStudMuffin wrote 43 weeks 14 hours ago

As a golfer and a fisherman, it sounds like a great idea!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 6 days ago

As a golfer then you should know that pro golfers change out their golf grips all the time(put new ones on) Can the flyrod grips be changed out when they wear down, and get slick?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 42 weeks 6 days ago

Moss Green and they'll sell, red and most people will just look at it and say WTF.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 42 weeks 6 days ago

I guess if you were a guide and loaned your rods to multiple clients daily or had a rod rental business, this little gadget will preserve your cork. Otherwise, It's like putting seat covers on leather seats in your new car.

Dangle, going back to my question a couple days ago. How is the cork on the oldest rod you own?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 5 days ago

All are in good shape, dirty, and I could lightly sand, or soap and water may do it, but the cork grips are in excellent shape. You made me wonder....? Was that original Sage an RP?..or an RPL like you mentioned yours was? I tend to think now I am thinking of my RP rod (reserve power) Was the "L" standing for "light"?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 5 days ago

Buck....Made a short float on the SF of the Snake yesterday putting in at 3 PM. It was awesome. The big salmonflies have just started....the air was full of bugs. green drakes were on the water, some golden stones, and lots of PMD's. Our water is running high, but good color (summer irrigation needs). I got out of the boat in one spot, and threw into some dink water(about 10 ft across) that was a small back channel behind a gravel bar that had a windfall in it creating about 3ft deep water around the windfall...watched a 19" brown come up, and inhale my golden stone dry...best fish of the day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 42 weeks 5 days ago

Dangle.. Yes yes yes, becoming a "great" fly fisherman (not just good) take some competitive edge. And yes it takes some athleticism. and even skeletal builds... (live in a region where a wader who id 6'2 can actually out fish a wader who is shorter...

but the actual talents that it takes to become a "phenom" or natural. Golf takes a SINGLE POINTED FOCUS type of concentration like ... speed chess. fishing in general takes a SITUATIONAL AWARENESS AND ABILITY TO ADAPT like ... team sports or... war.

Yeah sure they are 'similar", But the skills to leave the pack are different.

and redington rods are totally worth the value, excellent rods. even if they are trying to change the game with non cork handles...

ITS NOT THE SYNTHETICS... ITS THE COLOR. try black or brown not red. no one (yet) wants to show off the road less travelled, but probably willing to explore it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 42 weeks 5 days ago

Glad to hear you are catching fish. My fishing is limited to 2-3 hour jaunts after work. Been tearing up the carp. I need to get out of Ohio for some serious fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 3 days ago

Preacher..Being a lots of sports athlete, and now a coach potato referee it takes FOCUS on all athletic endeavors if you want to perform well. Fly fishing as well. What a good fly anlger learns to do is where to focus at what time. You focus on where you want your cast to land let's say, and then you can focus on your surroundings during the retrieve let's say. You train yourself to see your surroundings, etc. and still focus on the fly fishing task at hand. Major sports athletes do the same thing...all about when to focus on what. And no one does it with more intensity, and focus than athletes do. Lots of fly anglers today that enjoy it for the walk through the woods, the fact they are environmentalists that some make a bad word out of that term...clubbers etc., but not very good fly anglers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 3 days ago

Buck..Phenomenal fishing for, but a short time...now intense heat we are having, and it will stay for sometime. Looks like we have a water shortage. Bums me out, the Summer just started. Our Salmonfly hatch was a good one while it lasted. The heat has pushed it through the entire system, and the best of it is over.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Take2, I'll have to look you up when I'm over that way. I hit Leesville for muskie when I have time. Have been known to steelhead fish, just a little. lol

Dangle, now we have had this conversation before. Some guys like to catch a lot of fish, some guys just enjoy being on the water. There is no right or wrong here.

Golf and fly fishing are nothing alike.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rhythm Rider wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

First thought is, I hope it comes in another color. That's ugly. It's the kind of rod only a Nebraska fan could love.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Cork's getting expensive, and rare. I've been on the hunt for something like this as well. Winn also makes Tour Star rod grips for spinning and casting rods, but not for flyrods. When I saw this the wheels went straight to spinning around this idea. I even paid a visit to the pro-shop to check out golf grips. I am going to drop a set of grips on a two hander, and see how they perform. Other golf playing guys I know don't like the dry-tac grips that winn is putting on their rods, but they aren't fishermen either.....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Makes my cork rods all the more enjoyable. What is the status on that new rod maker you promoted about a year ago?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Micropterus24 wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

I can't see this making a huge difference in how you hold the rod. There's something about the look and feel of a nice cork handle that I don't think a synthetic can replace.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

There is no denying the practical use but they're still just plain ugly. I have rods I have been using for over 30 years and the corks still going strong through fish slime and sweat. I have no reason to change now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Hey Dangle, I am curious. What's your oldest rod in your rod locker?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Well I had some heavy Shakespeare glass rods that I sold at a garage sale for .50Cents. Those were the oldest that I ever owned. I do own an old English bamboo rod that my employer gave me when I left...Eddie Bauer. But the oldest that I often use are the original Sage IM-6 rods, and I have an old Loomis 9 1/2 ft IM-6 rod that I use a lot. Getting to enjoy the more 'flexy" rods now over the fast action rods I was into for a period of time. I have two Sage SP rods, a 4wt. and a 6 wt. that are medium action rods they discontinued that I sure like..effortless to cast, present the fly, and play the fish well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

It is ugly, and I prefer cork, however, so is synthetic and stainless on a rifle, and that is what all mine tend to be. May be the future.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

My favorite old school blank is the Sage RPL. Caught a fat cap on it tonight. Have always been a fan of the fast action rod. Just picked up an RPL+ off ebay recently. A bit too stiff for my taste but I'll keep it and let my kids fight over it after I'm gone. As a kid I toted a Shakespeare spun fiberglas rod with a Martin reel filled with level line. Caught a lot of fish off that dang thing. It's retired to the gun cabinet now. My oldest rod is a 1938 Granger. Have never fished it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 2 days ago

Carp, not cap.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Buck. I was going to mention my RPL rod, but it brought up bad memories. I left it on a crowded bank fishing the drift for steelhead early in the morning before all the folks came out, and then realized I left the rod with a Hardy reel on it up against the bushes in the background. Went back, and it was still there. Some months later I left it at a boat ramp after launching in a hurry. Went back, and it was gone. That was Sage's first fast action rod. It was a 9' 6wt., and would have been a streamer rod for me today.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

I have a similar story with a Thomas and Thomas Tailwater. Some things you just never get over.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Toke2 wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

buckhunter - I just joined the F&S site, as a newer but die-hard hunter, I came across an old thread where you told a guy from the south you lived in NE Ohio but fished at Piedmont?? I am on the Summit/Portage co. line and have a few uncles who have cabins down at Piedmont. I take the fam down there often in the summer to fish and cruise the pontoon. A couple of buddies and I get after it down there during bow season. We hunt public land, but in a spot nobody else even knows is there.... If you are a regular down there, we will have to hook up and compare notes!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Love redington rods for sure. The pursuit is my favorite fast action rod out of any rod that I own. Look forward to feeling the handle, but yes a cork replacement will be a hard sell to many.

however.
Golf and fly fishing are extremely different. there are similarities yes but the skill set that really make someone excel are very different. I fish a lot on a golf course pond and it blows my mind how many golfers walk right by and dont notice me fishing, or even fighting a splashing trout. Golfing takes single pointed focus on one thing, your game.
Fishing on the other hand takes focus but it is more of a situational awareness of everything around you. Being able to focus on everything at once. and be aware of the fish that just surfaced 100 feet down stream. So yes some obvious similarities but very different skill set to make a "natural" or very talented person. I also see golfers struggle with casting because there coordination is based on hitting with a stick, and it is very different to view this 9 foot stick as a whip. Anybody can be an intermediate participant at either sport, but I doubt tiger woods could be a spectacular steelheader, and I know that I my spey game far exceeds my golf potential.

Even if a golfer becomes a perfect caster, being a great fisherman is more than the cast. Theres no "hunting" in golf.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

Don't think I agree with you Preacher. My observation is there are not that many good fly anglers because good athletes don't take it up. A good athlete can easily become a good fly fisher with a little time on the water. A lot of that is just experience to know what you are looking for. But many fly anglers are the get away kind of folks. They like the outdoors, and the feelie-good experiences they get, and are not competitive folks. I am an agressive very competitive athletic background person, and my primary focus is catching fish. I see myself as being in the minority of fly anglers. Tiger Woods would be and exceptional fly angler if he wanted to pursue fly fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 43 weeks 15 hours ago

Not for me. I like the look of dirty stained cork.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheStudMuffin wrote 43 weeks 14 hours ago

As a golfer and a fisherman, it sounds like a great idea!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 6 days ago

As a golfer then you should know that pro golfers change out their golf grips all the time(put new ones on) Can the flyrod grips be changed out when they wear down, and get slick?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 42 weeks 6 days ago

Moss Green and they'll sell, red and most people will just look at it and say WTF.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 42 weeks 6 days ago

I guess if you were a guide and loaned your rods to multiple clients daily or had a rod rental business, this little gadget will preserve your cork. Otherwise, It's like putting seat covers on leather seats in your new car.

Dangle, going back to my question a couple days ago. How is the cork on the oldest rod you own?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 5 days ago

All are in good shape, dirty, and I could lightly sand, or soap and water may do it, but the cork grips are in excellent shape. You made me wonder....? Was that original Sage an RP?..or an RPL like you mentioned yours was? I tend to think now I am thinking of my RP rod (reserve power) Was the "L" standing for "light"?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 5 days ago

Buck....Made a short float on the SF of the Snake yesterday putting in at 3 PM. It was awesome. The big salmonflies have just started....the air was full of bugs. green drakes were on the water, some golden stones, and lots of PMD's. Our water is running high, but good color (summer irrigation needs). I got out of the boat in one spot, and threw into some dink water(about 10 ft across) that was a small back channel behind a gravel bar that had a windfall in it creating about 3ft deep water around the windfall...watched a 19" brown come up, and inhale my golden stone dry...best fish of the day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from the Preacher wrote 42 weeks 5 days ago

Dangle.. Yes yes yes, becoming a "great" fly fisherman (not just good) take some competitive edge. And yes it takes some athleticism. and even skeletal builds... (live in a region where a wader who id 6'2 can actually out fish a wader who is shorter...

but the actual talents that it takes to become a "phenom" or natural. Golf takes a SINGLE POINTED FOCUS type of concentration like ... speed chess. fishing in general takes a SITUATIONAL AWARENESS AND ABILITY TO ADAPT like ... team sports or... war.

Yeah sure they are 'similar", But the skills to leave the pack are different.

and redington rods are totally worth the value, excellent rods. even if they are trying to change the game with non cork handles...

ITS NOT THE SYNTHETICS... ITS THE COLOR. try black or brown not red. no one (yet) wants to show off the road less travelled, but probably willing to explore it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 42 weeks 5 days ago

Glad to hear you are catching fish. My fishing is limited to 2-3 hour jaunts after work. Been tearing up the carp. I need to get out of Ohio for some serious fishing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 3 days ago

Preacher..Being a lots of sports athlete, and now a coach potato referee it takes FOCUS on all athletic endeavors if you want to perform well. Fly fishing as well. What a good fly anlger learns to do is where to focus at what time. You focus on where you want your cast to land let's say, and then you can focus on your surroundings during the retrieve let's say. You train yourself to see your surroundings, etc. and still focus on the fly fishing task at hand. Major sports athletes do the same thing...all about when to focus on what. And no one does it with more intensity, and focus than athletes do. Lots of fly anglers today that enjoy it for the walk through the woods, the fact they are environmentalists that some make a bad word out of that term...clubbers etc., but not very good fly anglers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 42 weeks 3 days ago

Buck..Phenomenal fishing for, but a short time...now intense heat we are having, and it will stay for sometime. Looks like we have a water shortage. Bums me out, the Summer just started. Our Salmonfly hatch was a good one while it lasted. The heat has pushed it through the entire system, and the best of it is over.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 43 weeks 1 day ago

We have had this conversation before, but I want the Preacher man to know about it. My point should be well taken. Hard to get good at fly angling if you do not have that competitive edge, and a lot of fly anglers do not have it, and took it up because they do not have it. Hook and release has led to that as well. Like who cares if I land it, I would have released it anyway. A lot of fly anglers fit very well into the "smell the roses" bunch, and don't really care if they are any good at flyfishing. Athletes definitely can be very good at flyfishing. This is why I brought up Andy Mills as a high level fly angler. The guy was an outstanding athlete, and he is motivated to catch tarpon, one of the very hardest of fish to hook, and land on a fly....the big ones anyway.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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