There are so many good fishing rods in the bass fishing game today that settling on one is just impossible to do. With so many rods and reels available at different price points, it is no surprise that many people opt for cheaper equipment when they can find it. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Is this always true though? I don’t believe so.
Bass fishing on a budget has taken on a life of its own in recent years as more people start to head out on the water. Everybody cannot afford a $350 rod and a $200 reel to go fishing on weekends. There are usually three levels of fishing gear that correspond to certain price points. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced bass fishing.
All of these cost a different amount of money. Abu Garcia is generally known for their reels but many have an attraction to their rods too. The Abu Garcia Vengeance series rods fit the intermediate category and middle of the road in terms of price and quality.
In this Abu Garcia Vengeance review, we are going to see exactly what this series of bass rods has to offer as well as what you can expect if you decide to take one fishing for yourself.
This series of fishing rods is made and manufactured by Abu Garcia, a company best known for its reels. While the Abu Garcia brand is very well-known in the fishing industry, more people are familiar with the reels they produce than they are the rods. With that in mind, I believe they make a few quality rods too. The Vengeance lineup consists of rods, reels, and combos of both.
The most popular of the three is the combo that includes the rod and reel sold together. This reel has five ball bearings, an aluminum spool, and a graphite construction. It also is available in a right-handed or left-handed retrieve. The rod comes in seven lengths to choose from if bought separately. A 7’3″, a 7’6″, a 7′, a 6’6″, and a 6’9″. The power classes range from medium to medium-heavy, and heavy.
Since they can all be bought individually, it helps to point out that the combo offered for this series is only available in a 7′ medium-heavy one-piece rod variant. All models of this rod come equipped with EVA foam handles, the cheaper option. Even so, it is still a versatile setup for many bass fishing techniques like flipping and pitching or burning a crankbait in.
Design and Build Quality:
This rod features a 24-ton intermediate modulus graphite blank that keeps the weight down and provides a great amount of sensitivity at the cost of a little durability. It has stainless steel guides. I would say that the sensitivity is pretty good for its price point and that it will certainly get the job done for most things you need it for. The cost of the rod, reel, and combo is certainly much less than many other baitcasting setups out there and you can tell by some of its features.
You get one action which is fast. This will be a great responsive rod and will do quite a bit of flexing when you load the rod up to set the hook. Most bass rods have a fast action so they can bury those hooks when they need to. That means it will do a great job for fishing Texas rigs on soft plastic baits. If you want another action, you are out of luck. The rod itself is a pleasure to use because it is balanced and has the sensitivity you need. It will do well with most techniques but it do even better with Texas rigs, swimbaits, and crankbaits.
For anybody who knows me personally, I am not one to hate affordable materials as long as they work well. On the same token though, I am not at all amused by utilized materials that can be labeled “cheaply made” because there is usually a problem with incurring damage to the item. This rod has EVA foam handles. I do not dislike EVA foam at all on fishing rods. The rod I used most growing up had EVA foam and not cork. This material is usually used to keep the cost down and because of this, you lose a lot of sensitivity that cork could provide.
Overall, this has some pretty impressive performance once you get it dialed in. It handles very well, is extremely lightweight, feels well-balanced, and the reel is pretty decent for what you get. It makes an incredibly effective rod for soft plastic fishing as well as for flipping and pitching buzz baits or spinners. If you want a rod for your Texas rigs, jigs, and creature baits, this one is definitely one to consider for that. Those fast-action tips will make burying those hooks that much easier.
I found this to be particularly good for crankbait fishing but I’d imagine that it would also work very well on plenty of other techniques as well such as topwaters and frogs. Because it is a casting rod, you will naturally benefit from all of the perks a rod like this offers a bass angler over spinning gear. These perks include further casting distance, pinpoint precision, and the ability bring in much larger fish. As long as you throw the right line on and set that drag properly, this rod can bring in a lot of big fish.
I will be honest when I say this. I don’t find these rods to be all that durable over the long term. Graphite is usually a little more fragile than glass already but it seems this rod is even worse. There are many reports of customers receiving the rod only to have it smashed or in pieces when it arrived at their address. It’s not just one report either. Multiple customers have complained that these rods are quite fragile. Any rod that cannot survive the shipping process for a trip on a truck certainly cannot handle the abuse of the boat.
Aside from this, the reel is made of graphite too. Again, it comes with all of the same issues because it is made from the same material. Graphite is generally not bad on reels but the best ones are made out of steel or anodized aluminum so they can withstand not only huge fish but other things too.
No disrespect intended to Abu Garcia but I personally believe that there is a reason they sell many more reels a year than they do rods. I have never heard a fisherman tell me that they are using an Abu Garcia rod. Only the reel. Is there a reason? Maybe. It seems the rods leave something to be desired. Consider this advice from one fisherman to another.
- Versatile for many bass fishing techniques
- Appropriately priced
- Very easy to cast
- Multiple actions to choose from
- Right and left-handed reels are available
- EVA foam handle
- Graphite is not as durable
- Combo only comes in one size
- Need to buy items separately to get another length or action
- Only one-piece options are available
Maintenance and Care:
All fishing rods require some basic rod and reel maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape so they can perform their best the next time you head out on the water. When properly taken care of, most rods will last you a lifetime. For this rod, use can use mild soap, warm water, and a microfiber towel.
Always make sure to hit the line guides while you are at it too. The way the guides are on this rod makes it easy for debris to get trapped inside. Never forget to disassemble the reel and apply gear grease to the inner mechanical gears.
Price and Value:
Compared to other rods within the same price range, I don’t think this rod is the best bang for your buck. With the combo costing over a hundred green, a fifty-dollar rod and a fifty-dollar reel can just as easily be put together separately for the same price but be much more reliable. The vast majority of bass anglers today aside from the professional tournament fisherman with some exceptions are using reels that cost less than fifty dollars.
This may save you some money in the long run. In addition to that, you should not try to save money on the rod if you plan on doing a ton of fishing anyway. What you lose is substantial because the rod is everything. If the goal is to save money, I suggest clearance or markdowns instead.
Conclusion: Abu Garcia Vengeance Series Is Average
To conclude, I think it is a very average setup. It’s not a bad casting rod but I have seen many other rods out there around the same price that surpass it in value. If you want one, by all means, get one but I think money may be better spent elsewhere. It turns out that the combo is over a hundred dollars which is an appropriate price but here me out.
The rod and reel are around fifty each. If you are going to spend over a hundred anyway, it just makes sense to invest that money into much higher-quality gear. You can catch fish with a cheap setup, no problem. It’s just more about how much you fish. Many great baitcasting reels cost fifty or less anyway so it just makes sense to use ones with a good track record for performance.
It also seems to have problems with durability. The graphite on this specific rod while sensitive is also very fragile which is exactly what you don’t want in a baitcasting rod. If you are looking for a great rod and want to make an investment to up your fishing game without worrying about durability, consider rods like the St. Croix Mojo Bass casting rod.
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Do the Abu Garcia Vengeance Series rods provide a budget-friendly way to catch bass without breaking the bank? The answer is dependent on what you define as budget-friendly. I have caught bass on bargain bin rods that cost a couple of dollars. The fish never see the rod and spending over a hundred bucks for it better be worth it. I don’t think it is. Still, you can click here if you want to buy one for yourself.