Airflo Vibe Switch review by Andy Cawthorn
WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDY CAWTHORN
I've been getting a lot of PM's lately from members about getting into switching, but are put off by the cost of setting up. I'm in no particular preference to any brand; its so hard to find a bad rod these days with modern materials. So, it was just fortunate that the boys from Manic Tackle Project gave me the opportunity to test the new Airflo VIBE switch rod.
With all the rave reviews of the Bandit and Nemesis rods from Airflo, I was super keen to wiggle the VIBE.
1. Lets start on first impressions. Its a nice looking rod, the reel seat really stood out, something fashioned out of a star-wars laser gun. The thinner diameter grips felt really comfortable in the hand – not overly chunky and not too thin, just right. The Cork doesn't look cheap. Nicely lathed and the variation in type was also a winner. The rod blank is a natural gray colour and had no flaws to speak of. The only downside may be the weight of the rod at 222 grams. Its slightly heavier than a T3H, Method or similarly expensively priced rod. But, that said, its still very light in the hand.
1. Let me start by saying, this rod is no Sage Cannon. Its more medium/fast. Perfect for throwing skagit heads (that's all anyone wants to do these days...). The grain window is quite open. I tried the rod on 360 – 550 grain heads, and it did them all. This rod bent in the middle and could be felt down to the butt section. Its never felt like it was struggling even throwing some gnarly casts with a lot of torque and with a lot of junk on the end
2. Casts were nice and clean. The action was very forgiving. The rod loaded nicely on a range of different casts. Laser tight loops were common place.
3. The rod never felt like it was struggling and I thrashed it! I had a lot of fun casting it with a 425 skagit head and a 375 scandi head. It never felt under-gunned using 10' Sink tips from T8 – 14 with some seriously large bugger patterns on the end
1. Its readily available from most tackle stores
2. You'd be hard pressed to find a stick like this for around $299. My wife cringes when I start talking of new rods pushing past $1200. The VIBE is probably much more swing-able
3. A spare tip. I've seen it happen a lot. If just picking up switch casting, the tips is usually the first thing to go!
I really liked it. This rod is a far better stick than its predecessor. Manic have obviously taken some feedback about the previous Switch rod and produced a great stick for the $. If you're like me, tied for funds with a mortgage and family, this rod is a winner for those looking to dabble in the DH / Skagit world without breaking the bank account – it does everything you'd expect a more expensive rod to do.
Aesthetics: Its a nice looking rod, particularly the reel seat and cork
Rod Action: Medium / Fast
Grain Window: 375 – 475 (425 was perfect)
Rod Weight: 222 gms