Thursday, February 29, 2024

TESTED: Innovator Nitro Vapor Rods

AT the Australian Fishing Tackle Association trade show a couple of years ago, the Fisho team was impressed by a new addition to Innovator Nitro’s rod line-up, the Vapor 60. At that show, Fisho’s editor Jim Harnwell bought a Vapor with plans to use it on his Hobie kayak. As I was looking at buying a new ’yak and had some bream-filled mangroves in mind the little six-footer looked ideal – I ordered one too.  

The two-piece 1-2kg rated Vapor 60 is based on an IM8 graphite blank that Nitro calls high recovery/high impact. There are three rods in the Vapor range and all are amazingly light weight – starting at 65 grams for the Vapor 60 through to 78gms for the 1-3kg Vapor 70 (seven-footer). The Vapors are finished in an understated stylish black highlighted by purple binding trim, Fuji Titanium frame SIC guides for strength and reduced weight and a “skeletal” cork grip arrangement – basically a two-piece butt grip with exposed blank between, designed to reduce hand fatigue.  

Since buying the Vapor 60 I’ve used it with a Shimano Sustain 1000FB and 2-4lb FireLine for light lure fishing. The outfit has accounted for several bream, flathead (including a couple of thumpers), tailor, silver trevally, whiting and a few EPs. The rod is rated 1-2kg with a casting weight of 1-7 grams and has proven ideal for resin-headed plastics through to light jigheads, hard body lures and small vibes.

It’s a quality rod with a very crisp casting action and fast recovery. On open waters it has almost matched similar rated, longer rods for distance but where it excels is in fishing tight snaggy waters. The shorter length is a real bonus when it comes to flicking lures under overhanging branches and tight spots – unfortunately the rod hasn’t greatly improved my accuracy! And once loaded up on a decent fish the little stick has a surprising turn of power provided by its butt section.   

While the Vapor 60 has proven ideal for snag ‘yak work, last summer I also found myself looking for a new ultralight rod for fishing open bays and flats for bream and trevally, with a 1000-2000 size reel. After checking out the specs I didn’t hesitate to order another Vapor, this time the longer 66L (6’6”), which has all the welcome attributes of the shorter model. Both are rated 1-2kg, with the 66L weighing slightly more at 75 grams. A top quality rod can enhance your enjoyment of light lure fishing – these rods definitely fit that category.  

Innovator Nitro Vapors come with handy protective cloth covered rod tubes and bags and sell for $439.95 RRP.

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By Mick Fletoridis

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