I've owned several iterations of the Abu Garcia Veritas rods over the years. When I was younger, their affordable price point allowed me to build up a better collection of rods so I could expand my proverbial arsenal a little more. I bet I probably still have a dozen of the original ones in my shop.
So when I had an opportunity to test out the new Veritas, I was actually pretty excited to see what it had to offer. The price point remains affordable starting at just $99.95 and it has 16 different models in the baitcasting lineup. That's some crazy variety for not a lot of money, compared to some of the other options out there.
I've been slinging all kinds of baits on this rod and I'll quickly run through what I've learned about the all-new Veritas.
Lightweight with outstanding balance
If I didn't know any better, I'd think this rod was in the $150 to $180 range and that's no exaggeration. Given the $99.95 price point I purposely dampened my expectations going into this test, but I'm telling you right now, this is a dang good fishing rod.
The (very) large majority of rods at this price point are tip-heavy and clunky; they just feel "off" in your hands if that makes any sense. The Abu Garcia Veritas, however, is shockingly lightweight and it balances out perfectly when you put a reel on it. I was telling Jason the other day that he needed to go grab a few of these rods for himself. I don't really do that very often.
This weightlessness and excellent balance allows you to fish all day long without any undue fatigue or pain. The custom reel seat fits nicely in your hand and also it makes for a great jerkbait rod. The trigger underneath the reel doesn't rub your fingers raw, even when you fish a jerkbait all day long, which is actually kind of tough to find in a rod.
All in all, the new Veritas is head-and-shoulders above the older versions when it comes to comfort and feel.
If I've heard one complaint about the older Veritas rods, it's that they liked to break sometimes. It's apparent now, however, that Abu Garcia went to great lengths to fix that problem because I can't get one of these things to snap on me.
And I've sure enough tried.
I've purposely flipped fish in the boat improperly by high-sticking the rod, I've set the hook as hard as I possibly can and I've (accidentally) hit it on my garage door more times than I'd care to admit. It's a tough fishing rod without a doubt. I've haven't heard any of those precarious snaps, crackles or pops when it's under a load and overall it feels much more solid than the older versions.
These rods actually have advanced resins built directly into the blank that fills evenly around the 30-ton carbon fibers which is designed to make a much stronger rod. So far, so good.
I got to thinking about it the other evening while I was switching some rods and reels around in my shop and I think I prefer EVA split grips these days. There's nothing necessarily wrong with cork grips, but I looked on the front deck of my boat and it's full of split-grip EVA handles. I guess I've never noticed it before.
The Veritas lineup has closed-cell EVA grips and they're really soft and comfortable. The one thing I'm not crazy about, however, is the color of them. They do tend to get dirty pretty quickly which has me scrubbing them clean after every few fishing trips. I'd like to see black EVA grips in the future to keep a cleaner look.
Titanium alloy guides
In this price range, you're going to run across a lot of broken guides or inserts over time. But I'm happy to say that the Veritas guides, so far, have held up considerably well throughout my testing. I've accidentally stepped on 'em on the front deck of my boat, hit 'em against the garage door as I mentioned earlier and thrown the rod in the bed of my truck to hit the farm pond before supper. They've held up exceptionally well thus far.
If you don't want to spend crazy amounts of money on your rods, I honestly think the new Veritas series is a rod you can build your entire arsenal around. With 16 models to choose from and a more-than-fair price point, I'd have no reservations having a front deck-full of these rods.