I've spent the better part of this past year searching for a lightweight spinning rod that'll hold up to my abuse. I've owned several light rods, but I've actually broken several of them lately. I'm rough on my spinning rods especially; they're the rods that stay in the front seat of my truck for quick pond trips and work trips alike. They get battered and bruised, so I've been needing something that can take it.
After using the Abu Garcia Villain 2.0 Spinning Rod for the past year, I can confidently say that it's one of the better spinning rods I've ever used. It doesn't even feel similar to the first-generation Villain series. These rods are completely revamped and I can't believe the difference it has made.
I'll take you through the most noteworthy characteristics of this rod.
The sensitivity will impress you
Aside from being so lightweight, the Abu Garcia Villain 2.0 Spinning Rod is remarkably sensitive. The unique reel seat design allows you to have constant and direct contact with the 40-ton high modulus graphite blank. Regardless of how you prefer to hold your spinning rods in regards to finger positioning, you'll enjoy feeling everything your bait is doing underwater.
More specifically, I've been using the 7-foot, medium-action model and the added sensitivity has made it an outstanding dock-fishing rod for wacky rigs, weightless stick worms, weightless worms and shaky heads. You're able to feel bites very easily, even on slack line, which allows you to quickly set the hook and get the fish away from any hazards that could break your line. I never use more than 8-pound test on my spinning gear, so it's very important to me that I can identify a bite and put the proverbial ball into my court as quickly as possible.
Don't mistake weightlessness for weakness
As I mentioned earlier, I like durable gear. I'm liable to fish 4 different bodies of water in a week, so this rod has gotten its fair share of workouts. I'm constantly moving it to and from my truck and boats and, not to mention, catching plenty of fish. There is not one thing I've seen on the Abu Garcia Villain 2.0 Spinning Rod that would make me question its durability. The blank is actually wrapped using a carbon V-Wrap process that's specifically designed to provide extra strength.
So far, so good. It has held up without any issues whatsoever. I've accidentally stepped on the tip, hit it against doorjambs while in transport and poked my snagged baits with the tip of the rod. It still looks good as new and performs flawlessly.
Smart reel seat design
I really like that the reel seat screws and unscrews from the bottom and not the top. It's one of those small features that makes a pretty big difference, in my opinion. If you think about it, you're much more apt to hold a spinning rod higher on the reel seat. Now that this part is on the bottom-half of the reel seat, you're eliminating undue torque and stress that could cause your reel to loosen from the rod when it's under a load. It has happened to me before, so maybe that's why I like it so much. Either way, you're going to enjoy the rock-solid connection it offers and again, the sensitivity cannot be overstated.
In addition to the sensitivity and weightlessness, the Abu Garcia Villain 2.0 Spinning Rod is a pleasure to use for an extended period of time. Whether you're taking a quick after-work trip or a 12-hour weekend trip, this rod almost feels like an extension of your arm. That may sound odd, but it's balanced very well and you'll notice zero fatigue or hand cramps from extended use.
In this particular photo, you can see the EVA butt of the rod with a flat spot on the side. When you're setting the hook, that flat area snugs up nicely to your ribs, adding a bit more comfort; especially after lots of hooksets.