Light and bright, the Vision Onki 9ft #5 4-piece fly rod has a distinctive look

The distictive colouring of the Vision Onki 9ft #5.

From the rod-tube, these sections feel light, in particular the butt section is fitted with a light-weight reel-seat.

Quite a distinctive look to the Onki, the matt finished, pale green-olive blank looks clean and fresh – nice way of saying unusual. Assembling the rod, this has few of the ‘features’ of modern rods: no alignment dots, no keeper-ring. The whippings are essentially invisible, not as fussy as a high-end custom rod, but a nice detail. Similarly the grip, I’d expect a half wells grip, maybe a longer, finer ‘nose’. Nope, this is more of a cigar-shaped grip which I like a lot, and again has that slight flavour of a custom-build.

Take a pace back and the Onki build is actually rather simple with thoughtful details, rather than traditional flourishes – I like this. Once assembled this is a light rod, without a reel the balance is a little tip heavy, fit an appropriate reel – small and light – and the outfit balances just right.

I was sure the first line I fitted on this was/is a #5 – the line felt light, under-working the rod, overworking me – I suspect it is a #4. Then on went a a #6 line – a top make, long belly, the Onki 5-weight handles a #6 line very well, it feels mellow and sober – loads well for close-in fishing – casts smooth and throws a die-straight line. Then a fresh #5 line (I checked the box!) and the Onki brightens, feels faster and lighter. I know times when I’d prefer a #6 line on this rod: small stream, fishing short, casting rolls and flicks. However, most of the time, I’d match this with a WF5 fly line. Casting that #5 line I’d say the action feels fairly fast, stiff/powerful, without being extreme. The measurements I take for rods say that, compared with other 9ft #5 rods, this is light, and the action is a fraction deeper than typical, modern fast-actioned 5-weights, and the stiffness is moderate to stiff.

This Onki is a rod which throws flicks and curves, nicely controlled detailed casts, and fitting a light reel to make a comfortably balanced outfit helps.

I really like that grip, that bulge nestles in my palm for comfortable consistent grip. A rod which becomes familiar and intuitive very quickly. Then hook a fish, and this rod has power/stiffness deeper down the blank – a rod which can bully small fish and play better fish with some authority.

The 9ft 5-weight is a sort of general purpose river rod, light enough for dries, heavy enough for bugs and streamers. This Onki is in that mould, practical and assured, custom features, distinctive finish – a good rod!

Vision Onki 9ft #5

  • Weight: 77.4g
  • Action angle: 68 degrees
  • Stiffness: 110.5g
  • Sections: 4
  • Rings: One lined butt ring, single-leg snakes
  • Handle: Cigar
  • Fighting butt: No
  • Cork quality: Good, slight filling and figure
  • Reel seat: Aluminium, hardwood spacer
  • Blank: Matt olive-green
  • Thread: Transparent
  • Build quality: Good
  • Rod bag: No
  • Rod tube: Nylon covered

Price: £279.99 (Anglers Lodge offer price £219.99)

From: Vision stockists
Sample provided by The Anglers Lodge