Jump to content
Fly Tying
Chorizo

Is it really worth it?

Recommended Posts

Are sage rods really worth the investment? I've never shot line with one, and thought maybe someone here has experience with some. My dilemma seems to be spending so much when I can wrap a high end blank for less than a third of the cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No rod is worth anything if it doesn't fit your style of casting. Some Sage rods are great, some others not so much for me. Some TFO rods are really great for me, some others, not so much. I think what you get with high end rods is the replacement warranty, which may explain some of the high cost built in. Now, with high end blanks, the company may have a limited replacement warranty on the blank but you'll have to re-make the rod. Some high end rods, if you find a model that you like, can be purchased second hand for much less than they went for brand new. I had a Sage LL, 8'6" for a 4wt that was my favorite rod. (I don't think they make the LL any longer.) A really good friend used to borrow it and asked about buying it from me for the small creeks he often fished. Well, I decided to get the 9' LL since that one was so great and man, did I screw myself. Totally different rod! While it is very nice, it just doesn't have the same softness that the shorter one had. I now have a 8'6" TFO that was only a fraction and I have until this post forgotten about my old Sage 4wt.

 

Kirk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really consider a warranty when making such a purchase, i have sitting right next to me 2 broken fly rods (managed to bust two of them in the last 3 months) which i have to send back including a new sage one that became a sage 'many'. Kinda glad i can send these back for minimal costs otherwise i would left way out of pocket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a full time rod builder for a living I will say this, Sage rods are nice, but WAY over priced. The way Sage's warranty works is you have to send $50 to get a new section so your not actually paying for the warranty in the price of the rod as many have said you do. Your paying the warranty after you break the rod and send it back in. Almost all blank manufactures for custom builders offer replacement sections and normally charge about $25-40 for a new section depending on what the blank is. And it sounds like you are a rod builder, so my advice is save yourself a a ton of money, built a good quality blank like a St Croix or a Rainshadow or MHX for 1/3rd the cost of the Sage and you will have just as good a rod at a fraction of the cost, and you will have the exact same warranty as well.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...The way Sage's warranty works is you have to send $50 to get a new section so your not actually paying for the warranty in the price of the rod as many have said you do...Steve

 

After Hurricane Katrina, I had three Sage rods (a rep had given me some years prior) that had sat in saltwater for two weeks and the guides were pretty funky and the blanks were pretty scratched up from floating around with all the other stuff in my garage. I sent them to be repaired and just had to pay for my shipping to them. They shipped them back good as new. I didn't know they charge $50, I must have been their Hurricane sympathy case.

Seems like there was a time when the companies offering lifetime or limited time warranties didn't charge. I guess that must have changed for one reason or another.

 

 

Kirk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep Kirk almost all the rod companies changed their policies back about 5-7 years ago, so you probably got yours in just under the wire to get them replaced for free. The reason they changed the policy and now charge $50 is because so many guys were breaking their rods on purpose under the free no questions asked policy just so they could get a new rod when theirs got scratched up or the cork got some chunks in it. Really sad to be honest because that's just a testament to how some parts of society will take advantage of something good and ruin it for all involved.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 to Kirk's and Steve's responses.... It really depends on the design of each rod, and IMO, you should cast any rod you intend to purchase, especially one requiring such a hefty investment.

 

I have about a dozen and half or so rods from different manufacturers, and within those I have 4 sage rods. Most of them I purchased because I cast them against other less expensive rods, and they had an extra something that made the higher cost worth it to me. I also have several very inexpensive rods, that fish really well or just feel "magic" to me - that cost far less.

 

Even within a company, and line of rod there can be huge differences. I had a Redington 3wt that I purchased many years ago for bluegill that used to be my favorite rod - it was a pleasure to cast and fish, but my niece accidentally slammed a car door on it on a camping trip, so I had it replaced for free under warranty. It had been several years since I bought the rod, and the replacement they sent me was the "new & improved" line that replaced my discontinued version. It was COMPLETELY different, a horrible rod - difficult to load, weird action, and just felt dead.... like a broomstick in my hand. In fact after that first time trying to fish it, I don't think I've fished it since, I dislike it so much. Thankfully I found a TFO 3wt that cast nearly like my old Redington that I loved so much.

 

A rod that feels like magic in your hand is worth it's weight in gold IMO - & price or name rarely has a thing to do with that.

 

bob V

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Sage 8wt Vantage, that I use for LM Bass. It is lowest in the line of Sage rods, but I have had a pleasure using/casting it since day 1. I also have a TFO 5wt BVK, that I would consider my all-around trout rod, it is approximately in the same price range as the Sage. I have enjoyed it since the first day that I used it as well. So, I guess I would say that the most important determining factor in purchasing a rod is "enjoyability". You don't want to be out on the water fighting a $1000 rod all day. Yea, it may cost $1000, but this is fishing, not a fashion show. You want a rod that you can use as a tool. A rod that is an extension of your arm. Try out your new rod, don't just let an advertisement or salesperson tell you " it casts great". I have found that different rods work with people differently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good way to test rods is to hit the Fly Fishing Expo circuit. Just had one three weeks ago in Lancaster, PA. $15 to get in. Lots of vendors with lots of gear and supplies that were marked way down. Some, not so much. They had two demo casting pools for experts and when they were not being used for that purpose, they could be used to try out the rods that the vendors were peddling. Some of your smaller shops, E Hille in Williamsport comes to mind, has a little room outside and during a down moment, you might be able to coax a rod outside for a flip or two to see how she feels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a Sage years ago(XP) nice rod cast really nice but ended up trading it in for an Orvis 5 weight.Still have my Orvis,Powell Light Touch,and a Scott.Every time the Orvis broke many years ago,I ended up getting a brand new rod as Orvis told me they dont keep replacement parts in stock.But the warranty policy changed years ago like it was mentioned.In my opinion-Winston is the most over priced fly rod on the market!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion-Winston is the most over priced fly rod on the market!

 

 

I totally disagree with you, the Winston BIIMX is the only high rod that I have casted that felt heads and tails above any rod. I have casted a lot of rods. Most of my rods are mid level rods, I could never really tell the differnce in the high end rods and my mid level rods until I casted a Winston. There fit and finish is flawless.

 

 

carlp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You must test cast a rod before purchasing or it's a crap shoot.

 

I fish with bamboo most often and I'm still using the bamboo rod I purchased in 1974 from Walton Powell, but I do have a Sage SLT 3 wt that I really like and I built a rod on 6wt XP blank many years ago that I still use for tossing streamers from a boat.

 

Are Sage rods worth it? If you find one you love they are more than worth it, but you can say that about any rod at any price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You must test cast a rod before purchasing or it's a crap shoot.

 

I have to somewhat disagree with that statement. As a custom rod builder that has built over 600+ fly rods in the past 8 years I have built & cast just about every rod that is out there and I can match a rod action to what the new owners casting style is just by a few conversations and a list of questions(as long as they are honestly answering my list of questions). I have yet to have a customer not get the exact action rod they wanted. Obviously if someone is not familiar with very many rods then it does help them to actually feel some different ones. But my point is that saying you "must" cast a rod or its a crap shoot is not true though. Not that I don't understand what you were saying. But just saying if you work with a good well experienced rod builder and are honest with them about your casting skill and what you really enjoy the feel of then there is no reason you can't get exactly what you want.

 

As to Winston- I have owned a number of them, and actually just finished building a Winston Boron 1084 for a customer just today. They are good rods, but yes they are overpriced for what they charge and what parts they use. Their quality on their factory rods is better than most out there far as finish quality, but they don't offer much in the way of anything other than basic same color wraps, seats, guides on all their rods. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but charging 600% x what the cost to manufacture their rods is a bit overpricing IMHO. But if people are willing to give them the money they ask for their rods then hey more power to them.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

 

Let me rephrase what I said.

 

It's a crapshoot unless you test cast the rod or consult with a rod expert (assuming you're not a rod expert) before purchasing.

 

Better?

;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...