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Need some info on this Sage rod


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Patriot

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 10:41 PM

Over twenty years ago I had a great friend (now deceased) make a 9-foot custom fly rod for me.  Norm was also commissioned to make a fly rod for Bush '41.  This is a great rod, but I have forgotten all that Norm told me about it when he was making it.  If I recall correctly, I think it takes a 5-wt line.

 

If anyone can give me some info on this particular rod blank I would be very appreciative.  

 

Thanks!

 

 

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#2 Rocco

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 05:28 AM

The model # suggest to me that it is an 8' 4",  5 wt , in 3 piece configuration. The "IIIB" may indicate a series in that model type or in the type of graphite used..

 

But then I could be wrong as I have never owned one.of their rods.

 

Rocco



#3 Dave G.

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 05:30 AM

If it is indeed a 5wt ( not listed on the tag) it should cast one of the 5 wt lines with a 1/2 step plus weight to it very well or carry a little extra false cast line in a straight 5 wt.. On opposite ends of cost would be Rio and Cabela, they both have the lines I'm speaking of.. I like the RPL blanks, my favorite actually, though I never owned an RPL +. No longer made,the blank I build on that comes close in action is the Batson revelation..


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#4 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 06:06 AM

The RPL+ designation says it all....  When I came back to guiding (and was going to be a full time guide...) back at the end of 1995 one of the gear type things I did was to hook up with Sage and get on their guide program.... I'd already built a pair of Thomas & Thomas blanks into a 10 and a 12wt so I needed a few lighter rods.  The RPL+ series was their current (at that time) high end offering so I bought  a 7 and an 8wt in 9 foot sizes, two piece (and still have both of them today...  They only offered an RPL+ 9wt in a 9' 6" model so I passed on that (opting for a Discovery 9x9 instead)...  All three of those rods (and every rod I've built myself) have been in hard commercial service since they were new - and I'm still guiding full time, 21 years later... down here in paradise, south Florida.

 

I still have all three rods (the 7 is the original rod - the 8 and 9 have both been back to Sage on numerous occasions, so they're replacements built up on those great old RPL+ blanks)... I like them so much that if Sage still offered them - I'd be a buyer all these years later, they're that good.  Sage, like most rodmakers, comes up with new models (new and improved, faster, stronger, lighter weight, able to leap tall buildings... you get the idea....) so that series has long been discontinued.  Back then Sage did a thriving business selling blanks to all comers (and they were great for custom rodbuilders - even those doing some volume... but all that would change....).  Just the nature of the business, I guess.... If Sage builds a rod and you break it - they'll repair or replace it over and over again (of course the fee they charge has gone up over the years as well....).  If you have a custom rod built on a Sage blank and break it - they'll replace the blank (for a fee) but you're on your own to have someone build a new rod from the blank... Some of my Sage rods have been back to the factory more than once - in the same year... but that's what you get, fishing in the saltwater portions of the Everglades...

 

Hope I've provided you some info... 5100 is the model number of that blank the -3 designation means it was a three piece blank.... 


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#5 flytire

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 08:24 AM

i believe the "5100-3" = 10 foot 5wt 3 piece which can easily confirmed by simply measuring it assembled

 

from the sage website

 

lrJhj11.jpg

 

The RPL is more of a medium-fast action and the + and X are faster action with mostly a tip flex and stiffer. 

 

https://www.sageflyfish.com/contact


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#6 spiralspey

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 09:07 AM

Yes, it's a 5 wt, 10 ft, 3 piece blank, and III B is the type of graphite. I never cast that model, but I have fished a couple of other trout rods in that series. Nice rods, a bit heavy and slow when compared to today's rods, but still a very nice casting rod. I would think that would be a nice float tube or nymphing rod in that length and weight.

#7 Rocco

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 09:15 AM

Patriot,

 

Have you measured the rod length?  I thought the 100 in 5100 indicated inches, not feet.  Wrong again -- BTDT?

 

Rocco



#8 Patriot

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 10:34 AM

@Rocco

@Dave G.

@Capt Bob LeMay

@flytire

@spiralspey

 

A big "Thank You!!" to all of you who have responded to my query.

 

I feel that I owe all of you a bit of history on myself, so for the sake of clarity, here it is.

 

Back in the middle 90's, I lost my job (military contracts dwindled due to the collapse of Russia), my mother was dying of cancer and my wife wanted a divorce.  The only thing that mattered to me was my mother's well being.  Mom died in my arms a few months later.  She was taken from me much too early.

 

In short order, I found solace on my favorite trout water - the San Juan in Northern New Mexico.  I became a trout bum.  Somehow, during all of this, I came to know Norm Mabie.  We both lived in the same town, Las Cruces, NM.  He was retired Army who had his garage converted into an incredible fly tying shop.  We enjoyed each others company and spent much time swapping tall tales about our time in the service.  I was mesmerized by his fly tying skills and used to watch him tie for hours.  Needless to say, he taught me a lot.

 

There were times when I would drop by to find his little shop stuffed with a bunch of clean cut, short-haired gentlemen who all seemed to look alike.  For some reason, these guys just did not appear to be fly fishermen.  Later I asked Norm about them and he just laughed and said, "They are all fighter jet pilot's from Holloman Air Force Base."  Holloman is in Alamogordo, NM.  Norm said they would pack their fly fishing gear in their rides and went fly fishing wherever they were stationed.  Obviously, Norm was well connected to the military community.  That may be how he was commissioned to make a fly rod for Bush '41, but I'm not certain.

 

During this time, as I recall, I thought I asked  Norm to make a 9-foot 5wt rod for me.  Well, you guys were right:  I just measured it and it is indeed a 10-foot rod (three-piece).  Words fail me to describe my shock.  I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that Norm built a 9-foot rod for me.

 

Fast forwarding: In '03, my wife was forced to either move to Chicago or lose her job.  So, off to Chicago we went.  We finally moved back to NM in 2014.  During all of that time I never fly fished much less tied a fly.  

 

Back when I could barely walk, I had an uncle who was an avid fly fisherman and would take me, together with his family, whenever they went fly fishing on some river in Northern New Mexico.  He also gave me a book on fly tying that set the path for me.  I suppose it would be fair to say that I have been a fly fisherman all of my life, but sadly, not a constant participant.  I have been away from fly fishing and fly tying for much too long.  That is all changed now.

 

I hope some of this all makes an ounce of sense to you and explains some of my ignorance.

 

Thanks for hearing me out.



#9 Stoneflylama72

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 01:58 PM

Really nice fly rod you have there. The RPL and RPL+ were Sage's top of line models back in the 90's when I started fly fishing. ( the B at end of model # stands for Blank to denote it was sold as a blank only) the RPL + was super fast action back then but in a 10' rod would probably be on the fast side of med-fast today. I can't think of a nicer action today for a 10' 5wt than what you have there. Would be great for the big tailwater trout fishing around here or kayak/float tube fishing. Kind of like people thinking the cars of their young days as being nicer than a brand new model, I kind of get that feeling about fly rods. ( especially 90's model Sage rods as that is what the local fly shop sold as their top line rods)

#10 Patriot

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 03:02 PM

Really nice fly rod you have there.

Thanks!  It was made by a great friend and it does mean a lot to me.  I trusted Norm to make a rod tailored to the San Juan river that we both loved to fish and it appears that he did just that.

 

I recall being in his shop when he was working on my rod.  He went out of his way to demo how he found the 'sweet spot' on the tip.  This 'sweet spot' would be on the same side that the guides were on as I remember him explaining to me.

 

I appreciate the info you provided.



#11 Dave G.

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 05:28 PM

Great story !

 

To me, my bias, Sage never should have stopped making rods or offering blanks in the RPL series ( Graphite III). I've casted many rods since they stopped and again , to me, non compare. It's my favorite blank, they jsut fit my casting style and type of fishing.. I own graphite II and III rods in 5 and 6 wt, like them both but the Graphite II is more moderate fast action with mid rod bend but forgiving tip vs RPL which is more medium fast.. What I like about the older Sage Graphite II and III both is line control and lack of a bouncing rebound between forward and back casts. A lot of blanks today have extra wave action in that rebound in my experience.

 

The Revelation gets close though and is lighter weight, it too dampens well on the rebound.. Doesn't look like a Sage blank with because of it's satin black finish and lack of weave but it casts and fishes similarly, at least to me. I've built two of the Rev 9ft 5 wt blanks in two piece, one with half wells grip, the other full wells and to me the full feels better and of course I didn't build the full for me, FWIW.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#12 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 06:07 PM

Funny how, depending on where you fish, what exactly you're going to be needing in the fly department.  That 7wt is actually the lightest  fly rod I own.  To say it's been to the wars is an understatement.   Some years ago another guide did a night trip with me on a little tarpon visit in Biscayne Bay near the south end of Miami Beach... Darned if he didn't catch and release one that went 37lbs on that little rod.  We knew just how much it weighed since I had one of the few 60lb Boga Grips back then (until a bigger fish one night ripped it right out of my hands..).

 

Not much need where I am for longer rods than about 9 feet overall.  If I did a lot of guiding on foot for bonefish, that would change and a bit longer rods would be in order...  Although I'd been building rods for quite a few years before I went full time - I quickly learned that  fly rods with warranties from the manufacturer were a lot quicker to replace than if I had to build another rod whenever we broke one...  I still build all my own spin and conventional rods - but fly rods are just so much quicker to get back in service with a factory warranty...


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#13 Saltybum

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 04:37 PM

The "B" after the III means that it was sold as a blank to a custom builder. Not built by SAGE.


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#14 Patriot

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 05:12 PM

The "B" after the III means that it was sold as a blank to a custom builder. Not built by SAGE.

 

Thanks for the info.