New Sage BASS RODS !!!!!!!

Attached is a review for the fiberglass rod board on the Sage Bass rods. My guess from the description is that they are parabolic action (flex to the butt) rod - even the fiberglass afishinados like them!! They likely use lower modulus graphite coupled with a heavy line (290 or 330gr.) making the rod flex deeply into the butt. Also, given the moderate price (for a Sage), I’m sure they don’t use their more expensive HM graphite to build these rods. The rods aren’t made to cast for distance – which is okay, they are designed to handle bigger wind resistant flies at shorter distances. The rod is shorter, but the lever is longer since it flexes 7+/- feet to the handle, instead of 3-4 feet down the rod as with a fast action rod.

Sage lists the weigh of the “smallmouth” model at 3 1/2 oz. I have a 9’ 8wt Sage RPL that weighs 3 1/2 oz. It is 2’ longer, but the weight of the rod after casting all day shouldn’t be an issue. I believe that Pad mentioned one time that Bob Clouser is an advocate of bass rods that flex to the butt. I believe that Clouser has a 8’9” signature rod made by St. Croix. Maybe Pad can elaborate.

Interesting this subject comes up right now. This past weekend I decided to go with my wife right down the road to Marsh Creek Lake, with our kayaks. I wanted to take advantage of the summer October weather for one last time this year. I wanted to do a little fishin’, but I couldn’t decide if I was going to fish for bass with my 8wt, or bluegills with my 4wt. I would let the fish decide, so I took the 6wt I built as a “practice” rod to learn rod building. The rod is a 9’ 6wt Rainshadow IM7, a medium slow rod IMO (remember, my favorite rod is my Sage XP). With the slower action rod, I had no problem casting larger poppers and hairbugs for bass from short to medium distances. The fuller flex action worked fine, as long as I didn’t push it, which was surprising to me, especially since I was underlined by using a 6wt for these larger wind resistant flies.

Interesting. Now I have to try one of these rods just to see. Sounds like your ready to buy Fred. Good luck with that rod.
Interesting thread. As I was reading through, I was thinking more and more that the rod sounded like a moderate-slow action rod, maybe even fiberglass. Sounds like afishinado was thinking the same thing.

I build most of my rods now and have a moderate action 8' 6wt that I built specifically for smallie fishing from my solo canoe. I have 3 other 6 wt. rods (2-9' and 1-10') and the 8 footer is my favorite from a seated position in the boat. The shorter length also makes it easier to stow, rig up and breakdwon while in the boat. A shorter rod will almost always feel lighter in the hand and while casting than a longer rod of equal weight, so I'm not surprised about comments that the Sage "feels" light when casting as Fredrick mentioned. (I read a really good description of why a shorter rod feels lighter, but can't remember where or who the author was off the top of my head).

I'm thinking that Sage has just gone "back to the future" with a shorter full-flex rod with a perfectly matched line. The rod builders at Orvis are probably chuckling about this new concept. My guess is that matching the line has as much to do with performance than the design specs of the rod itself. I've found that finding a line that matches well with a specific rod is a bit of a crap shoot. I have several 6wt. rods and several 6 wt. lines from cheapo to expensive and the difference when swapping them can be astounding. I've found its more about finding the right match, than the name on the rod, or how much you paid for it. When I find the right combo, its like magic - I actually look like I know what I'm doing ;-)

Normally I would even look at a rod at that price (there's too many good choices that cost much less), but knowing it comes with a matched line would make me consider it. Wonder if they sell the blank and line.....

Tim B.

I can't find any Sage Bass rod blanks listed on any Sage dealers page. Here's a dealer that sells a lot of Sage and other high-end blanks. I'm sure if you call, they can order one for you. All dealer's prices are the same for Sage, but Custom Fly Rod Crafters give you a tube and sock for free with the blank. Good luck.
Thanks for the tip. I haven't purchased from them before. I'll take a look. Its getting to be that time of year when I sart looking at what I want to build this winter. I usually build one or two rods when the weather turns cold. I was thinking about an 8 wt. travel rod, just because. I haven't fished anything that heavy in nearly 10 years, but I'm running out of project excuses and my heaviest rod (a 9' 7wt factory built model) broke this summer for the second time.

I could send it back for a replacement, but that's the fourth time I've had one of the brand's rods break while fishing. They're a reputable company, but I'm beginning to think its karma with me and their rods. It's time to look at another brand. At least that's my excuse four building another rod I don't really need ;-)

I still have a couple of other rods I haven't even fished yet...

If this Sage blank becomes available that could be fun - as long as they'd sell the matcging line to go with it.
Tim B. wrote:

".......If this Sage blank becomes available that could be fun - as long as they'd sell the matching line to go with it."

I read somewhere that the line is available thru Rio.

"I'm running out of project excuses and my heaviest rod (a 9' 7wt factory built model) broke this summer for the second time. I could send it back for a replacement, but that's the fourth time I've had one of the brand's rods break while fishing. They're a reputable company, but I'm beginning to think its karma with me and their rods."

What brand of rod is it, and how did you manage to these rods four times while fishing?!

P.S. Hopefully the rod is company is not St. Croix. How about a 9' 8wt 5 piece Ultra Legend (SC IV) as a travel rod build, or something more off the wall like a Gatti FRM908-5. I too am looking to build ANOTHER rod or two!.....X-mas is right around the corner.
Unfortunately, you guessed right. Broke a 9' 7wt. twice - once while landing a big hen steelie; the fish was just near my feet and I flexed just a little too far with the rod while stretching with the other hand to grab the fly. Split the ferrule. Sent it back and they replaced one section. It was always a little misfit after that and the ferrule started to crack slightly with heavy use, I repaired/reinforced it myself twice but it disintigrated this summer on a a big fish or a snag, couldn't tell which. Got almost 10 years out of it as my primary big fish rod...

Broke another settng a hook (6'6" 4 wt. SCIII) right at a ferrule that never seemed to fit right. Very custom rod with high end hardware. Big disappointment. Busted an SCIII 8'6" 4 wt. while stripping a streamer. A big fish was following the streamer and I didn't see the wind knot in the line about 10' out. It jammed in the tip top on a sharp strip. Freak thing, probably would've broken any rod.

Built another on an identical blank when they were getting rid of that model and it's one of my favorites. Ironically, I have one Rio line that I absolutely hated. A 6 wt. line that was just a dog on all my 6 wt. rods. On a lark I rigged it on the SC 4wt. for my daughter to fish the white fly hatch on the breeches this summer figuring it would load well at very short distances. It balanced perfectly. Still not a fan of Rio....

I've built on Pac Bay, several SC, one Sevier Tiger Eye (maybe the sweetest rod I've ever built -my first actually), several Rainshadow, one Forecast (a total dog, won't do that again), Cabelas, Dan Craft... Dan has a couple of blanks that interest me... Maybe I'll take a look at the Gatti blank, but for now I'm gonna stay away from St. Croix.
FWIW, the only rod I've ever broken in my life was a St. Croix. The Avid Series. 8 ft 4wt. I sent it back to St. Croix and was given a replacement rod. I had to fight with St. Croix about it also. I picked up the rod at Dicks and it was discounted, didn't have it's original case, but they did give me another one. Long story short, St. Croix said that the rod was used. They told me the serial number had previously been recorded and it must have been returned. Needless to say I learned my lesson as to where to buy fly rods and which ones to steer clear from.

After getting that one back, I busted the tip of the rod off on the replacement, but I was able to glue the tip back on. I refuse to try and haggle with St. Croix about this one. They lost my business over the initial situation and the broken replacement rod didn't make me think much of their rods either. Thing is, I rarely fish this rod. The first day I had it, the rod broke. Then maybe 4 times on the water the replacement broke. I'm very happy with my Sage rods. While they're not the high end model, the Launch series just feels perfect in my hands. Regardless of the price, it's a great rod for me.