Sage Rods :: Fli (6, 8wt) & XP Series (4wt)

Discussion in 'WFF Gear Program' started by Chris Scoones, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Chris Scoones Administrator

    Posts: 3,572
    North Bend
    Ratings: +282 / 0

    Sage Rods :: Fli & XP Series

    "Our new FLi Series rods are simply great fly rods. Designed with the analysis methods we developed for G5 Technology, the FLi Series rods combine a fast-action taper with an incredibly smooth power curve. Which means you’ll be able to generate high line speed and still feel the rod loading for maximum power transfer and efficiency. The result? You’ll naturally and intuitively cast better when the pressure’s on. FLi Series rods are built with a wider-diameter, thin-walled blank construction for fast recovery and lighter weight, and feature resin-impregnated wood reel seat inserts, British made snake guides and high-grade Portuguese cork grips. Just what you’d expect from a Sage Rod."

    "Pick up one of our fast action XP rods and the first thing you’ll notice is the almost magical lightness in your hand. Fish an XP and, simply put, it will come alive. Designed for anglers with a quick, compact casting stroke, the XP Series rods load quickly, generate tremendous line speed and pick up large amounts of line with ease. Wind? No problem. Heavy sink-tips? Perfect. Bulky flies? Bring ‘em on. But don’t be deceived by the power—XP rods are made with Graphite IIIe, giving them exceptional sensitivity for more delicate work as well. Spend a little time with an XP, and you’ll see why the instrument of choice whenever crisp, precise line control is a must. Whether you’re sliding a #22 trico on 7X into a distant feeding lane, quick-firing hoppers a bouncing drift boat or tossing industrial-strength shooting heads to cruising XP rods are the standard by which all other fast-action fly rods are judged.."
  2. Chris Scoones Administrator

    Posts: 3,572
    North Bend
    Ratings: +282 / 0
    (forward for Teeg Stouffer)

    Review: Sage FLi – 4pc 6 wt

    First, let me say that I’m the type of guy who likes to say, “it’s not the gear that catches fish, it’s the guy using it.” This has served me well in justifying my lowest low end gear for the past three years.

    When I got the chance to try the Sage FLi 4pc 6wt in’s new gear exchange program, I was forced to change my tune.

    I took the rod with me to fish the Chatahoochee river near Atlanta, Georgia in December. The four piece construction was ideal for the plane.

    The ‘hooch is a tail water fishery, and produces lots of fish in the 14” range, with shots at fish to 24.” Unfortunately, the day before my arrival, heavy rains inundated north Georgia, and the river was completely blown. Instead, I wound up fishing a couple of urban ponds, still a worthy experiment, but targeting warm water species rather than trout.

    I put my weathered Okuma Sierra with a new (cheap) Scientific Anglers WF-F line on the reel, and expediently fell in love with my first cast. Even with my sloppy cast and a $17 line, I launched so much more line than I can with my poor old sticks, I was jubilant. Over the morning, I learned better the rod, found a rhythm with it, and had a great time. Big, cooperative bluegill and some spunky 12” largemouth bass from our second pond didn’t hurt, either.

    My second test for the rod was in South Puget Sound, where I fished from a boat with Roger Stephens for resident silvers. I fished my Okuma again, but this time with a full sinking line (no longer recall the manufacturer, but it’s a weight forward as well). Fishing action was fast and furious at times, and the rod was a delight to use once again. The stiff butt and soft tip acted much differently than the slower action rods I’m accustomed to during fast stripping to draw strikes from these fish. The FLi felt lively in my hand. I had no trouble delivering casts to where fish were, usually in the 20’ – 40’ range from the boat. It handled well with these spunky 14” – 16” fish, lots of backbone to land them quickly and return them to the water.

    The one issue I had during the day’s use was that after repeated casting, the sections came out of alignment, and had to be straightened again. This may have been because I didn’t seat the sections together firmly enough.

    In the Feb ’05 issue of Fly Fisherman, they say, “For Sage, the FLi … meet growing consumer demand for inexpensive fast-action entry-level rods.” To me, this is a significant step up from my current equipment, which I quickly learned that I’ve long since outgrown. However, I can’t say that I’m ready to justify more than the expense of this rod, so it’s a perfect fit for someone like me. I can heartily recommend the rod, and hope you’ll take advantage of a chance to test it out for yourself!
  3. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Review: Sage XP 4wt

    What else can I say but that the rod worked exactly as advertised. It felt amazing to hold - light weight, crisp, and a sense of hidden power just begging to be challenged by a good caster. Picking large amounts of line off the water was amazing compared to other rods I've used.

    While I love the elegance of wide graceful loops... when I'm fishing, I'm usually all about business and concentration. I like lazer fast and accurate casts with tight loops. This rod is ideal for that kind of fishing. Next time I use the rod I will definately take it out on a river for some dry fly fishing. As it was, I ended up using it several times on a local lake. I did a mix of casting small dries and weighted streamers. It handled both with ease and definately had more to give if my skills were up to it.
  4. salt dog card shark

    Posts: 2,306
    Edmonds WA / Mazama
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Sage Rods: Sage XP 4wt

    I took the Sage XP 4 wt out for a walk up the Yakima last week. That was the first time I have ever used a Sage product, so I was keenly interested in comparing its highly touted performance to my own experience.

    Aesthetics. As expected from a high end rod, it certainly is beautiful to look at, very light, and well balanced to hold. High marks for craftsmanship. I really liked its rod seat and locks which I thought to be pretty classy besides being very easy to lock tightly; there was a feeling of precision with it that I appreciated is absent on lower or middle end priced rods. I never notice the guides one way or another unless there is some kind of a problem with them or their installation.

    Performance. I have used other 4 wt rods on the Yak, and over the past years moved to a 5 wt as my go to rod wt for the Yakima river, as I had felt out gunned at times when playing big fish in heavy current with just a 4 wt.

    In my experience one of the problems with a fast rod, and the XP is a fast rod, is that I have had a problem with making short casts: the rod wouldn't load well without the full head out of the rod tip. 70% of my casts in the Yakima are to rising fish or spots less than 30 feet away; 12ft leader and tippet, leaves less than 20 feet of fly line out, which is not enough to put a good load on a stiffer rod.

    Usually I can compensate some by going up a line weight, so on the XP I used a WF 5 F on the rod.

    The XP is not a "flipping stick", but the rod feels like it has a much more sensitive tip than many fast rods with a progressive taper, and it made a large difference. I was surprised at how easily this allowed for loading up the rod well enough to make relatively close in presentations with pretty decent control, even when throwing a bushy size 10 stim and a dropper. The rod had a very consistent sweet spot casting 25 to 45 feet of fly line out without effort.

    As luck would have it I was fortunate enough to get a chance to play and land a big fish on the rod, a 21 inch rainbow. The stiffness of the rod into the butt section gave me good power to play the fish, something missing in most 4 wt rods I had used in the past, so I didn’t feel under-gunned at all. Yet the soft tip functioned great as a shock absorber to take energy out of the punishing head shakes and jumps.

    Overall, a very sweet rod, and I would rate the rod very high. It got me thinking about how best to use my tax return for next year!
  5. mike doughty Honorary Member

    Posts: 10,110
    the uinta's
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    A friend of mine here just bought the sage launch, which is a step down from the fli, and i thought it casted great. i would like to build one but can't find the blank. there is nothing wrong with some of the low end rods.
  6. Dan Member

    Posts: 621
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.
    Ratings: +1 / 0

    Angler's Covey had their grand opening in their new store yesterday. They had a number of Sage rods available to cast. A friend of mine that casts competitively encouraged me to try the Launch. I cast a 9' 6 weight and really enjoyed it. The Sage rep said that the Launch and the Fli have been so successful that demand has outstripped production. Everything is on back order - although there were about 12 Launches available for purchase at the opening yesterday in 4,5, and 6 weights. I wish that a stick like this had been available when I got started. The price is unbelievable for the quality. Sweet!


    BTW - I ordered a 9 1/2 foot, 4 piece, 6 weight XP for my future trips to Washington. I've got the 6 weight Fli reserved for my trip just in case the XP doesn't come in.
  7. Finni Member

    Posts: 70
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Borrowed the Fli 6wt back in April and really enjoyed it. It had the ability to throw out a good line into the wind without feeling like a stick. The craftsmanship on it was a little below the level I would expect from Sage, but it is one of their lower end rods. All in all, I really liked it and would consider it in a future purchase.

    Regarding finding a Fli or Launch blank for rod building, I was told by a local fly shop that they don't supply blanks from their low end series. So the lowest grade you will find available from Sage is the VT.