Re: Sage Xi3 rods
You are going to have to personally test cast them yourself, with the same line on each to get a meaningful comparison.
For me, I would get a TCX in an eight wt and would get a 12 in the Xi3 lined with an 11 wt line - and in fact, that's what I do. But that is me, not you.
The xi3 12 wt. weighs only 1/16th oz more than the 11 wt (if my memory is correct.) I did try the sintrix pro 12 lined with an old Rio tarpon taper 12 wt (as well as an xi3, 12 wt lined with the same), and found both too mushy for that line the way I like to cast it. My heavy old RPLX 12cast that line much better for me than either of the above. That old rod now is usually lined with a billfish line (winters) - as it will handle a lot of weight in the air.
The 8 TCX is a real casting stick - and, for me, the biggest jump in rod technology I've experienced in fifty four or five years of throwing flies. The xi3 feels like it has more strength in the handle than the TCX (probably why the TCX is only is made to a 10 wt). I have not tested the TCX on anything but bones and redfish under 10 lbs, so do not know how it handles when stressed by deep fish - that really shouldn't be fished for with an 8 wt. anyhow.
So I would buy and spool the line you want to fish, then take it to a shop and test it on the rods you are interested in. That is the only way to get a meaningful comparison.
PS: I like the extended handle/foregrip too- the latter not available on the new Sages. It makes handling big tarpon much easier.
Last edited by wjc; 08-25-2013 at 09:43 AM.
Reason: RED; Afterthought