Re: Sage FLi and Launch Fly Rods
Since you are looking at the Fli you might want to also check out the Winston Vapor. If you prefer fast and stiff, the Fli is a very good choice. The Vapor offers a more traditional taper at the same price for those who prefer that type of action. I recently purchased a 9' Fli in 5wt. and ended up returning it for a Vapor. It is very much a matter of preference and application. There is nothing wrong with the Fli, it was just too stiff for my taste. It casts very well at distance but I found that I didn't care for it at short range and really didn't enjoy fighting fish with it.
The Vapor, though described by Winston as fast action, is a medium to slow action full flex rod by my definition (and certainly in comparison to the Sage). It does a fine job at delicate presentation and short range casting but still has the goods to pull off longer casts. It's in fighting fish where the rod shines for me. The Fli lacked the feel and sensitivity that I prefer. 90% of the discussions I see on boards about this rod and that focus purely on casting dynamics. It amazes me how rare it is to hear fly anglers talk about how a rod fishes.
I agree with the previous poster regarding fast tip actio rods in lower weights. I'm not a big fan. I have a TFO Lefty Signature 3 weight in 7'9" (also a full flex rod). Once again, your mileage will vary with personal preference but to me, it's a great small water rod at a good price.