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Old 12-18-2009, 07:03 PM
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Default New versitile 8wt suggestions?

Well I'm thinking of changing things up a bit and doing some carp and pike fishing with the occasional salmon trip for kicks which puts me in the market. I'm hoping that I can find a nice rod that will accommodate all three considering all told I will likely spend only 10-15 days a year fishing these species if that. Considering I've never successfully fished any of these species I'm not quite sure of the attributes the rod will need other than the info I've read online. Currently I' thinking of an 8wt 9-9.5ft althought I'm curious about the possibility of a longer switch rod. My current go to rod is a St. Criox imperial 8.5ft 5wt and I find that I tend to enjoy fishing med/fast-fast action rods. A clincher is I spend perhaps 1-2 days on flatwater right now and have zero salmon experience so my ability to judge a rod for these applications is based solely on what I am told and the reviews I read.
Right now I have the oppurtunity to pick up a significantly discounted (basically comparable to online sales minus shipping) Sage Launch 8.5ft 8wt or a sage XI2 9ft 8wt but I'm not really sure about either based on the reviews I've seen and the XI2 is built for saltwater which I'm unfamiliar with construction differences. I've been told very good things about the Redington CPX 8wt as well as reading several good reviews. The Redington comes as a switch also which peaks my interest although I'm a bit concerned about being too diverse. Anyone have suggestions? I haven't looked into St Croix yet although I really enjoy most of their lineup nor have I looked significantly at any other companies for that matter. I'm just starting my research so any advice or direction is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Josh
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: New versitile 8wt suggestions?

If you get the chance, throw a TFO Jim Teeny series 8 or 9 wt. It is one of my favorite carp rods, but maybe that is because the 4wt comes with a fighting butt! I throw the 4 and 6 more than the 8, but like them all. Jim is a sink line nymphing expert, and fishes salmon, so while I can't vouch for it as a salmon rod, one would assume he would design a rod that would handle them well. As for pike - don't have any here, so I can't say. I don't ever throw half a chicken skin with mine, so I can't say how a big bushy pike fly might cast.

Craig
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: New versitile 8wt suggestions?

I've never cast an Xi2, but the several I've handled were all heavy and STIFF
as a plank. I do like many of Sage's rods, but Sage made the Xi3 to reduce
weight and improve feel. Having said that, there are people who love the Xi2.
It's definitely one of those try before you buy rods, or make sure you're able
to return it.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: New versitile 8wt suggestions?

Sage Xi2 - It's a true saltwater rod. It is fast action and has a very stiff butt section. The stiff butt section is designed to give the rod more lifting power when a fish sounds and for putting the hurt on a fish when it wants to dog you. The Xi2 uses Sage's top of the line G5 blank technology that aligns the fibers properly, so the rod does not have to use extra materials. This makes for a rod that is lighter. It also makes for a rod to track straighter. This is a great rod to use if you have to deal with wind.

Sage Launch - I don't think that Sage ever made a 8.5' 8 weight, but I could be wrong. Anyways, the Launch uses older blank technology. The action is medium fast which might be good for you if you have that stroke. The Launch will have a more forgiving feel, but it will sacrifice casting power. It will lack some butt strength compared to the Xi2. Keep in mind that it was not designed to be a hard core saltwater rod.

Just as a note, I am not saying that the Launch is a bad rod. It is a price point rod that was developed for value. A friend of mine, Steve Potter, has a 9 weight version that he loves to death. Steve Potter was part of the team that won the first ever Bass-n-Fly tournament two years ago. Since he added a Launch to his quiver in early November, he has landed over 200 Striped Bass and Black Bass on that rod in the California Delta.

I would stay away from the switch rods unless you plan on Spey casting or using them as long nymph rods.

The reality is that you need to know what you want out of a rod. Do you need a rod that is going to be able to cut through the wind? Do you need a rod that has the butt strength to turn the head of a salmon? Do you need a rod that can throw large pike flies? Do you need a rod that can gently lay down a carp fly?

If I wanted a jack of all trades rod, I would consider a Scott X2S. It is a saltwater rod, but it is so much more forgiving. It's fast, but not as fast, as a Sage Xi2. It has plenty of butt strength, but not as much, as a Sage Xi2.

Basically the X2S is more user friendly. In Northern California, it is a popular rod since the 8 weight can throw 30 feet of T-11 and put the hurt on a striper. It has a soft enough tip to land a carp fly gently. It's fast enough to cut through the wind.

MP
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: New versitile 8wt suggestions?

MP. I'm sure your right about the Launch length. I fiddled around with a ton of rods that rainy day and was going off memory, was probably a 9ft but will have to just go string it up and see. I'll have to check out the scott. I agree that I need to know what I want out of a rod so that I can then decide where I'm willing to compormise and where I'm just gonna have to buy another rod to fill the gap. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: New versitile 8wt suggestions?

Hi Guys,
I saw a Sage Xi2 9'6" 6wt with fighting butt for $385 last week. That rod
seemed like it would turn a pit bull ! Maybe I'll have to cast one.

Blake,
MP struck me as a very knowledgeable angler from his first post, so I'd trust
whatever he says .
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: New versitile 8wt suggestions?

What you want is to cast as many rods as you can and buy the one you like best.Any 8wt rod will land any of those fish with no problems.As long as it casts good for you it will work fine.If you like med/fast rods stay away from the CPX and the XI2.These are anything but med/fast.I would look at a St Croix Legend Ultra or the new TFO Clouser rod.The St Croix Clouser rod is also nice.I understand the new Redington Predator is a nice rod also.The point is any 8wt rod will land those fish as long as you do your part and fight them correctly.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: New versitile 8wt suggestions?

The often over-looked Sage VT2 might be another contender.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: New versitile 8wt suggestions?

If im not mistaken the Sage VT2 is a newer version of the RPL,an excellent rod.Im still fishing an 890 RPL that I built 20+ years ago.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: New versitile 8wt suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
Sage Xi2 - It's a true saltwater rod. It is fast action and has a very stiff butt section. The stiff butt section is designed to give the rod more lifting power when a fish sounds and for putting the hurt on a fish when it wants to dog you. The Xi2 uses Sage's top of the line G5 blank technology that aligns the fibers properly, so the rod does not have to use extra materials. This makes for a rod that is lighter. It also makes for a rod to track straighter. This is a great rod to use if you have to deal with wind.

Sage Launch - I don't think that Sage ever made a 8.5' 8 weight, but I could be wrong. Anyways, the Launch uses older blank technology. The action is medium fast which might be good for you if you have that stroke. The Launch will have a more forgiving feel, but it will sacrifice casting power. It will lack some butt strength compared to the Xi2. Keep in mind that it was not designed to be a hard core saltwater rod.

Just as a note, I am not saying that the Launch is a bad rod. It is a price point rod that was developed for value. A friend of mine, Steve Potter, has a 9 weight version that he loves to death. Steve Potter was part of the team that won the first ever Bass-n-Fly tournament two years ago. Since he added a Launch to his quiver in early November, he has landed over 200 Striped Bass and Black Bass on that rod in the California Delta.

I would stay away from the switch rods unless you plan on Spey casting or using them as long nymph rods.

The reality is that you need to know what you want out of a rod. Do you need a rod that is going to be able to cut through the wind? Do you need a rod that has the butt strength to turn the head of a salmon? Do you need a rod that can throw large pike flies? Do you need a rod that can gently lay down a carp fly?

If I wanted a jack of all trades rod, I would consider a Scott X2S. It is a saltwater rod, but it is so much more forgiving. It's fast, but not as fast, as a Sage Xi2. It has plenty of butt strength, but not as much, as a Sage Xi2.

Basically the X2S is more user friendly. In Northern California, it is a popular rod since the 8 weight can throw 30 feet of T-11 and put the hurt on a striper. It has a soft enough tip to land a carp fly gently. It's fast enough to cut through the wind.

MP
This is a more elaborate version of the exact answer I had in mind. I agree that Scott's X2S sounds like the best fit for what you're after, and its a surprisingly light rod for how powerful it is too.

If you want something a bit more affordable, I'd look at TFO's TiCR, Redington's RS4, or ECHO's Ion. All will be plenty powerful, fairly fast but not super fast, and well under $300.
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