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Old 02-05-2007, 11:07 PM
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Default Rod for a newbie: Sage FLi or Launch or ???

First off I am new to fly fishing. I took some casting lessons, which means to me that I am eager to buy my first rod (9ft 5wt) and reel . The casting instructor suggested a medium fast action rod to start off with. With that in mind, I have been thinking about getting either a Sage Launch or FLi. I am also thinking of pairing it with a Ross CLA #2. I am open to your suggestions and/or recommendations, it doesn't have to be Sage or Ross. I am leaning towards those because my local fly shop has that in stock so I am able to handle them while there.
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Rod for a newbie: Sage FLi or Launch or ???

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Originally Posted by TripleBogey View Post
First off I am new to fly fishing. I took some casting lessons, which means to me that I am eager to buy my first rod (9ft 5wt) and reel . The casting instructor suggested a medium fast action rod to start off with. With that in mind, I have been thinking about getting either a Sage Launch or FLi. I am also thinking of pairing it with a Ross CLA #2. I am open to your suggestions and/or recommendations, it doesn't have to be Sage or Ross. I am leaning towards those because my local fly shop has that in stock so I am able to handle them while there.
The FLi is rated more a FAST action. I do agree and have said on several other posts that a med to medium/fast action is a great learning and all around good rod. Easy roll casting and easy on tippet. With that in mind, then the Launch is more in the ball park. St. Croix Avid is also in the price range as the FLi, as is Loomis GL3, and I gotta say the Orvis TLS Matrix in a mid-flex is another good choice.
As you say, the sage is there and I think the Launch is an excellent choise and there ain't natta wrong with ROSS.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:18 AM
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Default Re: Rod for a newbie: Sage FLi or Launch or ???

The Launch/CLA combo would be a great one to start out with. Another option you might consider that would offer near equal performance and save you some money is a ECHO Classic rod and a Cortland Endurance reel, both available through the sponsor of this forum. www.thefullcreel.com. He offers a 14 day "test drive" program that would allow you to give the rod a try out before you are committed to keeping it. I have cast and fished the ECHO Classic 9' 5wt and it is a fine rod for all the fishing one would want a 5wt for. Don't get me wrong, I am both a Sage and Ross fan, but just wanted to throw a cheaper option out there.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Rod for a newbie: Sage FLi or Launch or ???

Hi Triple, you are in for some exciting times. The first fly rod and reel is just plain fun. I second the Echo rod as a good choice. Also in that price range would be the Temple Fork Professional. Be aware that all of the Ross reels that I have looked at have an incoming clicker. That might not bother you but it drives me crazy. The Ross is a nice reel other than that. You should also look at the Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor reel. It is a little cheaper than the Ross CLA. If you wanted to spend a little more money on the rod, take a look at the Croix Legend Ultra. It is a $300 dollar rod but very nice for the money. It is also a fast action rod. Let us know what you decide.-------Frank
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Rod for a newbie: Sage FLi or Launch or ???

Before investing in a rod, look at the type of water and the size of fish you will be going after. When I was young, I fished a lot of small, overgrown creeks in the Northwest. A nine foot rod would have been a hinderence. I still have a old fiberglass 6 ft. 6 inch Shakespeare that I used on those creeks. Do not get sucked in to the thinking that big and long is better. No pun intended.
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: Rod for a newbie: Sage FLi or Launch or ???

Hi TripleBogey
I have a Sage LE 9foot #5, which is pretty similar to the Launch. I would say that it is a nice river rod but NOT a performance piece of kit as are some of the Premium Sage rods.
It would help if you could tell us the type of fishing you intend to do since a 9 foot #5 may not be ideal. How did you conclude that is what you needed?
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iwalton
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Rod for a newbie: Sage FLi or Launch or ???

I live in San Jose, so I will be fishing primarily for trout in the Northern California rivers and streams, mostly at Putah Creek, since it is the closest. Based on the talks I have had with the local casting instructor and guides, they suggested a 9ft 5wt rod. As I mentioned the local independent shop has a lot of Sage rods, but there is an Orvis store in town as well. At this point I do not have brand loyalty or really any preference, I just want to make an informed purchase. I don't mind paying a more for quality, since I am not planning on parting with it.
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Rod for a newbie: Sage FLi or Launch or ???

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Originally Posted by TripleBogey View Post
I live in San Jose, so I will be fishing primarily for trout in the Northern California rivers and streams, mostly at Putah Creek, since it is the closest. Based on the talks I have had with the local casting instructor and guides, they suggested a 9ft 5wt rod. As I mentioned the local independent shop has a lot of Sage rods, but there is an Orvis store in town as well. At this point I do not have brand loyalty or really any preference, I just want to make an informed purchase. I don't mind paying a more for quality, since I am not planning on parting with it.
Hi TripleBogey, if you are fishing Putah Creek tailwater below Lake Berryessa, a 9' rod will work fine. They can get flows up to 500/700 CFS during the summer. I think they have a fly only period from November to April. In the winter the flows are much lower but still fishable from the bank. Northern California has some good rivers so I would go with the 9', 5wt. Sage and Orvis both make good rods. If those fly shops are any good they should let you cast outside. Try a couple of rods and get what works best for you.--------Frank
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