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Old 04-01-2005, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Any Sage TCR Fans?

Big Cliff,

I'll be happy to ... Let me say first that I am so far from being rich I could be called poor, so all my reviews depend on the cooperation of the manufacturer. Some will help, others will not. I offer them truth and trust ... If I don't like a product, I simply return it with my recommendations for change. Sometimes, if the product is sufficiently outstanding, I will complete the review but mention and simply mention the shortfall I noted.

For example, when I reviewed the G.Loomis StreamDance GLX Maximum Line Speed ... I thought it was then and now a surperb rod; in fact it's the fastest 5 I've ever thrown and the first 5 I would take into the Salt. But Loomis had seen fit to use a new model of REC stripper guides ... because it has a slightly larger inside diameter than what you and I might call the "standard," they elected to go with a size 12 as the first stipper. Once of those MBA type "esthetic" decisions, I suppose ... As far as I am concerned, the small size of the strippers limited the cast; simply stated, I couldn't clear the line through the first stripper the rod is capable of throwing. I argued the point with G. Loomis. In short, Steve Rajeff thinks it is just great as is; I don't!

There are, of course, many differences between casters - certainly, Steve Rajeff is a master - but not that many. What is true about this example is most that most fly fishers could not or would not want the Maximum Line Speed flavor, and on a softer rod the smaller REC is satisfactory.

I really don't think many folks who do reviews do what I do; in fact, some of them just take the boilerplate provided by the manufacturer, change a few words and publish. Those friends I have in the industry know that I do not do that. I have been commended over and over again for what I do...

With the Grace of God, I have a large inventory of rods, reels and lines, not to mention all the other junk that goes with them. That gives me the opportunity of comparing one rod to another side-by-side. Besides, there are some things most folks are not aware of ... For example, some rods experience a breakage rate that's "uncomfortable" to the manufacturer ... soooo ... they fix it; they announce a new "improved" model or, in some cases, a new rod painted a different color. It doesn't matter a hill of beans if the former rod is/was better than the "new" version -- what matters is they "fixed" it so it wouldn't break as often.

The truth is ... there isn't all that much that's new except our egos. In graphite it all has to do with the dry powdered graphite (modulus), the glue or resin, the scrim, and the creator's idea of taper, length and wall thickness. Beyond this, best I not go further ... The next time you are in a fly shop, take a close look at the rod tips ... the differences are apt to surprise you.

Besides having a rod go side by side against its brethern, I also make it a point to throw a variety of lines, from a variety of reels, on and off the water, with and without wind, and using a varied selection of fly imitations.

It takes awhile to do a review, but at my age there isn't all that much left to do. I suppose the reward comes when someone sends me an e-mail thanking me for my help. I never ceased to be amazed that most are in places like Australia, Bosnia, New Zealand, the UK, Norway, etc. Bet you wouldn't guess that according to one fan in Perth, Australia, he couldn't have won the fly fishing tournament without me...

Doug
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Old 04-01-2005, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Any Sage TCR Fans?

Doug I appreciated that for multiple reasons. I'll have to admit that I was wondering if you ever found a rod you didn't like. I now see that you just follow the old addage of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". This makes sense to me, as I can't imagine the manufacturers would risk loaning you a rod/reel/line to try for free if you had a reputation of writing up bad reviews which are taken very seriously and could inhibit sales of their gear.

I also appreciate the fact that your reviews hardly ever contain text copied and pasted from the manufacturers various propaganda. I subscribe to a Magazine which does exactly this and may eventually let Mr. Randolph know that I am quite annoyed by it.

Your reference to MBA's and their aesthetics might be misdirected. I think the opinion creating the influence is on the demand side, not the supply in that case. Many of the fools with more money than sense who haphazardly buy the gear we cherish do so because they recognize the brand name and because it looks appealing. One needs to only look at the sales of the Color Camo reels to see this phenomenon in action. The larger stripping guides that greatly assist in shooting line look kind of odd to some people and unfortunately could prevent purchase of said rod.

Doug, thank you for what you do and for being a part of this board.
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