Insanity. I agree with you and support your little rant, Ard. I've never been fond of marketing and branding and all that. It's so silly. You can also buy a 12 gauge shotgun for shooting birds that costs $3000 or one that also kills birds for $700.
I have 3 rods, they are all Sage, the newest one, a 490 SLT, is 10 years old. I use it in 95% of my fishing, I love it. I'm not saying that I wouldn't love the Circa now, but my point is, I don't NEED it to make me a better fisherman, it won't catch more fish for me.
I'm not opposed to people spending their money how they want, this is more about the ideas that Ard spoke about...telling us that this rod or that new whatever is going to make me a better a fisherman, make my experience fuller. BS.
I dunno, Frank, you bought the Z-Axis, yes....I want them to make as much money as they can, but I don't want you to loose your rod overboard...The new rods are better though.
I never lost a rod overboard until 2006. My 6wt bass rod and STH reel went over the side of my canoe, and down 20 feet. That's what prompted my new rod purchase (Z-Axis), and while we've fished plenty from our canoes since then, it always worries me a wee little bit. I bought a couple of Z-Axis 590 blanks (CHEAP!!!!), and a factory 590 Z from Cabelas (also REALLY CHEAP) when they were on closeout, but decided to return all of it...HUGE mistake!
The new rods might be better in the right hands, but I'd love to get a 490 Z-Axis. Maybe I'll buy a couple more ZXL's. I might even just go whole hog with bamboo. I don't fish anything heavier than a 5wt anyway. Seriously, my Lew Parks bamboo 4wts are Smoooooth............ Circa schmirca. Good bamboo is sweet, and Sage's new pricing would put them in the same range as many good bamboo builders. Lew Parks, Bob Nunley, etc.
I have a lot of Sage rods - XP, SLT, LL, SP, ZXL, Z-Axis, VXP, and I don't need another fly rod. I'm not an exceptional caster by any means and there are things that the aforementioned rod lines can do that I can't get them to do. I need to become better casting all of them. That said, I enjoy every one of them in their own right and how I cast with them. I look forward to continuing to get them to perform better for me. I recently added another ZXL to the quiver on close out. However, I am interested in casting the new lines and ultimately adding one to my quiver if I love it.
............ Circa schmirca. Good bamboo is sweet, and Sage's new pricing would put them in the same range as many good bamboo builders. Lew Parks, Bob Nunley, etc.
Circa schmirca!! Love it. I'm sure I'll pick one up and wave it my hand in the shop when they are out...but unless I will the lottery I won't even take it outside to cast it.
To your point, I agree, If I was going to spend more than $750 on a rod, and I won't, I would most definitely be looking toward a custom built glass or bamboo rod, something that really stands out and actually fishes with a noticeable difference.
I think this is a generational issue in a lot of ways. Fly tackle manufacturers are going to go under if they don't continue inspiring and enticing young fisherman to join the sport and purchase gear. Perhaps companies like Sage aren't counting on the up-and-coming crowd getting excited about something that's old news, regardless of how well it may work. With maturity, many of us recognize the merit in the things we grew up using. Likewise, the tried and tested rods of yesterday were once the latest greatest sticks on the market and probably had a lot of backlash regarding technology and price. There will be a number of anglers out there whose first premium rod will be in this group. Years from now when this set is replaced with another, they will be the ones ranting.
I drive a 1995 VW Passat wagon with a manual tranny. It runs fine and fly rods fit without bending right down the middle... When the Porsche Panamera Shooting Brake (wagon) comes out in a year or two for, I dunno - $100G - I intend to admire it and say something like; "wow, it would be cool to haul your fly rods around in THAT!" I would not dream of buying it even if I could but that does not mean I can't be facinated by its turbo V8, taught suspension and technological advancements...
So too with titanium clad Sage ONEs for a grand+; it will not cast better than a "regular" ONE and there is no imperative to rid yourself of your beloved Z-Axis, XP or whatever; but I for one admire and am impressed with a company such as Sage continuing to advance the art of fly rod design and offer leading edge of material technology.
In three or four years when Sage says that the Martian rover "Curiosity" used a silica fiber technology now available to fly rod makers for the first time and here is the best ever, TWO, I am going to jump for joy!
I wont be buying a circa anytime soon (because I just funneled $1000 in to fly tying). I did however wiggle one the other day and I gotta say I cant believe how thin that blank is. It looked like one of those girly cigarettes (capri) down there. It is maybe 60% the diameter of a "normal" rod.
I do have to say I am starting to find myself getting away from the Z-Axis / Helios rods and grabbing the ZXL more often than not. I am grabbing the 3wt ZXL over the TXL and the 4WT TXL over the Z-Axis.
I can see me quiver gravitating to slower action rods over the next few years.
I sort of understand the Sage line up of rods but I do not understand where the TCX “fits”. It is more expensive than the Sage One or Xi3 for say an 8 wt rod. I hope someone can explain the special functional character of the TCX.
Thanks to Sage ,I think they have brought all rod company's up a few notches, I just purchased a Echo edge for $229.00 and got a good casting rod . Right now they are more good casting rods on the market than ever before ,for the under $ 400 price. You just got to seek them out. I think because of all the new hi tech materials , being used by High End Rod Company's has help everyone. Seems new high tech is replaced ever couple of years. By saying this I still enjoy my Sage , G loomis , of old yes I bought a Sage one last year. But decided I really didn't need latest and greatest high end . Just more time to enjoy what I already have.