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Old 12-05-2012, 03:06 PM
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Default Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

In my quest to find a blank to build on this winter I've coming across some decent finds here and there. I may have found a place to find older Sage blanks (have to call back tomorrow). I know that the XP was Sage's "best" "most popular" etc. rod at the time of it's production. But I hate that talk because, frankly, the RPL was the best ever, then the SP was the standard bearer, the Z-Axis, now the ONE ... every rod seems to be an improvement and "better" than the previous rod it replaced. So...

Back to the point. I use a 490 SLT for 95% of my fishing. I love the rod, love the action, which Sage describes as Med/Med-fast. It is a wonderful dry fly rod.

I'd like to hear about the action of the vaunted XP, particularly 5wt, 9' or 9'6". I know it is going to faster, but how is the tip? What is the taper like?

I am going to call my fly shop to see if someone there owns one, odds are good, and cast it. But I'd still love to hear critical reviews of the XP.

thanks!
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

I agree 490slt is a great dry fly rod .which I enjoy fishing and I also like the 490 XP for nymph or double nymph rigs with indicator. And larger drys I use a GPX line on the XP and SAM trout or Snowbee line on SLT. I also have a 691 XP for smallmouth bass and streamers. The best 6 wt on the market my 2 cents .I would like a 791 XP.i bought a 490 one it is a great rod but just didn't need it. So I sold it . I find that I am covered with the rods that I have I have 6 different 4 wt. now.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

Quote:
Originally Posted by billyspey View Post
I agree 490slt is a great dry fly rod .which I enjoy fishing and I also like the 490 XP for nymph or double nymph rigs with indicator. And larger drys I use a GPX line on the XP and SAM trout or Snowbee line on SLT. I also have a 691 XP for smallmouth bass and streamers. The best 6 wt on the market my 2 cents .I would like a 791 XP.i bought a 490 one it is a great rod but just didn't need it. So I sold it . I find that I am covered with the rods that I have I have 6 different 4 wt. now.
Great Billy, that's pretty cool (for me) that you actually have both rods. Can you tell me how much stiffer or "faster" the XP is compared to the SLT? I know that is a subjective and rather silly question...do you feel that it is a big adjustment in your casting stroke between the two?
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

Hard to answer , faster action , a full 1/2 line heaver,faster tip but not a broom handle or tomato stack as some have said. I have owned a 490 XP longer than the SLT. I enjoy both very much. I would rather keep the XP ,SLT than the One which I sold. Best way I can answer your question The SLt perfect trout rod in true 4 wt. the XP a 1/2 line wt. faster nymph rod for trout. I hope I have answered your question. In fact so scum bag stole my original 490 XP I had to replace it. I tried a Scott S4 just didn't like so I sold it and bought another XP. Only other rod I like close is a GLoomis GLX.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

My 9ft 5wt Sage XP is my go to dryfly rod on larger rivers because that is 99% of my fishing. It is fast but I love fast -even down to sz 24's if necessary. If you dream of the progressive action of the rods of years past get a Redington CT (Classic trout) which i also own and many love but which I just like once in a while.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

Thanks Walter. It's not that I am dreaming of a progressive actions of the past ... the SLT is a very smooth, mid-flex rod that requires a slower more deliberate casting stroke. But I may have found an XP blank to build on so I'd just like to hear about it the rod.

I also own a VPS 690 which I have never been fond of but I can't pinpoint why. It feels heavy in the hand, I know many who feel it is a great med-fast rod. This is really the rod I am looking to replace. Something for fishing heavier bugs; nymphs, streamers, but also for beating wind on big water with dries when needed.

Does anyone have experience with the VPS and XP?
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

Steelhead/Salmon fishing is what I do 95% of the time. With the 2handers, I'll choose a rod(s) fit for the water I'm going to fish. The one single hander that gets put on top of the Jeep is a 10' 7wt XP. Reason for that is its 'fast action' that turns this thing into a pretty darned good 'short spey rod.'

When you have to 'fish short' most 2handers (even switch rods) can be over-kill (20 to about 40 feet off the reel). That 10' XP fills that gap perfectly.

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Old 12-05-2012, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

Let me preface this by saying I don't own a 5 wt. XP. I do, however, fish a 386-4 and a 890-4 XP. I also fish a SLT 490. If the XP 590 is anything like my 386 then it will be a quick rod with backbone as well as a rod that has a nice degree of tip flex. My 890 is a solid rod with a forgiving tip.

The SLT, for me, is strictly a dry fly rod. I've fished my 490 with nymph rigs and it simply doesn't excel at it, where the ZXL in my quiver can do both with similar action but a quicker and lighter response. I also fish a 490 Z-Axis that I like to fish dry and nymph/small streamers with but don't love as a dry fly rod. That said, when I put a nice trout taper on it it's a nice dry fly rod but would not be my choice. From a performance perspective based on my experience across Sage's line up of 490's and my experience with the XP's noted above, I would expect the XP to have a swing weight similar to the SLT (to me the SLT feels like it has a heavier swing weight than the Z-Axis and ZXL - even my 590 Z-Axis), a quicker response time, and a tip that would permit you to excel an nymphing as well as tossing dries while not feeling too stiff. Personally, I love the XP line and would like to add more of them to my quiver.

Cheers,
Mike.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

Thanks Mike, that is good info, what I was looking for. Being the pretty much one rod guy I am (due to my dislike of the 6wt VPS), I use my SLT for nymphing. And even throw streamers with it if the mood strikes me. I know that it doesn't excel at either, and is poor at the latter, but I've learned to use that rod for a bit of everything. I am pretty excited to have a rod that will make nymph and streamer fishing productive and actually enjoyable. I'm going to find an XP to cast, I hope this is the rod.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Can you tell me about SAGE XP action? This is NOT a "what to buy."

This is amazing; I do not now and never have owned an XP! However, one of my closest friends has been fishing the 590 XP for years and loves it. It has been a member of our rod/line comparison test for quite a while now and I can say with confidence after having cast it with multiple lines from SA, RIO and Airflo that it is a. a true 5 and b. likes both the SA Mastery Distance Taper and the RIO Gold essentially equally. I might give a 1% nod to the SA line. I consider it to be the last of the lineage of earlier Sage rods like RPL to SP to XP, pre-introduction of the multi modulus fiber alignment technology introduced with Z-Axis and enhanced with ONE. I have Sages in all these model lines except XP but still think it is a great rod. I fished Z-Axis 905 until I tried ONE. I have said this for years but Sages premier lines of rods have not been for everyone; they require good skills to extract a reasonable percentage of their performance and some more than others. A TCR/X 4 or 5-weight would frustrate many an angler while delighting an elite few. ONE is more forgiving but still not really an everyman's rod. In our informal test last year it tied with Hardy Zenith, a very capable and delightful rod that is much friendlier but not more capable than ONE. I am of the opinion that faster (not stiffer but faster recovering) rods which invariably generate higher line speed than more moderate lower taper flexing rods are superior dry fly instruments. This includes XP. However, the Z-Axis provides an interesting option in that it has a distinctly softer tip that still recovers very quickly and has gobs of reserve power so it to, despite its tips delicacy, yields excellent line speed. I love it an so would you but my buddy with the XP is buying a ONE this spring.

My Z-Axis/Hatch outfit in the hands of one of my friends doing what it is supposed to do with a #16 PMD thorax dun.
Click the image to open in full size.
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