Fished with Sage rods of all levels for the last 20 years. Every one has been very competent to excellent when it comes to performance. Still own several that are "favorites". The Sage people know what they are doing when it comes to fly rods...
A prime example of why the blind test would actually upen some eyes.
errr...... Ok. Then you obviously have never cast a biiix, or a biit, or a wt, or even a biix (which i love though some hate it).
Now i am fairly new in the game but i cast rods any chance i get. When i meet someone new on the stream or am fishing with a buddy i'll ask to try out their fly rod.
Of all the rods i have cast (undoubtedly fewer than most here, but still a good representation of the major rod companies) i find that winston is right up there with the others in performance, with looks that are to die for. I like small streams and medium actions, and the winston biit is my favorite rod of all i have cast. So much so that i saved up for one and bought it.
Maybe its personal style- but you'll be hard pressed to find a lot of people willing to outright say winston rods are all show and no go. I know enough experienced fly fisherman who fish them above any other that it's hard to believe that it's brand loyalty.
Oh, and care to give examples of sub $200 asian rods that outperform any rod winston has made? I'm not being argumentative, its just that if such a rod exists i'd surely like to know about it. I love my tfos and other brands as much as the next guy, but they aren't a match for winston in any sense of the word.
Welcome to the forum, Coolhand, though you may not feel the warmth after having having snubbed America's favorite "souvenir" rod company. As this thread is about superficial cosmetics rather than performance, it is comprehensible that fans of rich green coloration that has not changed for decades, select burled wood reel seat spacers and gleaming in-house made hardware emanating from a charming little town in the Last Best Place are strutting their stuff. My wife enjoys her 8 1/2' 3-pc. Morgan designed WT but my critique of my much newer 8 1/2'/#4 BIIx for its sub-par technical presentation capabilities earned me a similar gasp of horror in the past. It enjoys living nice and dry in its green aluminum tube while I fish a rod of the same size designation designed in Britain and the US while being fabricated in Korea. OK, Zenith costs more than $200 but less than the Winston and, without prejudice, is a far better fly rod. I have lawn cast a 5-weight BIIIx and it is well improved over the BIIx and I am optimistic, even hopeful, for Winston going forward under their new management. Orvis too has picked up its game with the dramatic taper changes in the new H2 line-up but I still am under the opinion that between Sage ONE and Hardy Zenith the finest performing trout fly rods in today's market will be found. Oh, and my now old Albright EXS, $250, Korean-built 9'/#5 is not as pretty as but is an embarrassingly superior casting instrument than most any Winston.
Fly Guy, Scroll up to my post on the previous page and dig the quiver of multi-brand rod models I enjoy fishing with. This thread, is of course about Sage though we do digress... Note too, unlike many who are fond of expressing their opinion, I (arrogantly?) substantiate mine with explanations of applied logic. Further, I have repeatedly stated that ONE is NOT for every angler or situation; I have employed easy to comprehend automotive analogies to illustrate why. I don't know where you fish or what diversity of habitats you visit but my rod and reel evaluations are based on extensive and diverse use. In my above post, I am welcoming with a "defense" a new forum member who, in single digit postings, is being set upon by respondents whose views are no more, if as, valid as his, which he expresses have been evolving for at least two decades. But, please, don't try fishing a ONE.
I have a Winston gvx in 6wt and a TMF. They are beautiful rods no doubt. I also have a Sage z axis 5wt. I think that also is beautiful. I believe the more I use any specific rod I become more attached to it. But even on a purely cosmetic veiwpoint I think the Sage is a really nice rod with a great finish.