Hey I was wondering if anyone else in this forum finds that Sage fly rods are quite unappealing? They are fantastic rods no doubt but there looks are sub par. The Sage One for instance is brutishly simple and dull looking while the cheaper Orvis Access to me looks fantastic. Even the Sage VXP looks frankly boring and unappealing compred to other rods in its cost class such as the Orvis Supefine touch. Even the Hardy Zenith looks 3000x better than the Sage One (and is cheaper too).
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not to mention the scott S4 a competitor for the Sage One is also much better looking
I'm certainly no expert so I'll try to quote someone who is. My local fly shop owner who is a guide and instructor fishes with a Scott S4 905-4. He likes it a lot and is a big Scott fan and advocate. He casted the Sage One that a rep gave him to sample. He claims it is incredibly accurate. Like a laser. I have no experience with it but I've heard that from others so there must be something to it.
It's not just Sage. I think, in general, if you are going to ask $800+ for a fishing rod, it should not only perform unbelievably well but also be the last word in aesthetic refinement and elegance. Very few of today's offerings meet that standard IMHO. Instead they settle for the angling equivalent of putting a molded plastic dashboard on a Rolls Royce.
Here's the kind of thing I mean. These shots happen to be cane rods but this sort of careful detail ought to go into a high-priced graphite stick too:
I always had the feeling that Sage rods were untouched by human hands. The decals they used on rods with a price they ask is just plain cheap looking but it was the reel seats that turned me off. Back before Sage decided that one reel seat fits all rods we had the option of down or up-locking seats. It seems a lot of fly shop help never saw an uplocker not to mention used one. The biggest set the trends. The seats Sage used on every rod were real plain Jane looking, especially for a premium rod. It might just be that Sage feels tyat form follows function and that's prefectly good. When spending mucho dinero on a rod I just expect it to look special.
I a Sage guy through and through, and personally love the way that all of mine look... Having said that, would I prefer them to look like a Winston? Absolutely, those things are gorgeous... Cast a BIIIx again yesterday, truly works of art in every way and a joy to cast. I can't wait to fish one
I tend to think that Sage may be dressing down their rods a bit on purpose, and focusing on fishability of their sticks... They traditionally get a lot of heat (undeservedly so, IMHO) for being great lawn casters but not necessarily the best fishing tools (I think this is complete hogwash), so maybe they would take more heat if they were "over-dressed lawn casters."
It's not just Sage. I think, in general, if you are going to ask $800+ for a fishing rod, it should not only perform unbelievably well but also be the last word in aesthetic refinement and elegance. Very few of today's offerings meet that standard IMHO.
I couldn't agree with you more. For that matter, any rod that is considered a manufacturer's flagship or premium should have the best components possible to match the performance to keep within a price point. My biggest beef with Sage is the quality of some of the cork I've seen on their premium rods. I do appreciate that they still use quality and aesthetically pleasing wood inserts on their trout/freshwater rods. I love the Sage rods that I own. I've had no regrets about purchasing them, even the ones I've paid full retail for. These days, I do everything I can to avoid buying them at full price. Patience has it's merits
I like the plain black look of my ONE, hanging a silver FWX looks great on it. My TXLf I think looks as good as it feels in my hand. When it comes to fly rods I tend to fall into one who looks at the quality of the guides, wraps and overall finish of a rod. I don't really care what color it is. Reels on the other hand I sort of drool over the looks.
To boot, George Motz and the show Made in America went and built a Sage rod at the factory, and it is a really a cool thing to watch... Anyone who thinks they aren't touched by human hands is actually way off. (Not trying to be argumentative, just clarifying a bit) I don't know much about other companies' processes, but they seem to take great care in making their rods
There is one guy who turns every single grip, and the painting really is a neat skill as well. Here's a snippet... I highly recommend this show, and especially this episode if you can find a re-run
Location: Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border
Re: Sage Fly Rod Cosmetics
I do. In fact the first Sage rods that I ever cast, the first thing I thought when I saw them was "If these were dogs, I'd shave their butts and train them to walk backwards." (My serious face) The Sage Bass rods with the red seat and wraps combined with that gold blank that I think looks like the cheap gold foil you get on chocolate money. Those look they were designed by a guy whose full time job is designing Christmas decorations. Seriously, what were they thinking. I've seen better colors tagged on the side of box cars.
Then there is the whole building them on straightest visual line. How good for tracking can they be when you have the rod twisting and untwisting like a danged Hula Dancer everytime you load the rod? I should add that for 95% of casters that probably isn't going to be an issue. But for the 5% that are trying to put a fly out past 100' it is. I'll also bet that when they make one for a distance caster they sponsor they don't do it that way. This is done just for sales, not to make a good rod. If they do one thing that way, what else do they do?
Sage and I got off on the wrong foot right off the bat, and point number one was they were butt ugly rods.