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Old 10-24-2013, 05:41 PM
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Default Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

Hey guys,

Before I get started I'd like to say I am certainly not an expect caster and am very new to all of this. I am in the market for a high end all around 9' 5wt trout outfit. I recently purchased a discontinued Abel Super 5 reel and had determine I was going to pick up a Scott Radian. I bought the reel simply based on reviews I read, the fact that I liked the looks, and found it on closeout. I did however put the rods to the test before I made up my mind. I narrowed it down between the Radian and the Sage One. When I did a side by side comparison a bit ago I decided on the Radian. It was a close race, but in the end I felt the Radian performed a bit better at shorter distances and had more feel. At a distance, both were so close that I'd be hard pressed to give an edge to either. On top of it I will say I prefer the look of the Radian, but if the One outperformed it the looks wouldn't have mattered. Guess I should note that both rods were tested with a Hatch 4+ with Rio Gold fly line.

Now, on to the heart of the post. Just felt the little background info was needed. After seeing some posts on the Sage Method on here the other day I figured I better test it out before making my purchase. $800 is a lot for a rod so I want to make sure what I get is exactly what I want...don't want to regret not trying everything out in a month.

So, I went to a fly shop today knowing they had both the Sage Method & One in stock in 9' 5wt, but no Radian. Figured it didn't matter as I already tested it next to the One. I took my Abel Super 5 loaded with Rio Perception fly line to see how they performed. To start I'd like to say I really don't care for the red color or overall looks of the Method, but they selected the right color for this bad boy. It is a performance power house, which really reminded me of a Ferrari...not sure if this is what they were going for, but it def fits. This rod really shined at distance and generated incredible line speed. IMO, it was the superior of the 3 rods in this category. What I didn't like about it is that I felt it was outperformed by the One at short distance. Considering I felt the Radian outperformed the One at short distance I'd put the Method last in this category. Considering the "holy grail" in this outfit is a fast action rod that fishes close up just as well as at a distance I don't see this replacing the One as an all around trout rod.

After the testing I still feel the Scott Radian is the best all around, do it all, 9' 5wt trout rod...of the 3 tested. I don't feel the Method will replace the One for those of you with preference to Sage because of the up close fishing. Even though the Method outperformed both at a distance is this really necessary in this outfit? The fact is the other 2 rods are also amazing at distance and should be able to get you as far out as you need. Because of this I was trying to figure out where exactly does this rod fit in?

In conclusion, I'd personally rank the 3 in order...1. Scott Radian 2. Sage One 3. Sage Method for this application. Where I think the real potential for this rod is would be in the 9' 8wt. I'm thinking this could be a Bonefish powerhouse!!! In my head I was all set on picking up a G Loomis NRX Saltwater down the line, but when it comes time for that purchase I will def be testing it next to the Sage Method!

Thanks for reading!
Mike
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

Thanks for posting one of the few reviews comparing a Sage ONE to the Scott Radian. Great review, like you I felt the One and Radian are very close, much more than I expected.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

Good work, Mike. As I currently fish the ONE#5 as my big water dry fly rod, the NRX#4 as its low wind alternate and a Streamdance GLX 8 1/2'/#4 on spring creeks, you have helped me establish my January Somerset Show rod testing agenda. I need to look at Method as my next drift boat, big fly or wind 6-weight and Radian as a potential upgrade from my Streamdance #4. It will compete with he also new Orvis H2 in that same, diminutive, size. I don't like to get too close to a big rising trout when fishing from the Clacka but the ONE is not bad in close with the right leader. For wading I have the Hardy Zenith #5 which is great at all distances including short shots...I am surprised you have not included this excellent rod in your 5-weight comparison though it is hardly as fast action as the rods you are comparing.

Some have commented on the elevated cost of this group of rods. They are up there no doubt. I am far from wealthy but I am a hard bitten fly fisher and I get on airplanes and occasionally go out with professional guides. On a recent foray to Montauk Point looking, with minimal success, for striped bass and (no) false albacore, our top guide cost $725 + $100 tip. OK, it was split between two of us and we did cover a lot of miles looking for fish from Ft. Pond Bay to the North to Nappeague to the West and I did fish the guides 10-weight Xi3 all day...but did not get to take it home. Fishing is expensive if you travel at all and having the best gear available when you arrive in Montauk, Montana or Myaguana is the least of your investment and you get to use it over and over and over again.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

I agree with everything you just said! lol I do well, but am by no means wealthy. I have learned that it does pay to invest in better equipment for any hobby I get into. I shoot a Benelli when I waterfowl hunt and use Titleist golf clubs...why should fly fishing be any different? haha I actually did check out both the Hardy Zenith and Orvis Helios 2 a while ago, but had narrowed it down to the Radian & One pretty quickly. I felt the Hardy was a big down grade on the other 2 when it came to line speed and total distance. As far as the Orvis goes I really liked it and really can't say anything bad about it besides the One and Radian just felt better in my hand.
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

FlyFisherman.com just named the Radian best new trout rod and Method best new saltwater rod...no I don't work for them! Lol. Not surprised by this at all.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

Interesting comparisons. I wholeheartedly agree that the Radian has the best short game of the three rods and the Method is the best at long range. Probably the One probably splits the difference the between the three.

I think the Method is best thought of in #6 wt and higher. The #4 and #5 are probably a little strong for all-around use. I own and fish a One in 9', #6, and for the most part, like it. But, I plan to replace it with a #6 Method, it is just more of what I am looking for in a #6.

If I was in the market for a new Saltwater, Flats rod, the Method would be the first rod I would look to. My personal opinion is that the Method has a pretty fair short to middle game for what it is. But, I definitely wouldn't recommend fishing #16 dry flies on a spring creek with the thing. But, for everything else - it is in the running...

Kind of boils down to what a person is looking for out of the rod. I have found that the 9', #5 rod in my quiver is always a compromise. The models that have good short games and handle dry fly fishing well, lack power to handle wind and multi-fly rigs or streamers. The models that handle wind and heavier payloads, lack the subtlety for good dry fly presentations. So far, for me, the "perfect" all-around 9',#5, has proven elusive.

Candidates for the all-around 9', #5 for me are the Sage Z-Axis (which doesn't speak to me) and the G. Loomis NRX which is my current all-around 9', #5. I have fished a One and it is great on the higher-power end of the spectrum, but lacks something for me at mid and short distances, and doesn't have the feel that I want. I bought a G. Loomis NRX LP in 9', #5 and though it casts pretty well on the lawn, it doesn't speak to me on the water. It is very similar to the R.L. Winston BIIIx to me, seems to lack power for mid to long distances.

My questions to anyone here... How does the Radian handle wind? Multi-fly rigs? or Streamers? I know that it will handle the presentation dry fly duty well, but, what about the rest?

I haven't cast or fish a #6 Radian, it is sure to be a different beast than the #5. Looking forward to hearing more from everyone else here.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolhand View Post
Interesting comparisons. I wholeheartedly agree that the Radian has the best short game of the three rods and the Method is the best at long range. Probably the One probably splits the difference the between the three.

Kind of boils down to what a person is looking for out of the rod. I have found that the 9', #5 rod in my quiver is always a compromise. The models that have good short games and handle dry fly fishing well, lack power to handle wind and multi-fly rigs or streamers. The models that handle wind and heavier payloads, lack the subtlety for good dry fly presentations. So far, for me, the "perfect" all-around 9',#5, has proven elusive.

Candidates for the all-around 9', #5 for me are the Sage Z-Axis (which doesn't speak to me) and the G. Loomis NRX which is my current all-around 9', #5. I have fished a One and it is great on the higher-power end of the spectrum, but lacks something for me at mid and short distances, and doesn't have the feel that I want. I bought a G. Loomis NRX LP in 9', #5 and though it casts pretty well on the lawn, it doesn't speak to me on the water. It is very similar to the R.L. Winston BIIIx to me, seems to lack power for mid to long distances.
.
As with many things in life, I believe you're asking too much out of any one 5 wt rod. I'll leave it to the Ard/S&S-type experts, but my experience is that quite a few rods can present dry flies well and have power for larger flies and wind. You're never going to have a Sage SLT and Z-axis in the same rod--but there are rods that bridge the gap.

Stop being so fussy.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

coolhand, I agree a lot with what you are saying in regards to the Method. I think this will def be inconsideration for me when it comes time for an 9' 8 wt saltwater rod.

What I tend to disagree with in your post is where you say you feel the Sage one is the middle ground of both the Scott Radian and Sage Method. I agree the the Method has the best long game and the Radian has the best short game, but I don't think the One is the middle ground. IMO this is what make the Radian so great is that it is 2nd only to the Method in the long game. To me the Radian is at worst an equal to the One, except up close where it blows the One out of the water. I also agree that you are never going to get a 9' 5wt to perform like a dry fly specialty rod like say a 7'6" 4wt Superfine Touch. The goal IMO of these 9' 5wt "all round" trout rods is to generate high line speeds, have a fast action, but still be able to fish up close and toss small dries when needed. The Radian does this better than anything in its class. Again, I'm not saying it will fish up close & dries like you SFT, but it is the best all around trout rod I've had my hands on.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

I feel handicapped in this interesting discussion about the kind of rods I enjoy fishing...as I have still not laid eyes let alone hands on either Radian or Method. Further, I don't know about "all-round" rods as a. the rods under discussion really are specialty rods and b. I don't fish multi-nymph rigs. For streamer fishing I employ a #6 or 7 rod.

Further, I consider ONE and, no doubt will, Radian as well as the Freestone, NRX and forthcoming uber quick T&T, to be dry fly rods. High line speed, tight loop generating, quick recovering rods are the tools of choice for in-air reach and mend, on water, sharp tipped articulation of line and leader, compound, dead drift presentations. Popping off flies with a quick recovering tip? Never happens with soft hands and long leaders terminating with 5' of tippet. Soft tipped, deeper flexing rods are nice and spongy for swimming wet caddis pupa in a riffle but are too low performance to meet the challenge of bank feeders on the Fork, Missouri or Delaware.

Though both my NRX #4 and Hardy Zenith #5 have more feel in close than ONE, I have no real issue with ONE's close game using SA Expert Distance Taper and 15+' braided butt leader, but I don't like getting too close to a big head in smooth water. At one point last spring, with my partner on the sticks in the Clacka above Cascade, we saw a pod sipping PMD's on a long, high bank. We dropped the hook and my bud stuck one of the lead fish which was big and, in a furiously indignant run to mid river, became un-stuck. The fish below had become uncomfortable with all this action and the current disruption coming off our anchored boat but some ways below a few fish remained undisturbed including a riser pushing lots of water a little off the bank. "Do you want me to drop down closer to that fish to give you a shot?" asked Jay, "No thanks, we are sure to spook him pulling the anchor; I'll try him from here." Jay rolled his eyes and sat back to see how I was going to attempt to do this. Stripping all the line off my Nautilus, I cast it out mid river and stripped it back in so the coils would be on top of one another. Being careful not to step on the line, I made a roughly 50' cast above the fish's position with a big upstream reach and rolled out another big "L" mend above that. I then commence to feed slack into the drift; 10', 20', 30'...with my backing Bimini in the guides and colored string in my hand, the brown ate the PMD thorax dun 100' feet below the boat. I have feed fish like this before but with so much line out, hooking them is another story. But with ONE in hand, a good read on the currents and a lot of luck, I put the metal too him and actually landed that bad boy.

Yes, I know I am "bragging" here and I have avoided until now telling this tale here on the Forum and my pard is still rolling his eyes over this event, but the point is that rods like ONE and others striving to dethrone it from its highly specialized performance perch are a prerequisite for executing stunts like this. Without the scalpel-like responses of ONE and its ilk, downstream reach and feed presentations are significantly handicapped beyond 40 or 50 feet. True enough, most fly fishers don't fish Missouri River scale trout streams with these techniques and equally true, rods such as ONE are not intended for nor appropriate for all of us. But am I thrilled that rod designers are striving to create superrods in addition to classic, gentle rods for the cadre in this thread that utilize max performance.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Sage Method...Where does it fit in?

I too have been in the hunt for an all around 5 weight and it's is definitely between the ONE and Radian although, I haven't had the pleasure of handling the Method. It seems that most replies in this post reference dry-fly fishing and I wonder if this is even applicable to the OP?

On another note, I live in Denver and 99.9% of the fishing I do is nymph which is why I have found value in a slightly longer rod at 9'6" opposed to 9'. I believe this will become especially handy when using smaller tippet in tail-water sections. Over the past 100 days or so I have spent countless hours in fly shops, forums, magazines, etc. trying to find 'The One' but I am here to tell you that the search still continues as I do not believe that rod has been produced nor will it be.

That said this is my personal opinion and, well, you know what they say about opinions. In the end, does 10-15 minutes of casting in grass or on a river really give you a fair analysis on whether a ONE, Radian, Helios 2, Zenith or.... have both in tight or out far pin-point accuracy? No, it does not. I believe go with the one that A: Balances your reel well. B: Is in your budget. C: Most importantly, allows you to be paper plate size accurate in short and long distances. I believe if you are paper plate sized accurate and long distances with rod A and not with rod B then go with rod A as you will learn how to be accurate in short distances but typically cannot improve in accuracy as much in long distances.....It's not as though any of us are shadow casting!
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