OK...So I read on a forum that buying Sage from L.L. Bean means that if you break the rod, L.L Bean will replace it without going through Sage (i.e., free).
I drove 20 miles to the "local" LL Bean, and waved a 9' 6wt Fli 4-pc. Seemed
dandy. However, a "salesman" from the bike shop intercepted me when I was
less than 10 feet from the Sage rack. He started talking about his fishing
trip yesterday, his daughter's boyfriend, and even the Alaskan soltice?!?!?!?
I did have a chance to talk to management, and they do replace Sage rods
for free at the store, so no wait time, and no $50 shipping fee!
By the time I was able to get my hands on the rods, it was 8:30pm! I had
30 minutes for him to find a 4-pc rod in the back (the fishing guys had left
for the day), and NO time to check the rod carefully. I really only had time
to check that the reel seat would fit my reel. I had a $50 credit, so $283
total and I'm on my way home. When I pulled the rod out of the case, there
was a nasty scratch in the butt section....ARGHHHHH!!!!! I worked retail,
and 99% of the salespeople I run into stink! This guy was right at the top.
Anyway, I decided to cast the thing before returning/exchanging it tomorrow
(like I really wanted to drive back tomorrow
). It's much more stiff than my Aeroflex
5 wt's and recently sold Aeroflex 6 wt. I was casting in the dark (10pm),
and it still threw 60 feet of line blind. Walking to the end of the line each time
revealed a straight leader, and it simply shot line like crazy. Little effort
reaped larger rewards, and I'd love to see what my loops look like in the morning. Casting 30 feet of line required only a simple casting motion
The tip is soft like the TFO Pro I tried last night: it will actually bend between
the last snake and the tip top. My Aeroflex rods are pretty stiff in that region,
but they cast well....and I've never had a fish break off. The FLi seems like
it'll chuck the bigger I stuff I use for smallmouth, and even wrestle a LMB.
The rod weighs 3.65oz on my digital scale, and feels light in the hand, even
without a reel. My 9' 6wt Aeroflex felt a bit lighter in the hand, but this rod
is close, and also throws line better.
I owned a Sage DS2 about six years ago, and loved the way it cast. The reel
reel seat ring would loosen after a few minutes, and need to be re-tightened.
I'd heard other people complain about that, so I sold it. This rod's only
flaw would seem to be its current scratch, and any future scratches in what
I assume is a painted finish. This is my only painted rod, but I'm guessing
my St. Croix Avid and Legend Ultra weren't born green, and they held up.
This Sage had wax on the male ferrules, and looked like it had been returned.
In fact, it had a lot of wax on the ferrules. They told me there were three
in stock, so the odds are with me.
LL Bean is giving $10 gift certificates on purchases of $50+, so my wife wanted to go back anyway.
Too bad they don't sell gas....LOL!!!!!