I would save my money and get a Sage Bass rod. For $350.00 you get the custom line (which you'll need anyhow) and a case that holds the rod/reel combo.
You'll be getting an American made rod of the highest quality but more importantly, a rod that has the finest components, is tweaked perfectly for bass fishing and will more than likely retain or grow it's value.
I wish that gub'ment check would hurry up and get here! I'll 'invest' it right back into American manufacturing!
Aren't those rods really short? What is the reasoning behind such a short fly rod?
Well, if there's slack in the line, I don't know how you're gonna feel the strike. If you mean you're fishing a surface fly, see the strike, and then have to pull 2' of slack out before the rod is pulling tension on the fish, I can't imagine that's going to work real well either.
One of the reasons we're able to land fish on lighter test line with a fly rod than with a conventional rod is because it acts as such a great cushion. That cushion doesn't do us any favors though when it comes to setting a hook.
I'd suggest using the strip strike, and then when you feel the fish fighting with your stripping hand, clamp down that line finger on the rod hand and rare back with the rod if needed to get it out of cover.
On rod selction, I think what you're after depends on how you're getting to the bass you're casting to. If you're fishing from a bank and need lots of casting distance, a 9' rod is likely the best way to go. If you're fishing from the bow of a boat and the ability to throw casts into tight spots is more pressing, then a short rod like the Sage BASS series would indeed be more ideal. I think BPS sells some rods in their private label that fit this niche as well.
I actually don't think a super fast action rod makes a very ideal bass rod. Large flies are turned over better by a slightly larger loops. Its easier to achieve these loops with a medium-fast to fast action rod than with a super fast one. By this I mean you're likely better off with a Sage FLi or Xi2 than with a Z-axis or TCR. I'm not sure where the StC Legend Ultra falls in that range.
Yes those Sage Bass rods are 7' 11" in length. They made them that long so BASS competitors could use them in a tournament. BASS has an 8' rod length limitations. They will be short powerful rods designed mostly for lake fishing. They look to be a lot of rod for the money and include a fly line.
I understand more clearly now- thanks Big Cliff I need to get away from my conventional thinking regarding fishing with my spinning gear. My St Croix spinning rod has a very fast action, which makes for a jawbreaking hookset- which is what we have always been taught. I really am learning from you folks...
They made them that long so BASS competitors could use them in a tournament. BASS has an 8' rod length limitations.
B.A.S.S. rules don't allow a fly rod. They're pretty specific in stating spin, spin casting and bait casting rods only. I don't know about FLW, but I think they're more liberal.
I think Sage is betting on the fact there are a lot more bass fisherman than trout fisherman so they designed a specialty rod that can cast very accurately at short and medium ranges with little or no false casting. They designed a line with a short belly and heavy head for these rods. I would think that bass anglers who are not fly casters would master the basic pick up and lay down cast with these rods and achieve fairly quick success.
Sage is also touting these rods as backcountry rods for snook, baby tarpon and the like.
I wonder if there is going to be a rule change. Here is what the Sage site says about the rods.
After working with a small, tight-lipped group of serious bass anglers, we've developed two new rods that can drop a hair frog or an air-light diver with pinpoint accuracy and hardly a ripple on the water. From a fly fishing perspective, we’re talking about effortlessly pushing big, wind-resistant bugs into tight quarters. Available in two models, Smallmouth and Largemouth, both rods measure 7'11", which slides them just under the strict bass tournament rules for rod length. Additionally, both rods are sold with custom bass taper flylines and a travel case for protection.
When used outside the bass fishing world, we strongly recommend them for probing the mangroves or throwing huge flies for pike and muskies.
If anyone here gets a chance you just have to cast these things!
One back cast, a good haul on the forward cast and a good, long, accurate cast is easy. The neat part is picking up a long length of line and then laying it right back down in the zone as if you missed a strike.
As I said, come-on Uncle Sam and lay that check on me!
The funny thing is Scott had a rod much like this for the past two years and just didn't have the marketing genius of Sagė
I just purchased a Orvis Clearwater II in a 9' 8wt. I do a lot of big bass fishing and also fly rod stripers from the surf. When I use a large (1/20oz) lead eye on a size 4 woolybugger, my tiny 5wt has a hard time chucking the heavy fly.
I was amazed when I checked the specs on the 8wt rods in a modest price range.
- The Orvis Clearwater II in a 8wt 9' rod is only 3.5oz!! That's the same weight as my Sage FLi 5wt!! Or a St Croix Legend Ultra 5wt!! Orvis uses a new scrim method to reduce the weight.
- The Battenkill Bar Stock Reel in a 8wt is only 4.5oz! The SLA is 5.4oz! I purchased a 3/4 wt size to use with my 5wt just to keep the weight down, and that reel is 4.8oz.
My 8wt Orvis, budget outfit, is actually lighter than my expensive 5wt trout outfit!!
In the Orvis catalog the rod looks like it is blue........ but I thought I would get one anyway. The rod arrived today and its a beautiful grey black like the Avids. Only $295 for the rod, reel, backing, and WF floating line. I got the overnight air for $20 more, but I'm a impatient guy when fishing is involved.
I'm so happy with this rod. I tested it out today and I simply love this lite rod. Now I can tie some big heavy flies if I want to.
The new Clearwater might be one of the best kept secrets out there. I was at Sandanona last month and had the chance to cast several different ones. Very forgiving rod, and light you pointed out, very light even for higher priced rods.
Maybe B.A.S.S is looking to expand into fly only tournaments... might be time to get a shiny nylon jacket
This is right from B.A.S.S., "Only one casting, spin casting or spinning rod (8 foot maximum length from butt of handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time." FLW and the Bass Federation simply say this about tackle, "All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner."
Some companies offer additional prizes if their equipment is used. Maybe Sage is planning on offering a prize for the biggest fish caught on one of their rods. Or then again, maybe not.