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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Bought my Smallmouth Rod at LL Bean, But Got Unlucky...

    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!

    Bad News:
    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.

    Good News:
    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.

    EDIT: 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!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Bedford County, Penna. ....pretty rural

    Default Re: Bought my Smallmouth Rod at LL Bean, But Got Unlucky...

    It was nice to read your reaction to the Fli. I bought a 9 1/2' 6 wt (4 piece) last year. Used it a lot - even took it to Erie for steelhead and it handled them quite nicely. I can cast it well with a variety of flies (and I'm not all that great!). Now, I just got a 9' 5 wt. Fli (4 piece). I know they're kind of close but ...... I wanted it! I own several other rods but really seem to go back to these two for most of my fishing. I think you'll enjoy your purchase - alot! (I've managed to put that 'scratch' on MY rod as well - must be a Sage thing).

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