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MarcFish 02-09-2009 12:25 PM

Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
Long story short...
I came into some gift certificates through work that total about $700 that I can use at Orvis or Cabellas. I have been fly fishing for about a season and half and was thinking about using the gift certificates to upgrade my gear. I currently have a pretty basic Rod/Reel combo that I got for about $130 two summers ago. I fully realize that a fly fisherman of my skill level and experience (read: Im pretty bad and still learning) doesnít need a $700 setup but being that this is basically a gift I figured why not. Any advice on a good Rod and Reel combo within my price range is appreciated. I noticed some Sage combos on the Cabella website:

Cabela's -- Sage XP Fly Rods and Combos

Here are my stats:
I usually fish either the Beaver Kill or Esopus in the NY Catskills.
Currently fish with a 7 wt (was under the impression I should go lighter for the rivers I fish)

pc40chas 02-09-2009 12:47 PM

Re: Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
not familliar at all with where your at, but i use an 8wt for lake erie steelhead just for a comparison. if your fishing for trout, i like to use a 4wt. there very light and somewhat cheaper than a 7wt. if you are in that 4wt range, concentrate more on a better line than a premium reel. orvis has a 25 year warranty on thier rods, and they dont care how you broke it. i have a 4wt orvis zero gravity that i wouldnt trade for anything. i also had an orvis tls matrix, it too was pretty nice especially for the price. order of concern should be... rod, line, then the reel unless you actually need that 7wt. then you should concentrate more on the reel and drag system. hope this helps.

arfishinbear 02-09-2009 01:20 PM

Re: Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
Well, you certianly couldnt go wrong with that sage, I own a few and love them. Another rod you may want to look at is the redington rods, I have heard great things about them. I was thinking about adding one of teh sage bass rods to my collection but think I will go for the redington, predater series. 400 (sage) 200 (red) and hear they are great rods.
If trout are your game I would go with a 8 1/2 foot or 9ft in a 4 or 5wt.
And PC has a great tip, get a good line.

MarcFish 02-09-2009 01:59 PM

Re: Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
What do you guys think of the line that is included in the package?

"Includes Rio Grand weight-forward floating fly line (a $69.95 value) and backing. "

Also, what's your opinion on the Cabela's RLS, Cabela's SLA or Cabela's Watershed reels?

MarcFish 02-09-2009 02:25 PM

Re: Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
So here is what Iím thinking:

Sage 490-4XP
Cabela's Watershed Fly Reel
Rio Grand weight-forward floating fly line and backing

All in is $690.
Any comments on whether this is a good deal or not?

arfishinbear 02-09-2009 02:34 PM

Re: Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
The Rio Grande is a great fly line, I have it on a couple of my rods. Floats good and shoots well.

fishosopher 02-09-2009 02:38 PM

Re: Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
I like my RIO Grand lines (a 6 wt. and an 8 wt.) very much, but they're a 1/2 wt. over the stated weight, so they are best matched with a fast the XP.)

I'd use most of that money to get a rod that I liked. I'd make it a medium or medium-fast action rod, not a fast action rod, because you want to feel the rod loading and unloading while you're learning. This will teach you the correct rhythm of the fly cast.

I'm not sure the XP, even on sale, is right for a beginner. Sage Launch rods are very reasonable and discussed elsewhere on the forum. As a pure trout rod, and not good in strong winds, the Sage ZXL is wonderful, but there goes most of your $700.

Tight lines.

FrankB2 02-09-2009 02:38 PM

Re: Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
The Watershed reel looks to be made by Ross Reels USA: basically a lighter
version of their recently discontinued Rhythm reel. I've never used Rio Grand,
but lots of people like it. The rod may be a tad stiff, however. You can get
the same reel and line combo with the Sage Flight for $450: CLICK HERE The Flight is supposed
to be nearly the same rod as the Z-Axis, and I've fished the Z-Axis in 9' 5wt.
VERY nice rod, and repsonsive tip section. Unlike some other "fast" action
rods, the Z-Axis casts the line it's supposed to very nicely, without needing
to overline, or get 60' of line out before it comes to life, etc.

EDIT: A forum member recently cast a Z-Axis and Sage Flight together, and posted his impressions here: CLICK HERE You have to scroll down to about the 7th-8th post.

Frank Whiton 02-09-2009 03:37 PM

Re: Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
Hi MarcFish,

I think that FrankB2 has a good suggestion. Check out the new Sage Flight rod. Unless you are doing mostly dry fly fishing I think a 5wt would be a good choice for you.

As to the XP, even though it is a fast rod they are equipping it with the RIO Grand line. The 1/2 over weight line should cast well on the XP. I don't know anything about the Watershed reel.


MarcFish 02-09-2009 09:03 PM

Re: Neewbie looking for Rod/Reel advice
Orvis tried to sell me this combo....any comments?
Rod: T3 904-4 4 -$475
Reel: Battenkill Large Arbor Trout Reel - $198

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