Sage SP vs Winston LT?

nuchamps5

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Anybody have experience with these two rod actions, especially in the 5 piece configuration? I'm keeping my eye out for for SP 589-5 or 389-5, but the LT seems a little easier to come by in the 589-5 and 383-5.

I have the SP 489-5 and really love the action, but I've never owned or even gotten to cast a Winston, so I'm not sure how close the SP is to the Winston "feel." Thanks for the input!
 

osseous

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Rather, I would say the LT is the closest Winston came to a Sage feel during that period- I own the 589 and 483LT, and got them because they were the quickest Winstons ever made up until that time. Still nice, crisp action dry fly rods.

I only have an SP+ in an 8wt, so I can't really make an apples to apples comparison for you within the line classes. Probably the spot where the two companies were closest at the time, however-

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deceiverbob

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I have an SP 589-5 and it is a really nice rod. I have only cast one Winston but do not remember the model. It was contemporary with Sage's SLT rods. When the 5 pc SPs come up on Ebay they usually sell for a good price, especially those with an extra tip.
 

nuchamps5

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Yeah, they don't come up too often, it seems! I missed out on a couple recently but I think I'll see one eventually. Glad to hear another endorsement of the 589-5, though!
 

nuchamps5

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Rather, I would say the LT is the closest Winston came to a Sage feel during that period- I own the 589 and 483LT, and got them because they were the quickest Winstons ever made up until that time. Still nice, crisp action dry fly rods.

I only have an SP+ in an 8wt, so I can't really make an apples to apples comparison for you within the line classes. Probably the spot where the two companies were closest at the time, however-

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Thanks! Would you say the other Winstons you've cast are slower/softer than the LT, then?
 

osseous

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Thanks! Would you say the other Winstons you've cast are slower/softer than the LT, then?
Until recently, for sure. The BIIIX was a breakthrough in speed for them in a trout rod (which I didn't really care for). I am far more of a Sage guy though- so don't take my knowledge or recollection of Winston's as absolute. I have dabbled in Winston's from time to time- while generally fishing the hell out of Sage

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sweetandsalt

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A buddy had the 5-pc. Winston LT and I found it dead feeling from too many ferrules too close together. Same with the awfull Hardy Smuggler. I've never cast the 5-pc. SP but back then ferrule design was not as sophisticated as it has become. SP was a great rod series and very smooth, especially in 2-pc. models. I still occasionally fish a 9'/#4 SP. osseous, I too have an SP+ 9'/#8, in 3-pc. I think, but I can't find it! I recall it being very fast. What line do you fish on yours?

OP, It may be hard to find but if you must have a 5-pc. for backpacking or fitting in a travel bag, there is one I found acceptable and it was inexpensive when new. Out of business Albright had a series called A-5 which included at least a 5 and 8-weight. The #5 was surprisingly good.
 

WNCtroutstalker

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Anybody have experience with these two rod actions, especially in the 5 piece configuration?
I have a Sage SP 589-5 and a 5-piece Winston LT 8'3" 4 wt. I just spent about 10 minutes casting them side-by-side on the lawn. Some observations...

Cosmetics: Ferrules--SP has tip-over-butt, LT has spigot. Grip--SP's is thinner and to me more comfortable. Overall Build Quality--Winston.

Action: It's hard to compare different weights and lengths, but to me the SP flexed deeper and felt a bit smoother. The LT cast more off the tip and felt crisper. I quickly forgot about it after a few casts, but initially both seemed a bit heavy compared to more modern rods--not surprising given their vintage plus the weight of the extra ferrule.

Other Considerations: Someone had recently posted that Sage can no longer repair the SPs--maybe not an issue if you get one with the extra tip, but a consideration. I'm not completely sure, but I believe Winston was still offering the LT as an off the menu item as recently as a year or two ago and so it's possible they'd still be in position to make repairs. But obviously call to verify.
 

osseous

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I fish the Winston's still- and find them very capable and crisp, actually. I loaned the 4wt to a friend this spring and he absolutely loved it. There was a trend for a while to keep a ferrule from the center of the rod to enhance feel- hence the 3 and 5 piece rods of the era... from many makers.

I haven't fished my 890 SP+ in a long time- not since the faster blue (rplxi?) came along- but I always favored the Mastery Bonefish in those days. The SP+ was a nice presentation rod in the Bahamas- it wasn't overly stiff in my recollection- delivered the fly with a little slower line speed- so a stiff wind would render it somewhat overwhelmed. Sage added a stout lower section to the ensuing series and haven't looked back- The SP+ is my bass rod now, which I have not chased in many many years- since leaving SoFla for the Rockies. It would be an excellent Carp rod, now that I think about it...Hmmmm

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sweetandsalt

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I get that and fish mostly 4-pc. rods including for travel. I do have a wheeled duffle that they will fit in but usually I carry them in a carry on multi-rod tube. It's OK with my wife though as her's are in there too.
 

WNCtroutstalker

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but for flying and backpacking, I like the ease of the five piece. Much easier to fit into luggage without the wife noticing. :)
If you're open to different brands/models, and in the case of the 3 wt a shorter rod, you might check out the Douglas Upstream and the Redington Classic Trout in their 6 pc models. I cast the Upstream 7'6" 3 wt at show a few years back and thought it was a nice rod.
 

akfred

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A few multi piece options that have yet to be mentioned are Sage SLT 5- piece that was in several weights. This series superseded the SP and was a very fishable moderate action option. However, they did not come with an extra tip. Another overlooked 5-piece series was the St. Croix legend elite. They feel slightly heavy compared to current 4-piece rods but were very nice casting and fishing rods.
A current multi piece option is the Hardy Demon Smuggler a 6-piece series of light weight lively very fishable Rods.
 

spt2

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I had a 8'3" 3wt LT, I really like casting that rod, but for actual fishing it really wasn't for me, although to be fair I never tried a double-taper line on it, only a WF line. I wanted to like the LT, being a traditional softer rod, but my 486-4 ZXL (I think similar to the SP) just fished better and was more versatile. Also, the LT was beautiful and I was loathe to damage it, where as I never seemed to be afraid of getting good honest wear on my Sages. Ultimately I sold my LT. Funny side note: my friend, who is really a Sage fan-boy and a better caster than me, I set him up with my LT and it was a riot watching him, he couldn't cast that rod to save his life!
 
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