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akruss 05-23-2014 08:26 PM

12 Weight Fly Rod Questons
I have 7, 8 and 10 weight Sage RPL fly rods that I like but am considering getting a 12 weight rod exclusively for tarpon. What are the differences between the Sage One and Xi3 rods? Since they're both expensive rods and I only get a chance to go for tarpon one or two days of the year, I'm thinking of getting a used rod or looking for a less expensive model. I like a fast action and, of course, light weight. I fish for tarpon with a guide from a flats boat most likely in the Homosassa or Captiva areas.

guest59 05-23-2014 08:36 PM

Re: 12 Weight Fly Rod Questons
While I cant comment on the sage rods in question I will offer another angle on the topic. Tarpon are wicked, mean, viscous fishes :) Those Homosassa fish are among the largest in Florida. If I had the budget, I would get two rods. I would feel a lot more comfortable casting to a 175# Homosassa beast if I had a back up rod in the boat. There are quite a few very competent rods in the price range where two would equal the price of one Xi3. Big fish break rods....

Just a thought

wjc 05-30-2014 12:14 PM

Re: 12 Weight Fly Rod Questons
Flygrain has a good point.

I was hunting for a TFO bluewater 12 wt just two days ago (none in stock locally) due to the breakage of two rods tarpon fishing so far this season. One was a brand new xi3 12 wt that had caught only 3 or 4 tarpon. A friend broke it hitting the tip with a fly - the second rod he's broken in as many trips.

The other was an xi3 demo 11 wt. that snapped the butt section just below the ferrule. I broke that one trying to lift a very large cow that I wanted to release as soon as possible. I'd only caught one tarpon on that rod before that, and it broke way too easily in my view (and a good reason for me to use 12's rather than 11's). :D

I will be casting a One against a proaxis 12 for my next buddy coming down. He didn't want to use my old RPLX 12 wt as it is very heavy with it's custom foregrip, handle and fighting butt for him. I like it better than any of the newer rods and it does indeed have trememdous lifting power.

So I will be able to give you a report on the castablilty of the One in a couple days as opposed to my recollection of the xi3 12 wt. I really did not cast it all that much but preferred an 11 wt line on it to a Rio 12 wt tarpon taper which I use on the RPLX.

I will still be picking up a TFO bluewater 12 before the next season as the have a good rep for lifting power and castability. That will be the rod my buddies use who are all trout fishermen from up north.

I don't know Sage's policy regarding frequent returns, but this latest 12 wt is the fourth broken by friends in 5 years - including the RPLX broken by a hatch cover a couple years ago.

The bluewater will be a good guest rod.

allenflyfishing 05-30-2014 01:10 PM

Re: 12 Weight Fly Rod Questons
We used the Redington Predator 12 and 14wts in Mexico last week. Worked for us like a champ.

ditz 05-31-2014 08:46 AM

Re: 12 Weight Fly Rod Questons
after reading WJC's problems it sounds like a good glass rod would be the best choice for Tarpon.

labradorguy 05-31-2014 09:02 AM

Re: 12 Weight Fly Rod Questons
My NRX 12wt has been bent at some absolutely ridiculous angles by some really nice fish, but it came through every single time just like a champ. It was bent over almost double one time when a bad channel current moved the boat unexpectedly in the middle of a close to the boat fight. No problem. Loomis makes tough rods.

Glass flats rod? Not this guy.

akruss 05-31-2014 10:27 AM

Re: 12 Weight Fly Rod Questons
Thanks for all the comments. I broke my guide's 12 weight (can't remember what brand) on my first tarpon. It broke just above the reel seat. I handed the reel to the guide and kept the rod for another 15 minutes of fight. What fun.

I'm going out Monday at Homosassa with a guide and will be using his rod. I'll bring my RPLX 10 weight in case we see some smaller fish. I've tied up a few flies the guide suggested. I really want a 12 weight to practice casting the thing before trips. After handling a 4 or 6 weight, a 12 weight feels like a telephone pole. I'll let you know how I do.

wjc 05-31-2014 12:03 PM

Re: 12 Weight Fly Rod Questons
Well, I cast the One 12 wt against the Hardy Pro-Axis Sintrex 12 wt and much preferred the One's action as it had more mid-rod casting power than the Sintrex in my view. I'd have used the latter with an 11 wt line rather than a Rio tarpon 12.

I cannot remember how the xi3 12 wt casts other than I preferred the ancient RPLX 12 to it for casting power when spooled with the above compound taper 12 wt Rio tarpon line on it. The One did seem to be an improvement over the xi3. I would have to cast them one after the other to really see the difference.

I have an RPLX in a 9 wt that is useless in comparison to the 12 for my taste - way too soft throughout. So you can't really judge a rod by series as each wt may cast differently in the same series.

I can pick up a new xi3 for $425 and have put one on hold until Tuesday. I did find an RPLX in (described) pristine shape for $325 and will have to make that decision before Tuesday.

Ditz, I really have broken very few rods despite fishing them hard. The demo 11 wt I broke was not in pristine shape and I had half-expected the tip to break due to an existing fly collision that left a ding in it - and I got it very cheap. I was surprised when it snapped where and how it did.

The old one has brought dozens boatside in the last 20 years without a problem until the tip got snapped off by a hatch cover by one of my buddies. But Sage did fix it despite its age.

I heard so much about the new short-headed tarpon line that I wanted to try one out, but the local shop quit carrying them. I prefer long heads, but the shorter ones may be easier and quicker to get out for those used to the generally more relaxed freshwater fishing styles.

PS: Labrador, I get a good discount on Loomis but only on rods up to a 9 wt. They don't offer it above that. Like someone said, if you are after fish requiring a 12, chances are a lot of things can go wrong.

Akruss, sounds like you got into a good tarpon fight. :D

labradorguy 05-31-2014 02:29 PM

Re: 12 Weight Fly Rod Questons

Originally Posted by wjc (Post 672173)
Labrador, I get a good discount on Loomis but only on rods up to a 9 wt. They don't offer it above that. Like someone said, if you are after fish requiring a 12, chances are a lot of things can go wrong.

Someone else told me that too. I wonder what their logic is? They used to hand out bass rods like crazy. I guess that was back when they were trying to increase market share. There's not a lot of 12wts sold in N. America when compared to 5wts. Not enough potential market to justify it??

The long heads have caught a lot of fish....

wjc 05-31-2014 05:05 PM

Re: 12 Weight Fly Rod Questons

The long heads have caught a lot of fish....
They have worked fine for me so far. I've not had a whole lot of luck casting to close fish from a boat in the salt anyway.

Well, I just came in from playing with Al's "One" in 8-12 mph breeze and can say that for me, strictly from a casting viewpoint, it is nowhere near the leap forward that the TCX was (again, for me) which has been far and away the best casting saltwater rod I've ever cast by a long shot - in 7 and 8 weights. But tarpon rods really need to be fish fight rods more than casting rods.

One thing I did notice is that, with an older line on, I really get bad haul jam on the forward cast and need to rotate the rod sections 45 degrees away from the reel plane or else I cannot use an effective double haul into the wind. It made a difference while test casting with a new line as well.

That isn't unusual, but it is markedly more pronounced than with my old rod. The guides are slightly smaller too, and the stripping guide is closer to the handle which contributes to it I believe. If a long stroke and a "thrust" is used, it's not so bad but that is harder on the shoulder and the hand path has to be altered.

It's actual total weight on my grain scales is 5.1 oz compared to the 8.7 oz of my much "customized" old rod. With a loaded Tibor Gulfstream at 16.1 oz on both, the "One" rig weighs 85% what the old rig weighs. With the Nautilus on both, the percentage weight savings would be greater.

So that's the skinny from my casting perspective on the "One". Having not got into a fish fight with it, I can't comment on that, and won't be able to since Al will be using it.

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