How To Select A Rod
Sage believes that selecting the correct fly rod is the first step in having a satisfying fly fishing experience. They manufacture nine different series of rods, in a variety of rod models and sizes, for every fishing situation around the world. Here is a quick three-step procedure to help you determine which Sage rod is right for your fishing situation or casting preference.
STEP 1 To select the ideal line weight, determine the species you will be pursuing and the size and type of flies you will be using. Generally, the lighter line weights are for smaller flies and fish; the heavier line weights are for larger flies and fish.
At Sage, you can determine the rod model by using this handy decoder.
- A. The "9" means that this rod will use a 9-weight fly line
- B. The "90" means that the length of this rod is 9 feet, 0 inches
- C. The "-4" means that this rod comes in 4 pieces so you can pack it small to use for travel (if a rod model does not have a "-3, -4 or -5" suffix, that simply means that the rod comes in a 2-piece configuration)
- D. The "TCX" is the rod family it belongs to.
STEP 2Determine the type of rod action you prefer. Sage offers medium to ultra-fast action rods to suit many types of anglers.
STEP 3The proper rod length is determined by the type and size of water you will be fishing. Generally, shorter rods are used on smaller spring creeks and streams. Longer rods are used on larger rivers, lakes and in saltwater locations.
Here is a simple 5-step guide to assist you with the basics in fly casting. Use this mnemonic device to help you remember these important steps:
So Simple So Please Practice
Straight Line Relationship
Tracking the hand, wrist, forearm & shoulder in a straight line. Rod tip should travel in a straight line and in a single plane.
Stroke length changes with the length of line being casted. The longer the cast, the longer the casting stroke.
Slack Line Kept to a Minimum
Maintain a tight or taunt line during the cast. A tight line means the fly moves when the tip moves. Keep rod tip down to start the cast.
The smooth acceleration and stop of the rod provides energy to the cast. The amount of power is important: more power for long casts, wind, big flies; less power for more calm, lighter, shorter scenarios.
Allow the line to straighten before beginning the forward or backcast. Pause changes with the length of line. A longer pause is used for longer casts. Just watch the line to understand timing.
1. Wind Knot Cast
By applying the power early in the forward or backward cast, you're sure to put several wind knots in your leader.
1. Wind Knot Cast
2. Lose Your Hat Cast
By not waiting for your backcast to straighten out, you're sure to take your hat off a few times (or perform self-ear piercing).
3. Buck-Fifty Cast
By overloading your rod, you're sure to snap off $1.50 flies time after time (this can get expensive).
Fly Fishing Lingo
When a rod loads, it is capturing the energy of the casting stroke. When the rod unloads, it imparts this energy to the fly line resulting in the cast. It sounds really scientific, but it's actually very simple. Every rod is designed to load and unload at a particular place on the rod, depending on whether it's a faster or slower action rod. Since different rods have different actions, anglers need to adjust their casting stroke and application of power to maximize a rod's performance.
Tip casting means you back off the power of the rod and utilize the rod's tip to perform the cast. This generally requires a very fast-action rod, such as Sage's One Rod Series, and a crisp, compact casting stroke.
Line speed is the key to casting performance. Line speed enables the angler to achieve superior distance, control and accuracy. High line speed also creates tight loops, which helps drive a fly through the wind. It is achieved through the loading and unloading of a fly rod. Sage pioneered the development of high line speed fly rods with the RP rods in the mid 80s and we recommend the One Rod as our premier high line speed rod.