Reel Seat: Bronze aluminum/Walnut insert. This is a rod that performs extremely well at all distances, but is especially good in close, and in that 25-45 foot range that we are fishing so often. Just take a photo of the sections, showing the broken section (s) and Douglas will ship you a replacement section within a week. Material: Graphite. Yes, the very best craftsmanship is still found in rods built here in the US, but the best Korean built rods now rival what is produced here in the US. For example, the 9-foot 6-inch 6 weight XP is frequently sought after in forums and on eBay, and for me, the 9-foot 4 and 5 weight SLT rods were my favorite Sage trout rods of all time. The Flight, and the FLi before it, was one of Sage's best selling rods and I was eager to cast it. Very impressed with the new Sage X Fly Rod. I’m getting nicely formed loops and pretty good accuracy that is not far off the better rods. A brown composite wood insert is used that complements the guide wrap color. The SKY G was far better in both feel and accuracy. Douglas – Lifetime warranty for original owner only. Another reason you’ll appreciate superior performance at long range is when you need to chuck a wind resistant steamer, like a wooly bugger. The most expensive power rod, the G. Loomis Asquith is $1100.00 but it did clobber the other Power Rods in the Performance Only class. Although there wasn't a very noticeable load while casting, a stiff butt section helped with some added muscle. If more than one section is broken, the fee is $35 extra per section. That said, the rod is incredibly functional. Rods with heavier swing weights and those with stiffer tips don’t fare nearly as well. Sage Graphite III 690-3 LL Fly Fishing Rod. Rods are replaced not repaired. The swing weight is the relationship of the club head weight to the shaft when you waggle the club in your hands. Casting accuracy is one of the biggest factors we use in rating these rods, and at short distances accuracy and feel are critical components in obtaining the top scores. The Presentation Rods are going to be used at shorter distances most of the time – roughly 25 feet to 45 feet, so the scores at 70 feet are not nearly as important as they are with the Power Rods. Just keep in mind that we have found that all these measurements must be made the same day with the same room temperature. Following the success of our 8-weight reel challenge, we wanted to take on a different aspect of the industry – this time one that has had a lot written about it – fly rods. The Sage ONEis the other 5-weight that everyone was talking about in 2012. 5-weight fly rods have become the single quiver rod for many freshwater anglers. The Sage Mod Fly Rod Series is built specifically for distances and situations most likely a trout fisherman would find themselves in. Sage introduced their new Trout LL, which won the award for the best Freshwater Fly rod at the 2019 ICAST show. Beulah has given us a lovely new rod that is incredibly light – the lightest rod in this Shootout in overall weight combined with a very light swing weight. For these more powerful 5-weights, we tested them with the half size heavier Scientific Anglers Amplitude MPX lines, which are better at loading these stiffer rods. The Fenwick Aetos is still the best inexpensive rod at $199.95. On my own 5-weight rods, I’m normally using a 12-foot leader, with tippets from 4x to 6x, fishing dry flies. I’ve been in the fly-fishing business now for over fifty years, as a guide, fly shop manager and finally owner. On nice days when had little wind, we did the casting outside on our lawn here at the shop. To get a 10, repair charges had to be $35 or less with a quick turn around time of less than two weeks. Shipping is from their US warehouse, usually takes 2 weeks. As in our past Shootouts, it is crucial to make an effort to eliminate any variables that will have an effect on the scores at the different distances. The best rods in this category are almost always the lightest in swing weight, since you are doing a lot of false casting while fishing dry flies. Alignment dots are helpful and T&T puts the serial number on each section, which helps you to keep from mixing sections if you have multiple T&T rods of different weights. The best Presentation Rods as well as the best power rods need to score 19.5 points or better here to be in contention for top honors. $60 handling fee. Fly selection is far less important. We have found that the only way to fairly compare rod performance under identical conditions is when there is little or no wind – either by casting indoors, or outdoors when the wind was negligible. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Designed with the analysis methods we developed for G5 Technology. The initial success of the Graphite II Technology and the RP and LL didn’t stall the innovation. This year we were forced to delay our 5-weight Shootout until September/October in order to get in all the newly released rods from the manufacturers. He and Chloe are also responsible for many of the great photographs you’ll find in our Shootouts. ? Then we move on to another distance and compare the same rods. This makes the blank much stronger under “lifting load” with less overall material. Sage X (Best 6wt Fly Rod 2020) Action: Fast. The blank is finished in a deep ruby metallic red. The Winston Alpha + proved to be too heavy and too stiff to be a good 5-weight. There is no question that the Aetos is the best performing inexpensive rod in our whole Shootout! One thing we have tried to do with our Shootouts over the years is to cut through the massive amount of marketing BS we see coming from the manufacturers, and give you our honest opinions about their products. Otherwise, here is a guide to the categories listed in our finishing order charts, and the methodology we used to score each category. I felt that it gave me a little more feel and accuracy at 25 feet than did the LP+. Ones with a heavy swing weight feel clunky in your hand and are not going to be pleasant to cast and fish all day. Definitely one of the best Presentation Rods at long range, and even better for me than the Helios 3D! The all-new Sage Response brings Sage performance to an affordable price point. The increased dampening and recovery also result in superior accuracy, which immediately impressed me when casting and comparing the SKY G to the other top 5-weight rods. The wraps are a complementary dark green to match the blank and the epoxy coatings are very nicely done. I loved the light swing weight and the precise feel and accuracy the Sky G gave me. Of the Helios 3 rods, this 3F (F standing for finesse) has a softer tip and is more suited to accurate, delicate presentations we are looking for in the presentation rods. As a starter rod, the Aetos is hard to beat! If Orvis determines that there was a defect, the rod will be repaired or replaced at no additional charge. With rods like the new SKY G and now the Beulah Platinum G2 using this new Graphene material to give us extremely light rods, I’m confident that we’ll see more rod builders using Graphene. Here is a recap of each manufacturer’s current policy, their latest fees and what we have experienced for repair time required. The amazing new Douglas Sky G wins in both Overall and Performance Only categories! Get the best deal for SAGE 8 Line Weight Fly Fishing Rods from the largest online selection at We stand by our methodology since most anglers that take the time to give us their feedback have agreed with our opinions. The wraps are a darker red, almost black, trimmed with some bright red on the butt section. … Rather than use a fly, we use a fluorescent orange yarn indicator, trimmed so that it gives us about the same wind resistance as a medium sized dry fly. A couple months after the show, Sage was kind enough to ship me a 5-weight FOUNDATION outfit which includes a 2250 reel, RIO Gold Fly Line, backing, leader, and combo rod/reel case. This rod is midnight blue with darker blue wraps. Nothing fancy here but at least there are alignment dots on the sections. In making these deflection charts, we first put up some white butcher paper on the wall. Stiffness: We grade the rods on a scale of 1-10 for relative action (higher number = stiffer fly rod). If you like more medium action rods though, you will love the Paradigm. A gorgeous burled wood insert is used. Price is always a major factor when buying a rod, but, and as you will see in this Shootout; the best rod in both categories was not the most expensive. The new SKY G is very quick to dampen and is very sensitive. or Best Offer. The Orvis Helios 3F is another terrific rod from Orvis that we had not been able to test in our previous 5-weight Shootout. Usually takes 4-6 weeks. A cigar shaped handle is used with the swell a little more forward than most. Rods with softer tips help you reduce break-offs like these. When used for trout fishing, 5-weights are wonderful rods for fishing dry flies but are also great rods for fishing … Now, the lack of power and backbone hurts. No alignment dots are used, but Winston hand writes the serial number at the base of each section and on the butt. The G. Loomis NRX LP 9’#5 has had a stranglehold on first place in our past three 5-weight Shootouts, but now this rod is gone, replaced with the NRX+ LP, a totally new rod with new materials and a new design that has proven to be outstanding. I've always felt that for the money, Sage puts less effort into its rods than other brands in the fit and finish department. Thomas and Thomas just introduced a very light presentation rod called the Paradigm, which complements their outstanding Avantt. To make it easier to examine each rod we have used different colors with a chart below each deflection board. The lack of butt and mid-section power hurt a lot at long range. Leading Manufacturer of Fly Fishing Rods, Reels, & Accessories - Sage Fly Fish Platelets are like building blocks that are microscopic in size. A burled blackwood insert is used. Instead of a chart with all the rods, we are breaking this down into multiple charts for easier viewing. Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boots – Felt (Built By Danner), Armstrong Spring Creek on the O’Hair Ranch, Additionally, it will cost you around $15 to ship your rod in for repair or have your local dealer do it for you. Reel seats should lock up easily and hold firmly, without having any tendency to come loose. I’m impressed at how tight my loops are, giving me great accuracy. The Aetos is another good-looking rod, finished in a deep midnight blue with brown wraps that include some nice silver trim wraps on the butt section. The Power 5-weights need to have the butt and mid-section power to launch larger and more wind resistant dries like hoppers or Chubby Chernobyl style stonefly patterns. In close the slower, softer tip didn’t give me anywhere near the accuracy I was getting from the SKY G, although the presentations were delicate enough. I also like the handle design – it tapers outward, allowing you to quickly get and maintain a solid grip. It also makes delicate presentations difficult. We think that the best guides above the stripping guide are the flexible nickel/titanium single foot and snake guides, but these are much more expensive than the heaver, hard chrome versions. Watching Howard cast, the only guy I’ve seen that could match him drilling long tight loops is perhaps Steve Rajeff. Without the need for impeccable feel especially with larger flies, this Sage rod would be a good choice for streamers. Magazines, fly shops, bloggers… virtually everyone has an opinion on what, or who, makes the best 5-weight fly rod… With your new rod they include a FedEx call tag so that it does not cost you anything to return your broken rod. Our answer is almost always YES! The best thing about the Air is its appearance and craftsmanship. As you’ll see on the deflection chart, this rod bends much like the best rods, with good power in the butt and mid section but has a slightly stiffer tip than the Zephrus. This rod’s ability to track perfectly is on fire here. The epoxy job over the guide wraps was too heavy, one of the reasons we downgraded the craftsmanship slightly. Usually takes 2 weeks. We gave perfect scores of 10 to the R.L Winston rods, the Thomas and Thomas rods and the Loomis Asquith. This is a very pleasant rod for fishing dries, where you are doing a lot of false casting. 2. We don’t normally ask a 5-weight to cast 70 feet and beyond, but the best Power Rods, with an expert caster at the controls, can easily cast all the line – 90 to one 100 feet.

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