Apr 11

Rent the Rod?

This business appears not to be in operation anymore. I can understand why. Decent idea on paper, but I’d think it would be hard to make it work.


I saw a little link on The Trout Underground to a new business that is renting rods and reels.  This is one of those things that is hard to see how it plays out.  It could be that someone rents an Xi3 and takes a trip to Belize and realizes that he/she needs to do this every year and they go back and buy that rod.  It could be that the angler who has a once in a lifetime trip to the Bahamas rents that Xi3 and never fishes the salt again.  Does the “industry” come out ahead or does it lose out?  I don’t know.  My crystal ball is in the shop at the moment… can’t wait to get that thing back!

You can rent a Sage 6000 series reel for $15.  That reel is normally $600-$700.  That sounds really reasonable as the rental is for a week.

You can rent a Sage Xi3 for $100 for a week.  The rod normally $725 (for the 8 weight).  That sounds a bit high, really.

Xi3 – a great stick.

In saltwater the rod is kind of important, but the reel… that’s where your trip falls apart really, really fast if things go wrong and there are way more things that can go wrong with a reel than there are with the rod (me thinks).  Am I off base on this?

For the consumer, it offers you another choice… you can rent a rig for a week and see how you like it (so long as that rig is either a Sage or TFO rod and one of two Sage model reels).  You could take that trip without dropping $1,400 for the reel and the rod… what you’d pay for that Sage rod/reel combo.

If it means fewer sales at your local fly shop… well… that’s bad.  Enough fly shops are shutting their doors these days.  Each local fly shop is a gem and each time one closes, we are poorer for it, as anglers.

Nov 10

Dark Blue Beauties

The Fed Ex guy kept it late, which made it interesting.  In the end, he made it here about 6:45 PM.  Sure, I don’t leave for Belize for another 6 days, but I really wanted the weekend to do a little casting and it looks like that is going to happen.  The box that arrived this evening was from Bainbridge Island, WA and if you are a fly fisherman that means Sage.  Two brand new Xi3‘s were in the box, a 7 and a 10.  I was a little surprised that the rods were brand new.  These are loaners, after all… I have to send the things back after the trip, so I figured I’d get a rod that had been loaned in the past.  Not so… these were spanking new with that new-rod smell… well… there really wasn’t a smell, but ya know what I mean.

Two beautiful sage sticks

In other news, I’ll actually be bringing along a third rod to demo… this rod will be the Orvis Helios in an 8 weight.  I just did an interview with Steve Hemkens at Orvis for the Blog and he offered to loan me some gear.  Having the 7 and 10 slots filled, I figured it would be better to go with an 8, instead of putting the Helios and Xi3 into some contrived duel.  I am looking forward to doing some test driving in the coming days and putting them through the paces in Belize.

I’m just about done tying flies for the trip… I added another 8 or so flies today to the two crammed bonefish/permit boxes and am at about 148 flies now.  My guess would be I’d use 10.  So… over provisioned a tad, both on the fly front and probably on rods.  Both are good problems to have.

Oct 10

Some Sage Sticks for Belize

When I go to Belize in November I’ll be bringing a couple of loaner rods along.  I’m going to be sporting a rod that has been talked about more than any other in the interviews I’ve done… the Sage Xi3.  I’ll be sporting a 7 and a 10, courtesy of Sage.  I have to send them back when I return, but I figure I’ll get around that by just never coming back.

My first rod was a 4  piece pack rod from South Bend… fiberglass, I believe, and very old (I found it in my parent’s garage).  I used that for a year and a half or so before I got my first “modern” rod… a Sage RPL+ 9′ 5 wt… a great nymphing stick for the cold waters coming off of the sides of Mount Shasta in Northern California.

Later, I was given a 7 wt. GFL by a guiding client.  When that snapped at the cork (it had been around the block a few hundred times) Sage offered me to upgrade for a fee to a 7 wt. RPL.  So, I’ve owned three different Sage Rods over the years, currently two out of the 12 rods I have are Sage.

I’m looking forward to getting these rods out on the grass of the school down the street before I take them out to the turtle grass in Belize.

Check out this extensive review of the Sage Xi3 I found on SurfTalk/Stripers On-Line.

The Sage Xi3 7 wt. is the rod of choice of Lori-Ann Murphy, Director of Fishing at El Pescador.  So… I’ll be in good company throwing that bit of Sage graphite.

One of these sticks will run you just about $700 bones dollars over at The Fly Shop.