View Full Version : Sage vs. Orvis rods?
01-29-01, 04:43 PM
Hello all. I read this board pretty often, but haven't posted many times (and certainly not for a while).
I'm in the hunt for a new 5-weight rod for all-around use. I already own a 3-weight Orvis Silver label and like it a lot. On this board, I see Sage rods mentioned a great deal, and Orvis mentioned very little.
So, my question is why? Are Sage rods (and products in general) that much better? I can probably only afford a VPS rod at this point; its either that or an Orvis Silver Label.
Thanks for any advice/help!
01-29-01, 05:02 PM
go to fishhawk and throw both of them and see what you like the most. also, for the money dave edens blue ridge rods are hard to beat in your price range, also st. croix. heck there are alot of great rods in your price range. throw a bunch and get the one you like.
I agree with Slick, go to the Hawk or Unicoi Outfitters, or any good shop that sells a variety of rods. Pick out the ones in your price range and try them. You may be surprised which one you like best. I have Sage, Orvis, and rods I built on David Edens blanks. I like them all, for different reasons, but like the one I built best all round and I have less than half of what each of the others costs in the Blue Ridge Rod.
I understand what you mean, but you have either got to decide that you can make this decision yourself or you you are going to take some kind of poll among others. Orvis is an outstanding company that excellent products and provides customer service that is second to none. A few years ago people believed they fell behind on rod technology and design and they got somewhat of a bad rap. If you have enough experience casting, I highly recommned you try several rods from both companies and decide for yourself. Both are excellent companies that make great rods in a variety of actions- fast, moderate, slow, etc. I also suggest you be careful about the advice you receive even from fly shops that carry both brands. Even "independent" fly shops may have an incentive to steer you to a particular brand of rod. Good luck
It's all meaningless marketing mumbo-jumbo. Nearly any rod made will work pretty well in the hands of a good caster. That is what is truly important: casting proficiency. Lessons are a great investment and will improve your casting more than anything from what I have heard. I taught myself to cast, ensuring that I had an idiot as both a student and a teacher, and picked up several bad habits along the way that I've never shaken. In the past I have bought progressively more expensive and technologically advanced rods in the hopes of adding 10 feet to my cast, and I've ALWAYS been disappointed. Not that that's kept me from buying every exorbitantly priced, frivolous, purported innovation that Sage throws at me. I'm an American, after all...
To make a few gross generalizations....
Slower action rods such as the Orvis Superfine or Silver Label series are great first rods because they allow the angler to feel the timing of the cast much better. These rods are good for slower casters like myself and they seem to be a little more accurate than fast taper rods. They are probably the preferred rod for small to medium stream fishing with dries and smaller nymphs.
Fast taper rods (Sage, G Loomis, and most of the current crop of high-end rods) are better for experienced casters fishing in specific circumstances where power and line speed is needed. Examples would include fishing big dries and streamers on windy trout streams in the west, big eastern rivers like the Chattahoochee, and saltwater angling. There has been a lot of hype in this area and the pendulum has shifted towards here in terms of R&D, but I would guess that it will shift back as people realize the limitations of fast taper rods in terms of delicacy and presentation.
I have loved nearly every rod I have ever cast, and they all have their place. The fly shops have an easy job because EVERY new fly rod feels different and wonderful the first time you cast it.
01-29-01, 07:54 PM
I know from educated sources, that in the past the Orvis superfine and the clearwaters are built on the same blank. If you want to save a little i would go with a 5wgt Clearwater in your chosen length. I have a 7'9" that I love even after casting other more expensive rods. Also check out david Edens at www.blue-ridge-rods.com, (http://www.blue-ridge-rods.com,) his blue ridge blanks are nice, but the accelarator is awesome.
Just the poor boy's .02
[This message has been edited by FLYSLINGER (edited 01-29-2001).]
01-29-01, 07:55 PM
Thanks for the replies. So it seems that there is not some bias against Orvis rods from the fishermen on this board. That's good. I'll definately go try out several rods.
Incidentally, I've been fly-fishing for about eight years. I've had one rod for most of this time: a Courtland GRF-1000! It has served me well from Montana to North Georgia. At this point I want to have two rods at the 5wt level so I can switch from Nymph to Dry or whatever relatively quickly. Not to mention that the reel seat fell off of my Courtland, and I had to glue it back on recently!
you're a lazy ^&%^%&^()(*! I'll take that courtland off your hands when you "upgrade".
01-30-01, 09:11 AM
I'll trade the rod for your now defunct television.
01-30-01, 09:16 AM
I may be a little late on my reply but here is my $.02.
First, the advice about going to a fly shop and casting any rod that you are going to think about buying is sound advice. You would never buy a car without test driving it and it is the same with a rod.
Second, I have both an Orvis Silver Label 7'9" 5wt and a Sage DS2 9' 5wt. Together they are the perfect combination. I use the Orvis rod in the mountain streams and the Sage for the Hooch. In general, I would say that they are both great rods but the Sage rod is a little closer to what I want in an all around rod. It gives me the ability to cast 60' of line into the wind but can also present a delicate dry if necessary. I have also used my father's St. Croix Imperial rod a couple of times. It is pretty nice but I personally don't think it casts as smoothly as my Orvis or Sage rods. But for the price it is a sweet rod.
I hope I wasn't babbling too much and that you can take some advice from this post. The important part is that you try the rod before you drop your had earned cash. Good luck.
01-30-01, 09:45 AM
St. Croix -
If you break it, they will fix or replace it......forever and ever.
Try casting an Avid. I just wish they put wood inserts in them....but I'm getting used to the carbon-fiber look. ( woven graphite)
My two St. Croix's keep me from fishing my Orvis's. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
If you want a Sage, and dont want to spend mega $$ find out from them directly or thru a shop of when the new models are coming out. Then they will discount the old models or discontinued models. That is how I picked up my 4wt SP for relatively cheap. And even though it is discoutinued, they have replaced it on several occassions.
Look at the used rack at the fishhawk too. Find some nice rods...cheap
I've heard on good athority that the Sages have a problem with breakage. I've never owned one, that is just what I've heard. They do cast nice though. I have an Orvis Clearwater and have had no problems with it.
Kid tested, mother approved!
The rumors of breakage I have heard concern G Loomis rods. I have a friend who has splintered several on saltwater fish. Evidently, their advanced technology and thinner blanks make for a more brittle rod. The warranty on the rods is a little fuzzy, too...I'm not sure if it covers accidental breakage or not. I do know that Loomis was an outspoken critic of the lifetime guarantees (which Orvis was the first to offer and other manufacturers soon co-opted).
I have fished with many different Sage rods over the years, have generally mistreated them and used them to catch fish they weren't designed for, and never had a rod break. The lifetime guarantee on the rod doesn't hurt, either....
I (like Bill Bell) have never heard about Sage breakage problem. And have used numerous ones extensively & never had a problem that was their fault. And have found their service to be excellent.
Have heard of a Loomis problem occassionally on the IMX - some say that's reason it dropped (it sure was a sweet caster). BTW, Loomis warranty is materials & workmanship only - not replacement. Though they will replace/repair for very reasonable sum ($45, I think, but don't quote me).
And there was definitely a prob with old Orvis PM_10 (early Trident types). But replacement policy was excellent there too: and rod has been dropped/redesigned.
That 7'9" Orvis 5-weight that several have mentioned is probably one of the sweetest rods ever made. Don't think the taper has changed since the old Superfine.
Flyfishing West Georgia & Beyond (http://kje.home.mindspring.com)
I think all rods will break. Heck, even if you fish correctly and consistently and with passion you will be bound to snap a rod. Heck, hopping boulders on the W. Prong of the Pidgeon River is just asking to snap a rod..
Personally I have broken both of my sages on several occassions and I never really contributed to lack of mfg prowness, I more contribute it to extreme cold weather and a frozen rod, a stupid move of my brother concerning a certain closure of a trunk, a slip on a rock and rod between me and a hard place, and plain stupidity on the side of the rod holder and not the rod maker.
I would say though, if you spend that much on a rod, you darn well better have some guarantee or a way to replace it when it breaks. And believe me, you will break your rod and your heart breaks a little that day too.
The Ole Man
01-30-01, 10:25 PM
I broke the tip on my 3 piece Sage Light Line rod a few weeks back. I built this rod from a Sage blank. Bought the OEM factory component kit and blank for a song ($175) when the LL's were discontinued. I did not get a warranty card with the kit and never registered the rod/blank with Sage. I sent the rod to Sage and they matched a new ready to wrap tip section to it and returned it to me in less than a week-total charge $20-including the shipping which cost them $7.50. Great service! Also have a Sage SP, a RPL and a RPL+. No breakage problems that weren't my own fault. Still chuckle over Lefty Kreh breaking a rod just stringing it up in front of about a hundred people at the SW Expo 3 years ago. He pulled the tip over to run the line thru the guide and just snapped it off. Hint: never put a rod tip section into a rod bag tip-first. Always put the tip section into the sock ferrule-end first. The delicate tip end can catch on a guide in the rod section next to it in the bag (in separate compartments) and when you push down-you've snapped a tip. That's how I broke mine.
01-31-01, 06:19 PM
I have 2 Orvis rods a Trident TL and a clear water version. I bought a new sage xp,, and I must say I think the sage rod is far and away a better rod. This is just my opinion of course. I did break my Orvis Trident TL and they fixed it free of charge. Its hard to beat Orvis's warranty.
At the fishhawk today and they have a Scott 8 ft 4 wt ( and man does it cast sweet) for sale around 120 ( if I remember correctly) in the used rod rack. Check it out.
I bought an 8' 4 wt. Scott last year and you're right - it is sweet.
I also test casted a Thomas and Thomas 9ft 5 wt.....dude, talking about sweet.(talking about my girlfriend killing me if I bought it....ah temptation how you tease me)
02-01-01, 02:24 PM
Thanks Jeff. I think an 8' 4wt is a little too close to my 71/2' 3wt. I need something I can fish the Big Horn with on my trip in August http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif.
I have been looking on ebay, and there are a good many rods out there, though.
Bighorn though can be fished with a smaller rod. It will depend though on if you are fishing BWO's or are you going under the surface with streamers.
I am hoping you are fishing mostly if not all dries!! Awesome place to do it.
Enjoy the scenery out there. It's wierdly beautiful..
OH...still check out their used racks, couple bigger rods sitting down there other than the 4wt.
Funny memories of my first trip out west....
I have always been an ultralight freak.
When I was growing up in Florida, my trout fishing consisted of the small streams in North Carolina where we would vacation every year. I used a floppy fiberglass nine weight that a neighbor had given me and I used that to derrick trout out of their pools in the early days. From the day I first saw it, though, I had my heart set on the old Orvis 7'9" Superfine for 2 weight line, at the time the smallest rod made. I must have flipped 10,000 burgers and emptied I don't know how many grease traps before I scraped up the $280 and sent it off. I can't remember ever being any more excited than I was when that tube came in the mail.
Unfortunately, it was not the best choice as an all-around rod, which I learned that summer when I took off for a shoestring trip to Yellowstone and Utah. I spent a month hurling #12 Whit's Hoppers, flavs, Gray Drake spinners, Chernobyl Ants and every other sort of western monstrosity in that famous western wind....
Now I use a 4-weight for big rivers, western rivers, and river bass and it works like a charm. I think the old 9 foot 4 weight Sage LL must be the most versatile rod ever made...you can find them used occasionally for pretty cheap...
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