This second-hand fly rod casts like a dream
When a fishing buddy of mine offered to sell me a graphite Sage rod for a hundred bucks, I snapped at the chance without a second thought, like a brook trout sucking in a yellow humpy on a mountain stream.
I didn’t ask anything more about the rod, though he assured me its casting action was sweet. I simply figured if it was a Sage, it was expensive and I was getting a deal.
In truth, I’d never put much stock in ultra-pricey rods. I started as a teenager with a cheap fiberglass number that my dad picked out for me at an old-fashioned sporting goods store in downtown Glenwood Springs, back when downtown Glenwood boasted such establishments. It was an 8-weight rod – technically far too heavy for its intended use, but perfectly serviceable. I caught my first of many trout on the Roaring Fork River with it and continued to use that rod well into adulthood.
I eventually switched to other, hand-me-down rods before buying a moderately priced St. Croix that has served me well in recent years.
After a day fishing the Arkansas River with my friend, we set a date to meet on the Fryingpan River a few days later, and I headed home with my new purchase, intending to try it out on my home waters.
I have to admit, it’s a dream. I wouldn’t have thought it would have made a noticeable difference in my casting, but it has. I’ve been unfurling backhand casts, in particular, with ease and accuracy.
I’m guessing my friend was kicking himself in the seat of his waders when we converged on the Pan. He sold the rod to me in the first place because someone else had offered him a deal on a new Orvis Zero Gravity rod. He’d been having trouble with the rod, though – it kept coming apart at one of the ferrules (where two pieces of the rod come together) – and on the Pan, it actually broke, leaving him rodless.
I offered to loan him the Sage and my spot on the water, figuring I’d zip home and grab the trusty St. Croix, but he declined, packed the busted Orvis in his car and drove back to Buena Vista.
He missed a memorable day on the Pan.
The Sage graphite II 590 DS (a two-piece, 5-weight, 9-foot rod) is an older model and no longer sold, but a helpful clerk at Aspen Sports estimated its retail price when it was new at $300 to $350. The least expensive, new Sage rods at the shop were priced at $170 and $225.
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