Monday, May 30, 2016

Sage Mod

I recently finished this gorgeous Sage rod, their latest offering called the Mod. First thing that striked me about this rod was the color, of course. The next thing was how light this thing felt for a nine foot four weight rod. 

Sage created a unique rod that is very different to what they had in their line before. The blank itself has a very interesting combination of a parabolic-progressive taper design that bends somewhat like the older rods but will most likely outperform any of them. This thing is a highly effective rod not only for technical dry fly fishing but also for euro-nymphing, as I've been able to find out this spring on my local river. It is deadly accurate with long leader single or double nymph french style rigs and due to the taper design, casting a long leader has never been easier. 

I could do it all well with this Mod 490-4 myself because it feels so light in the hand, but for me and the conditions here a 390-4 (or even 290-4) will probably be the perfect dry-nymph rod. For the relaxed casting guy this rod might probably shine, not only because it's a looker but because it does so well for what it was indended. Close-in to medium distances, and like any Sage rod, will cast far if you need it to.

The build is my classic grade. A striking combination of bright silver hardware with a rare piece of amboyna wood (two toned). The classic Universal snake guides and Mildrum type stripping guide are a perfect match and they are wrapped in a classy gold silk with dark red signature wraps. The handle is made of premium cork in a comfortable, reversed half wells shape. I didn't want to do a green to green color scheme and I think it came out pretty great.

This rod might become available but I'll let you know about that later. Meanwhile thanks for looking and I hope you'll enjoy the pictures.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sage ESN

While I'm not totally a fan of all the new Sage offerings in the new tech they have currently, this one along with a few other blank models (Circa 389, 589) are seriously changing the game in the light trout category. The ESN 2100-4 is an amazing rod not only for short line nymphing or small water, but also for big river dry fly fishing or even light streamer fishing. While the tip section might seem very soft or Winston-ish like, the rod's action is quite sweet and well balanced overall for river fishing conditions. I would not call it a medium action rod in any case. The ESN has a ton of power down low with a very light, lively tip, all in a very slim diameter construction. For casting, the rod works really well overlined with a Rio Gold wf3-4 and you can really feel the power on those longer casts. For those who like to have the advantages and versatility of a longer, lighter rod for river fishing conditions, this might be the one.

And because I really like to build exquisite rods from only the finest blanks out there, this rod deserved the best of everything.

The rod was elegantly appointed with a slightly longer, thinner snub-nose style handle that is very comfortable. The nickel silver contrasts of the exceptional Bellinger reel seat with beautiful knurling, the gorgeous and timeless amboyna stabilized wood insert (turned in house) make for a perfect match for the dark olive-green color of this blank. Snake Brand Universal guides with Struble light amber agate wrapped in fine silk were complemented with a well polished and reduced in size nickel silver Goldenwitch winding check and a strap-and-ring hook keeper. To really complete the setup, a finely handcrafted leather rod case was added (heirloom grade).

This is my finest example of how a big name blank can be built to perfection, to withstand the test of time and hard fishing days, yet still be an elegant fishing tool. Thanks for looking!