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Which Sage X rod for winter steelhead?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The boss has given the green light for me to get my own Christmas present. The problem is, although I know what I want (a Sage X winter steelhead rod for the Skagit/Sauk and a few other NW Washington and OP streams), I don't know which one.

I do know I am intrigued by the trend toward lighter and shorter rods and I have picked the Sage X as probably the most prime example of this trend and I am set on that rod series for this purchase. My issue is the X rods come in 12' and 13' lengths in both 7wt and 8wt and I am not sure which would be the best as a dedicated winter steelhead rod. I am not looking for this rod to be a major player for summer fish. I want a go-to rod that will handle winter duties and bigger, heavier flies and fish and I want it to be light, comfortable and easy to fish all day.

What say you all ... 12' or 13'? Should it be 7wt or 8wt?

I realize many answers here will say that I should cast them all (as well as other brands) and let one pick me but I really just want to buy a Sage X rod that is the best tool for the job and then learn to adapt to it. This strategy has always worked well for me so I see no reason to change now.

I also realize there may not be a great deal of experience here with the Sage X on the water so a discussion of the merits of going lighter and shorter and in that context which rod might be the best of the lot for my purposes (and to satiate my intrigue) is also welcome. Thanks!
 

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12' is more versatile, 13' if you primarily fish wider rivers would be my 0.02
 

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Boulder garden
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12'6"! If your gonna buy a sage fast action rod, I believe the x rods are over a grand! Why not go with a method 12.6 (if you can live with the chili red blank)or the deathstar 12.6. Both are great winter#7s and half the price. I'd use them in summer also. Or a z axis 12.9 #8 it's a great go to winter stick! It'll throw a chicken and it's not a broomstick. Think I saw one here for @300. Save that $ and buy a sweet reel also. Sorry to get off base good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
12'6"! If your gonna buy a sage fast action rod, I believe the x rods are over a grand! Why not go with a method 12.6 or deathstar 12.6. Both are great winter#7s and half the price. I'd use them in summer also. Or a z axis 12.9 #8 it's a great go to winter stick! It'll throw a chicken and it's not a broomstick. Think I saw one here for @300. Save that $ and buy a sweet reel also. Sorry to get off base good luck
Those rods are great but for this project I want to try something that is the lightest rod possible and that means the Sage X. I am old, overweight, beaten up and my joints don't work as well as they used to. I am hoping that a lighter rig will just be easier on me both during the day and especially after the day is done. In other words, I am not nearly as worried about the cost of the rod as I am the cost to my shoulders, back, neck, etc. :laugh:

I'll get a sweet reel to go with this X rod, you can bet on it!
 

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As a start I only have experience with the 6120, for me I feel a 12' rod can do just about everything a 13 can in most scenarios. That being said, if you plan to fish tips longer then 12ft Id be more comfortable with a 13' rod in my hand. I would also say heavier then t-14 feels better on an 8 then a 7wt but that ones just a personal preference when Im picking what stick to bring to the river.

Hope this at least didnt muddy up the river anymore then it already was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As a start I only have experience with the 6120, for me I feel a 12' rod can do just about everything a 13 can in most scenarios. That being said, if you plan to fish tips longer then 12ft Id be more comfortable with a 13' rod in my hand. I would also say heavier then t-14 feels better on an 8 then a 7wt but that ones just a personal preference when Im picking what stick to bring to the river.

Hope this at least didnt muddy up the river anymore then it already was.
Ironically, I plan to pick up a 6120 Sage X for summer fish early this coming spring. Again, hopefully, lighter is easier on me.

How do you like it?
 

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My 2 bits is go for the 8wt. I had a 7wt Method and I found the tip was a bit fragile for bigger fish. In fact I broke a tip on that rod. I have not yet cast the X. Sounds like a great rod and a very Nice Christmas present!

12'6" to 13'6 for NW Rivers in my opinion... 8130-4 Sage X :)
 

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12'6"! If your gonna buy a sage fast action rod, I believe the x rods are over a grand! Why not go with a method 12.6
Every report of X both SH and DH rods I have read say the X has full/slow action which makes it more versatile to different line types and easier to cast than tip/fast action Method. I hope someone measure the Action Angle and Stiffness of few X and verify it.

Esa
 

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12' if you only throw skagits.
13' if you want to use some mid-belly line like a WA45

You can probably fish everything with a 7 and it will be lighter in the hand. I like an 8 in the winter for the added beef.
 

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I have a DT 1208 Thomas & Thomas. It's wonderfully light and lively, with plenty of feel. Nonetheless, it's a specialty rod, for smaller rivers or restricted places. I want a 13 - 14 foot rod, at least an 8 weight, for all-around winter use.
 

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loco alto!
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I am old, overweight, beaten up and my joints don't work as well as they used to. I am hoping that a lighter rig will just be easier on me both during the day and especially after the day is done. In other words, I am not nearly as worried about the cost of the rod as I am the cost to my shoulders, back, neck, etc. :laugh:
just a reminder that investing in top notch casting lessons focused on your angling method of choice will pay far more dividends in avoiding fatigue than will 1/8 oz of rod weight
 

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My thought process would go like this: Will I be fishing wide open gravel bars (13ft) or will I be fishing really tight casting situations (12ft) i.e. no back casting room with low over hanging obstructions? A 7wt with the modern lines - Rio Skagit short, Airflo Skagit switch and OPST Commando Heads - can cast a pretty big payload. You don't want to go too big, it may not be good for the fish. If you're going to be casting longer belly lines using touch and go casting, then go with the 13fter. An 8wt. will definitely have the backbone for larger fish, but a lot of people use a 7wt in the winter. Experience fighting a lot of big, gnarly fish quickly will dictate which weight to go with. And SSpey is correct, proper casting technique will tax your body less than a lighter rod. Whichever rod you choose, it's a pretty good dilemma to have.

Tight lines
Keith
 

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Sounds like you need two stix! Like I've always told spey folks... it's a addiction! Let the Arsenal grow:surprise:
 

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Sage site says...
Yes it says "fast action" :grin2: I believe it is essential to say that to sell rods for Sage "believers". Better terms are tip action, medium action and full action but the best would be to say what is the tip angle when rod is londed to bend 1/3 of its length just like in Conmmon Cents System because it defines rod action very well.

Is is nice to think that rod "recovers" fast where the term "fast action" points but there is more in it. When rod blank technology advance it is when stiffness/weight ratio improves and when brank becomes stronger against bending and impact forces and lighter weight is what improves casting performance. Yes it increase rod straightening speed but the more lightness effects is the efficiency of a cast!

When rod becomes lighter more casting energy goes directly to the line and less to the rod which is good because only 10 to 20% of "rod bend" energy goes to the line. Also when rod is lighter same casting energy result higher line speed when line/rod combination is lighter and line accelerates faster because blank is lighter. When rod bends it bends backwards and delays line acceleration and when most of the rod bend energy is lost too much bend is not good.

I hope to see CCS measues but so far it seems like the X-series have "full action" and it widens line "grain window" and makes casting easier when tailing loop tendency is lower because rod span (distance between handle and rod tip) shortens less when rod bends. Also full action rod behavior does not change too much when different lines are cast and different length casts are cast. However if someone really likes to achieve the effortless "Scandi/Underhand style" there are better models like Method.

Esa
 

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I know you indicated you are looking at the new Sage's. And another has opined that why not go for some of the old models as they are cheaper. I have cast the new x series and to me, they still feel mostly like my TCX, although a bit 'softer' as Sage rods go. If you are looking at a rod with some soul, and extreme lightness, that you will be able to feel every aspect of a cast and swing, I wouldn't hesitate to contact Mr. Meiser, his new Highlander CX rods will give anything a run for its money in the weight department and give you way more 'feel' than a Sage ever will. Not to mention the price will be a far cry from buying that new Sage.

Just my .02 worth.

Merry Christmas....enjoy whatever rod you choose!!! A new rod is always a great rod!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sounds like you need two stix! Like I've always told spey folks... it's a addiction! Let the Arsenal grow:surprise:
The new summer rod is already picked out, and it's the 6120 Sage X. I'll probably be able to talk the boss into that one in the early spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I know you indicated you are looking at the new Sage's. And another has opined that why not go for some of the old models as they are cheaper. I have cast the new x series and to me, they still feel mostly like my TCX, although a bit 'softer' as Sage rods go. If you are looking at a rod with some soul, and extreme lightness, that you will be able to feel every aspect of a cast and swing, I wouldn't hesitate to contact Mr. Meiser, his new Highlander CX rods will give anything a run for its money in the weight department and give you way more 'feel' than a Sage ever will. Not to mention the price will be a far cry from buying that new Sage.

Just my .02 worth.

Merry Christmas....enjoy whatever rod you choose!!! A new rod is always a great rod!
I very much appreciate that folks are fans of many different rods and manufacturers. However, my rod will be a Sage X. I really want to see how the newer, lighter materials work in Spey rods, as I know that I see a big difference with single-hand rods. Plus, if I ever have an issue with a car door or a tree limb, it's very easy for me to take the rod to the Sage factory where they'll fix it for free.

I will definitely give the Meiser a whirl if I see one, though. :smile2:
 
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