Several of the Spey Guys/Gals love this on the upper Rogue as..
their rod of choice for low water summer run rod. Old school here, but too light for my taste. I'll stick with my 7136 or the Redington 11'3" (6wt) single hander (which will flick a good short range spey cast) or the 10' Sage XP (7wt) if I really want to go light.
I was using one on the Trinity last week. I was using a Rio MS 6/7 with a 10' extra fast sinking leader. I was surprised at how well it handled fairly heavy flies. I usually cast my T&T and Scott SAS rods which are faster than Sage, so it took some effort to get the timing. I had planned on selling it, but now I am going to keep it, and use it for summer steelhead, or just when I need some relief from the heavier rods. However, if I was going to hike a looong distance away from my car, I would take my T&T 7 wt. or Scott SAS 8 wt.
I've fished the 6126 Sage almost exclusively as my late summer and fall rod on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers for the past several years and I love it . I now have it set up with a Rio Mid-spey versi-tip and a Redington Large Arbor 9-10, which really balances it out nicely.
The rod may not be quite as "fast" as the Scott but it has a progressive action into it's mid section and butt and I really like the way it casts. The rod can pull the lighter tips (floater, intermediate, and type 3) pretty easily in light to moderate flows. I've found that if the flow isn't heavy the rod will allow you to routinely break the type three sink tip and a heavily weighted fly from below the surface, this is occasionally even do-able with the type 6 tip, and go straight into a snake roll delivery. The type six tip will often force you to a roll cast to bring the heavier tip to the surface before making your cast in moderate and stronger flows.
I've had the good fortune to land several 6 -12# steelhead & jack salmon, and countless half-pounders on the the rod and it handles all sizes easily yet isn't so stout to take the fun out of the fight.
About the only two negatives I might add about going light are both the Sage and the Scott six weight two-handers have a butt grip that is way too short as manufactured. I ended up adding 1 1/2" of cork to make it more ergonomic for the various spey casts. The other draw back of light lining it is that on windy days these lighter lines tend to allow your cast to drift off course a might. You can still put it out there with this rod but on windy days you can count on needing to make some adjustments. Hope this perspective helps, John
I've had one for a couple of years. I agree with speybum that it's a nice little rod. I've caught my share of trout with the rod and steelhead into the high teens. I use a 6/7 midspey also, but I use the wc 6/7/8 when using tips. I can usually get it out 80 to 90 with the tips and cast the line with the floating midspey so small to medium sized rivers with the same size fish would be the ticket. I tend to use my 7 wt. more these days, but I'm not going to get rid of the 6126 anytime soon.
The way I extended the butt on my rod was simple and direct, I hired my friend at the local fly shop to do it for $25 or $30. Actually, the technique he used was pretty straight forward and it wouldn't be too difficult to do it yourself but in view of how much these rods cost I really didn't want to risk screwing it up so I could save a few bucks.
Anyway, should you be of stouter heart than I, here's how he did it. Using a hacksaw he cut off the butt behind the real seat. The exposed rod blank is hollow. He then selected a tapered piece of scrap graphite rod that was long enough and thick enough to slide inside the hollow of the blank until it fit snug, and yet the internal graphite sleeve extends out of the blank far enough from the blank/reel seat that you have enough stock to build a cork butt upon it from pieces of cork rings. This internal graphite piece has to be the right diameter to fit snug enough inside the blank that once epoxied in place it will form solid continuous backbone within a good portion of the grip. Don't epoxy anything yet. Now once the internal graphite sleeve is fitted, he marks the exact point on the graphite sleeve where it exits the blank at the end of the reel seat.
This is the spot where the top or last cork ring will end at. Removing the graphite sleeve, he builds a cork grip by scratch by stacking the cork rings one upon the other from the butt end piece up, and stopping at the spot marked on the graphite sleeve.
Then he inserted the part of the graphite sleeve that remains exposed (the end that will eventually go into the rod blank end) inside a drill chuck, and he shaped the butt to the desired shape with differing grades of sandpaper from coarse to very fine. One reference I saw on this suggests using a bastard file to do your rough cuts the finalizing your tapered shape with #36, #80, and #120 sand papers. You may wish to look at "The Care and Repair of Fishing Tackle" by Mel Marshall for some good photos and descriptions of his techniques in this regard.
After the desired cork butt shape is created, the sleeve is removed from the chuck, coated with epoxy, inserted into the blank and snugly seated tight right up against the end of the reel seat.
Hope this description is of some use should you end up being a braver lad than I. John
Thanks for the detail. I went to my local fly shop and he suggested something similar. He suggested putting in an insert, and then fitting a graphite sleeve over it that matched the original rod's outside diameter. Then build a a cork handle on this outer sleeve. In either case, the greatest stress would be where the insert exits the butt. I don't think tht the extra sleeve would add any strength, except that it would be harder to crush.
I like the idea of a fitting a sleeve over the internal insert but don't really know if it's necessary. The modified butt on my rod feels seemless and there was no change in how solid the handle feels while casting except the enhanced comfort.
Should you decide to move forward with the project, I have one additional suggestion - don't forget to consider that custom case that stores your rod w/reel. It may not have enough room to fit a 2 or 2 1/2" extension but will work with a hair shorter extension. I ended up compromising a 3/8" on the ideal butt extension length so I wouldn't have to buy a second custom rod and reel case. Good luck, and let us know how it comes out. JB :smokin:
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