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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished reading all of the reviews on the Spey Pages site under the link "Rod Reviews" (are these all by Dana?) and found only two comments that were even nearly negative in all of the reviews. The first was about the weight of the Winston Derek Brown rod, and the second was the poor design of the reel seat and butt cap on the Orvis rod. I frankly find it hard to believe that this was the extent of the shortcomings of these rods. Now I must say in all fairness that I only have experience with a few of the Sage models. Are there owners of any of these models that were reviewed that care to chime in? I must say I find it very frustrating when reading reviews particularly in magazines that never slam a product as "sucking". I can only imagine it's one of these conflict of interest situations. I apologize if this has already been brought up, but I didn't feel like doing a search.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey surfer1...

So if I've read you right your saying that Dana is "sucking" because he didn't find enough faults with the products he's tested. I have never met the man and don't particularly think he walks on water, but in all the advice relating to spey tackle he' given me I don't feel he has ever "BS'd" me. I find it rather irritating that you can find fault with the info, a great deal I might add, he has provided to the public at no charge.
In the amount of time it took you to write your negative post you could have done the search. You could always go out and buy all the rods in question and do your own evaluations. Take care, MJC
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Three things:

1) I think Dana does an excellent job of calling a spade a spade but not calling it a shovel.

2) I can only think of a couple of two-handed rods that "suck", and neither of them were in his reviews. While I do feel some are superior than the norm, the norm is usually pretty good and "superior" is in the eye of the beholder yet the better the caster gets, these subtleties become very important (see #3)...

3) Rod preferences are very subjective and what I like and respect about Dana's reviews are that they avoid personal preferences and biases.
 

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Damn fish ladder
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the 100 hands theory

I come across the very problem you speak of when trying to evaluate cane rod tapers. It seems that every taper is love by somebody and few tapers highly disregarded by many. Substitute "rod" for tapers, and I think you'll se what I'm getting at.

The reason for this phenomenon, i think, is that any rod made by a reputable manufacturer will have had enough testing to make sure it doesn't "suck." And it really doesn't take much testing to determine "suckiness." As I'm sure someone like Juro can attest, before a rod EVER gets to the hands of true testers, it's been iterated to death by the designer to get WAY past the suckiness stage.

Manufacturers who have little or no testing are probably making rods that are copies of other rods anyway (I'm thinking of walmart rods here)--- and consequently aren't really as bad as their stigma. I used an 8' 6wt walmart rod for YEARS as my only rod in both freshwater and salt and landed numerous 20# stripers on this thing. Still have it...got to be a hell of a good caster with it

That being said, some rods/tapers will be better at certain things and less good at others. A rod that is medium at everything is possible--- look at some of the straight tapered Powell rods--- not DEFICIENT at any one thing, but neither great at any one thing. It is those little deviations from medium-everything that gives a rod character.

So, the 100 hands who have pawed the reviewed rods before they are ever reviewed have weaned the suckiness out of any spey rod--- for the rods not passed through 100 hands, they're probably not bad as they're copies of known good rods.

Just my 2cents-

Joe
 

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I can understand, to a point, where surfer is coming from I will add my opinion anyway. This is NOT meant as a personal attack!

"Now I must say in all fairness that I only have experience with a few of the Sage models."

That about sums it up- the thing you need to understand about any of these rods is that they perform differently for each individual. What one might like, another finds disgust. It comes down to personal preferances for actions combined (among other items) with head lengths, grains, and taper configurations.

There is no 'magic' rod out there that is the 'be-all, end-all'. If you really want the best available advice (these posts sometimes get quagmired with numerous opinions)- get your hands on as many rods as possible and run them through a series of lines. That is the only way you can determine what will work for your ever evolving casting taste and style.

Might even try 'grumpy' (tonight anyway??? Just kidding Mike) poppy at the Redshed for a few CND test drives. Also try Aaron at the Speyshop. And RB Meizer will round out anything you can dream up. I can't think of anybody out there any better to deal with.

William
 

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I think others have covered this thread pretty well but I thought I would chime in and say that in the last two years I have not casted a spey rod that has sucked. I have cast I think just about every make and model of two hander available right down two the cortland rods which were not bad at all especially for the price. I think A polished caster can get the most out of any rod and make it perform well with the correct line. I simply can not think of a more polished caster then Dana Sturn or think of anyone more Qualified to give rod reviews. I think most will agree with that.

Brian
 

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Time-out !

As a relative new-comer to this forum, could I just add in reply to Surfer, that I have found the information within these pages, of the highest calibre.
I think in fairness to select individual reviews, and be-little them, is out of hand.
Disagree with them ? Your perogative ! Better without them? I think not !
In my opinion, (and this takes place regularly in our angling magazine ), if you ask 3 different casters to review a selection of rods, nearly always they will have different preferences, but rarely will one "suck". If it did, the market would dictate it`s disappearance.
In this day and age, very few double-hander`s suck, and as has already been said, a smooth caster will make a broom handle perform.
I am quite sure, if and when Dana reviews a "sucking rod", we will be the first to know.
 

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loco alto!
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I think surfer might be mistaking Dana's reviews for his casting, which from what I surmise, definitely sucks! :chuckle:
 

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just say no to bait
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Hi All,

I can sort of appreciate what Surfer is talking about. How to cut through all the political correct rhetoric and get to the truth of the matter. The fact is as Juro points out so clearly that rod preferences are extremely subjective. Founded in that reality I think the reviews in question are well written and quite accurate. You just don't have to agree with them.

As an example. On this board I have found myself at odds with other members repeatedly on rod preferences. At first I took it a little personal. However these opposing opinions have helped me clearly define what I lke and what style of caster I am. Not the one I think I am , but the one I am in reality, and the two are very different.

All this makes tackle selection much easier and I am more likely to really like the tackle I buy. Isn't that the point of a product review?

the guy who likes trad flexing rods and short heads N I :)
 

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I joined the forum a few months ago after reading Dana's reviews. It's true that there insn't a lot of criticism in them but they are full of a wealth of knowledge. I'm looking right now for a new spey and the information that I found there and here has been very valuable. I prefer medium to long head lines and looking at the different lines he has reccomended and tried on the rods has helped me to narrow down the choices.

I have to agree with others who have written that there really aren't too many bad rods out there. I think that's what is making my decision so difficult. I haven't found enough overwhelming differences between rods to clearly pick one over the other.

Luckily I'm spending two weeks on the Deschutes this fall and I have arranged to try a number of rods to decide which one fits me best.

Heres hoping that Dana has the time to continue adding to the collection of reviews on speypages.

Gillie
 

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Faults of the Review Process

I think the point is valuable. While Dana does a great job of providing an overview of the rods and their casting characterstics, they all generally receive a 'I would really love to have one of these' ratings. I don't think it is a fault of Dana. Any time I read rod reviews, ski reviews, cars, whatever, the publication (whether magazine or web site) does not want to alienate a sponsor, potential sponsor, whatever. I do not find fault with Dana's review because of this; I simply account for it when I read a review.

Which brings me to my point (yes, there is one), boards like these are valuable as an avenue to opinions of those in the trenches (or rivers) with no particular alliances or worries. I typically will not berate a product, but let folks know of products that don't work for me. I also provide very positive remarks for those products that earn a special spot in the quiver.

My .02

JGS
 

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Surf1, I think Dana has done a great job in describing rods and there characteristics and not show any bias towards his own preferences. Isn't that what a true review is? not clouding the issue.

andre
 

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Is it the rod, or the line match or the caster?

Just to add to all of the above. I have a rod that I used to hate, could not do didly with it. One visit with Speybum got me to change the line, I did not fall in love with it but at least I could get a decent cast out there. Then a session with Dana and the suggestion to change/modify my stroke to better suit the rod action, now I have one more rod to love!
Rod testers, Dana being one of many who post here, have the ability/skills to adapt the casting stroke to find the best performance for the rod and usually have a sufficient selection of lines to test with. So when the "report" is presented, it is a biased (read with knowledge & ability) opinion intended to allow us to experiment with the rod untill we find the correct combination of line and stroke that suits us, or not, as the case may be. With this information a buyer can test the rod to be purchased and determine if it suits his/her casting style and line preference and make a more informed decision about falling in love or moving on!
 

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rod reviews

If you read the other posts to this site you will happen notice that most of the people that have a DB Winston rod are all saying something about the weigth of it and are trying to find a heavy enough reel to balance it out. Definately a fact. About the Orvis rod having a cheap cheesie reel seat and cap dosn't surprise me at all. Remember over priced and under value.
It must be hard for Dana to have written all the reviews and not become baised because quite frankly there are very few sucky rods out there. I concure with what FrenchCreek has said and done.
Leroy...........
 

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JD
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Product reviews- This thing sucks!

Back in the days before the internet, an inferior product may have had a chance to survive. Those days are gone. If a product, any product, has a fault and it gets spread all over the net, you can bet your last dollar the manufacture is listening, and will do something about it. Aside from "value for the dollar" bad products just don't survive long in todays world. No one wants their name associated with junk. And an "entry level" rod or reel today will stand up to what we all paid big bucks for not too many years ago.

When everything that comes your way for review is of a quality rating 8 to 10 on a scale of one to ten, how can you say anything sucks?

Dana has done an admirable job in his reveiws. He has the skills to get as much, or more, out of the equipment than most of us. It is a love of labor for him. Although we all have our own, I have never heard Dana express a personal preference for one brand over another.

If you are not satisfied what Dana has to say in his reviews,,,you are free to look elsewhere.
 

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As a friend of both a flyshop owner and a fly gear distributor I get the oportunity to try out many different rods. What i have found in the last couple of years is that rods that "suck" are hard to find. The low end rods of today would have been considered top of the line 3 years ago. The differences between the top rods are only slight and only good casters may even notice them. I think Dana's reviews are accurate considering the advancements in rod design.
 

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The only time I have felt that we are being sucked in on this great site has been when new bees log in and start whacking a certain rod, reel or line. This raises my hackles immediately.

I currently own 3 Sage Spey rods, a Scott Arc Spey rod and a flock of Meise's various two handed rods. None of them suck.

Recently, I gave my Sage 10151 to my son to use as a heavy duty surf rod when I bought Meise's surf rod which did everything the Sage did with less effort for me. My son and others love the Sage 10151.

I used to ***** about my first Sage, the 7136. I had a bad experience with it on the American River shad fishing. The river was really high and fast, and the rod was not designed to lift sinking tips and heavy shad flies out of fast and deep water with high upstream winds. I bought the 7141 to replace it. A year later someone on this site suggested that I try the 7136 with a MS 6/7 floating line and a dry fly or an unweighted steelhead or trout fly. I loved it.

This year I took the one day course with Simon on the American River. About a week later, I took the 7136 on a rather calm day re wind to my local river. I cast the WC 678 with tips and even the upgrade with tips with no problem. It did well with the MS 7/8 with tips and a large sinking fly. Suddenly the 7136 didn't suck. The difference was lessons with Simon.

Early this year, I received an ARC 1409. It replaced my 7141 with the GS 7/8 because of the ease of casting it for steelhead fishing. This summer I bought a Sage 6126, and it did everything the 7141 did for shad and trout up to 5-7 pounds. So I considered selling the 7141. Then. a fellow on Dan Blanton's site told me to consider it as a lighter surf rod where Meise's rod might be to heavy. We just had a friend from Jacksonville, Florida who comfirmed that the 7141 was becoming the surf rod of choice for many overhand casters on the East Coast of Florida. I plan a trip to the ocean to try my new Meise Surf rod and the 7141 with a salt water line and overhead casts.

The point to this is what makes a rod suck is often the caster and what the caster is trying to do with the rods.

Decoding your post, you own Sage Rods, and you are having problems with them. What rods and what are you trying do with them?
 
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