This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

August 13th, 2001

Good News / Bad News

It all depends on your perspective, but today, August 13, Sage announced the discontinuation of the SP series of rods. My husband JC and I have been very fond of this series of rods, and hate to see them end. So if you've been drooling over one, and can find a shop that has one you want, now is the time. Sage will continue to honor the guarantee and repair of course, but there will not be any more SP rods built.

The good news is Sage has an entirely new rod. We got to play with it a little last week, and it's an impressive rod. The name is the SLT SERIES.

Sage SLT

We spent some time talking with Marketing Director of Sage, Marc Bale and asked him why Sage would discontinue such a popular series of rods. He said it's easier to just read the reasons in the new catalog, as he handed it to me.

So here it is, quoting here, "Maybe you're wondering why we would change something that, over the years, has proven to be a real customer favorite. At Sage, our philosophy is simple: If you can make something better, you do it. And that's why we're extremely proud to introduce our new SLT rod series. Inspired by the classic, medium-fast taper and ultra-smooth action of our popular SP Series, SLT rods will delight anglers who prefer a longer, more relaxed casting rhythm. The all-new design, along with our latest slim-line ferrule technology, dramatically reduce weight while allowing us to build a series of 2-piece, 4-piece and 5-piece rods that perform so smoothly, you may forget there are any ferrules at all. At the same time, every SLT rod is made with Graphite IIIe, for the high line speed and power you need to feel comfortable in any fishing situation. If you're looking for the ultimate blend of elegance, finesse and light-weight high performance, we believe the new SLT rods are without peer."

We 'played' with one, flexed it, wiggled it - but we have not yet cast it. It seemed to be lighter in hand, a bit more toward the progressive action than fast (which in my opinion is a good thing, we've gone too far in fast rods and needed to go back toward more forgiving rods with more ease and grace of fishing!) I'm expecting it to be extremely smooth in casting. Since it is made with the same Graphite IIIe as the SP it should have similar backbone when needed as well.

Sage has a brand new finish on the SLT, called Tiger Eye (like the gemstone.) The components are VERY nice. The variety of pieces and weights really makes this a rod for almost anyone wanting a fine rod.

It is certainly a rod to look for, should be available in your local fly shops by the end of September. (It is being "officially" unveiled at the Fly Tackle Dealers Salt Lake Show the first part of September - we were allowed to break the news here!)

There is another development in the fly fishing industry. Air Flo has had major changes, we noticed at least some fly shops don't seem to be thrilled with the changes, and several we visited on our 'back east' trip to the Fish-In 2001 were heavily discounting all Air Flo fly lines - in some cases as much as 60%. If you are a fan of Air Flo lines you might investigate prices on those.

While I'm on the terminal end of fly fishing, you might want to keep your eyes open for a really big development from Climax. We haven't seen the product yet, and I don't have permission to break the news - but I can tell you it's a leader. Stay tuned. ~ LadyFisher

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