Having a buddy who just happens to own a fly shop is a mixed blessing.
My friend, Tom Bolender, who owns "Fishy Business" in Olympia,
Washington, is just such a mixed blessing.
Just the other day we were talking about what we liked in a rod while
Vickie checked out the tying materials. He prefers a really fast rod,
where I like a medium to slow action rod, one that loads well into
the butt section. Nonchalantly, Tom asks me if I've ever cast a Sage
TXL. I answer, "No, have you got one I can test cast?" Tom reaches
behind the counter and hands me a Sage rod tube containing a 7'10"
3 piece rod for 4 weight line.
I take the rod out of the tube and sock and check the fit and finish
of the rod. A very pretty golden-olive color. With Sage rods I don't
know why I bother to check the fit and finish, maybe I hope I can say
one slipped through the quality control. Still waiting for the chance.
Though fished a lot, the rod is a beaut. Light in the hand at 2.38
ounces, with a nice cigar shaped grip that feels just right.
I am waiting for the reel with the test line to take the rod out back,
but Tom isn't moving. He says "Give it a try. I won't be able to fish
it for a while." He's letting me take his favorite rod home to fish with.
See! What a blessing!
Vickie and I hit a favorite spot on the Deschutes River (the one in Washington,
not Oregon) late in the morning, about 8:30. The promised cloud cover was
scattered and the sun broke through more than I liked. There was a cloud
of midges hatching on the slower water, but no risers. I lined up the 4
weight TXL with a Cortland 4 wgt Sylk line and went to fishing a soft
hackle. Though I had no takers I did do some casting. The Sage TXL is a
pleasure to cast. Smooth loading, responsive, and enough power to easily
make 35 to 40 foot casts without a double haul. Roll casts were a breeze,
with a slight haul they turned into single spey casts of twenty to thirty
Part way through the day I switched to an X-Caddis and hooked up with
a small cutt. I could feel every twitch and turn of that small fish
(about 8 inches) as I brought him to hand for release. I would love
to get into a bigger fish with this rod.
Before we left our spot, I let Vickie cast the rod. Her first cast was
about 30 feet. She looked at the rod a bit, made another cast, and
another and ...
I finally reminded her that I hadn't had breakfast and I was hungry,
she reluctantly gave up her grip on the rod and we left.
Now for the curse part of our friendship with Tom. He knows what we like
in the way of rods, reels, lines and tying supplies. He knew what I would
think of this rod and he's probably hoping I'll like it enough to buy one.
With a new baby at home I don't blame him. Pampers cost money. Well, sorry
Tom your plan backfired. I'm just going to change my name to Tom Bolender
and keep this rod. It already has that name on it. (Actually, Tom, we both
liked the rod a lot... We'll be in to talk to you. Might like to try a 3
The Sage TXL, is a light line rod, made for line weights 0 to 4 from
Sage's Generation 5 Technology and Modulus Positioning System. Nickel
Silver reel seats with vera wood insert, light weight snake guides,
a round tip top and a microstripping guide make this a very fine
casting tool. (I looked this stuff up after I fished the rod.) ~ Ron Eagle Elk (REE)
Sage Manufacturing Corporation
8500 Northeast Day Road
Bainbridge Island, Washington 98110