I don't often jock a vendor... But Sage

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by James Mello, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Really impressed me. Lost a tip section in the woods. Went back to them with the rod. 4 weeks later they replaced the tip, second, third and butt sections on the rod. In other words I got a new rod. They cited that there were ferrule cracks on the second and third sections (which I couldn't detect) that they felt required replacement. And since the third section was replaced they felt the butt section didn't fit well properly, so they made a new butt section.

    On top of it all, the rod held lots of sentimental value (rod of a dead friend), so from the butt section of the old rod, they made a pen out of it.

    I *rarely* jock a vendor, but in this case Sage really went above and beyond any expectation of mine for any rod maker. Thank you Sage!
  2. A pen from the old butt section? Now THAT'S classy!

    JesseCFowl, Steve Call and KerryS like this.
  3. Dang, that's definitely going above and beyond. Awesome!
  4. I broke the tip section on a 490-2 LL, graphite 2 about 15 years ago. The graphite 2 was no longer made so Sage gave me a brand spanking new 490-2 LL in graphite 3. I did not know to ask for the butt section to be returned as a pen though.
  5. pic's
  6. I've got to pick it up tommorow. I'll try to remember to post them.
  7. Ditto! That redefines customer service!
  8. Wouldn't they need to replace the entire rod with one blank that is cut into pieces? I'm not so sure they can replace just one section. Wouldn't that screw up the action or actually end up more expensive for the company then simply sending you a new rod?

    I broke the tip section on my 7 weight TFO and they replaced the entire rod for the 20.00 handling fee.

    I know others who own other brands and they too have broken one section and received a complete rod from the company for the price of the handling fee.

    However, turning a piece of the butt section into a pen is a new one.
  9. For the rods, they can often rebuild a section and fit it. Some vendors retain a stockpile of rod sections and will often dry fit these replacement sections with the rod. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. Blanks are also not built in one rod then cut. They are rolled on mandrels with specific tapers for each section.

    TFO is an entirely different market segment, and for their particular business model, can afford (and find it more economical) to replace the entire rod. This was a rod that was discontinued in 2003, so getting any help like this was seriously above and beyond.
  10. Gene,
    Multi-piece rods are not generally rolled in one piece and then cut into sections. Typically each piece is rolled individually on its own mandrel. In this sense, each piece of a multi-piece rod, is manufactured completely on its own. The reason many rod manufacturers typically need the whole rod when they are doing a ‘repair’ is that they want to hand fit the new section to make certain that it fits correctly. Even though they try to standardize the process as much as possible, rods (like Jame’s Sage) are sanded and painted which means that minute differences in the diameter effect how well any given ferule will fit with another.
    The reason that a lot of imported rod companies replace an entire rod when a section is broken is simply that it is cheaper for them to do it that way. Roughly 17 American workers touch a Sage rod before it leaves the factory. If you had to pay rent on Bainbridge Island, a sizeable American labor force and materials for a new rod, you would also be willing to staff a full warranty department. Paying a half dozen individuals to evaluate and fit new components or sections to existing pieces, makes $ense. On the other hand, if you are purchasing your rods from a factory in China or Korea, it may be cheaper to only hire one or two American employees, who ‘repair’ rods by sending out and entirely new rod.
    Saltman and JesseCFowl like this.
  11. I know someone with a multi piece Powell who broke the upper section and they, too, replaced the entire rod. I don't think Powell is in the same market segment as is TFO.

    I was insulted by Sage so I won't buy another one of their rods.

    Many years ago, I was stringing up a brand new 2 piece, 10 foot, 7 weight Sage for the first time and both the upper and lower sections broke. I sent in the rod and they replaced it with a nasty note indicating it appeared I abused the rod but they'd replace it anyway. This was before the unlimited warranties and the first time I attempted to use it.

    I took exception to their note blaming me for the rod breaking so I'm glad you experienced good service from Sage. I did not and I do hold a grudge.

    In the case of the TFO, I had fallen on the rod and broke it so yes, it was my fault. Yet no nasty note but a new rod.

    If I've learned anything in the outdoor biz, it's that you don't blame the customer when the first time they attempt to use a product it breaks.

    So while I have five Sage rods (all older models) I won't be buying any of their new products. One nasty note was all it took.

    Therefore, I don't care if TFOs are much less expensive than a Sage. I can afford either one but guess which I'll continue to buy?
  12. If I based my shopping practices on 1 bad experience I'd never shop at....

    ----Patrick's (Jimmy was a prick one day)
    ----Avid (Tom, RIP, was very condescending regarding my choice in hooks)
    ----Ted's (Mike was a quite short with me a few times)
    ----Skookum products (Bill didn't return messages as prompt as I'd have liked)

    ....and the list could go on and on and on. There was a period where people were breaking their rods and sending them back for full replacement or upgrades. Sure it still happens, but was an epidemic for quite some time.

    There isn't a store out there including Costco, Nordstroms, or REI that hasn't pissed off a customer or two. Shit happens and we can either get over it, or not.

    GLoomis basically interrogated me over a claim a few years ago but I still fish their rods. Sage questioned how my LL actually broke... and I don't blame them for asking the questions.
  13. I think you misunderstand, it's not that higher end guys won't replace an entire rod, but it's case by case and depends on the economics of the rod maker. For a vendor to re-roll an entire new rod when there aren't spares on hand is *more* expensive to do than just rolling a new blank. Why? Because the have to pull out the mandrels, the fabric and the specs during the middle of a production run and do a one off rod rather than the current series they are doing.

    For Powell to do something similar is a testament to the kind of service they provide their customers. TFO *is* different (not worse, not better, just different) in that the economy of scale and manufacturing cost is less significant compared to having separate spares shipped that will sit idle rather than being 'inventory' that can either be used to fill sales or warantee.

    As for your experience, I'm sorry to hear it. But pissing on my mashed potatoes won't do any fixing. If you found their service so lacking, and didn't care, why did you bother to post? Either way, if you're happy with TFO, then great! I use them for trout rods and find them to be a fantastic value. But spey rods? Not so much....
  14. Hey, the fish don't care which rod you use.

    I have broke a GL3 three times, a TFO Finesse rod twice. I always got a new rod in the process. But I was checking into the GLoomis web site and I don't think that they have the expediter service anymore. But I could be wrong.
  15. I love the Sage rods and service.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  16. During the 2012 chum run I took my cheapo Redington 8 wt. ($99) to fish for chum on a Puget Sound creek. After a dozen or so hook ups, I taco'd my rod on a hook set of a beast of a fish. I probably shouldn't have been fishing for chum with an 8 wt, however it hadn't been a problem for me before. My friend who I was fishing with that day offered to take it to Sage since he lives on Bainbridge Island, less than a mile from their home base, and explain the situation. On the spot they replaced it with the brand new 2013 model, case and all. Just some random dude coming into their business with a broken Sage product that belonged to his friend. No receipt, no warranty information. Easy as pie. If that isn't amazing customer service, I don't know what is.
  17. That's great. I've had great service too from Sage, but I was also disappointed when I was informed that sage would not honor the original warranty a rod that was stolen and replaced with a used version that didn't have a warranty card. I would have purchased another new, but the rod was discontinued. Seems to me they should allow for the transfer of a warranty in those circumstances as whoever now has my original SLT is very unlikely to send it back into sage under my name. I certainly wouldn't mind if Sage sent a very "insulting" letter back to the person that sends my original SLT back into them: "Dear Sir - our records show indicate this rod was stolen - piss off!".
  18. I took my 14" spey rod back over to the Sage factory last June. The stripping Guides had corroded which is an oddity. While I was there, they took me on a tour of the factory. First, there is one guy who fits the rodes together. That's it and that's all he does. I'm certaing that there are others trainined to do it but that's his only job. Near the end of the tour we came on a section where there was a rack filled with mandrels; the mandrel from every rod model they have ever made. I asked the guide what would happen if I accidently broke my prized 490 LL two piece rod. He didn't even hesitate. He merely said they'd roll me another. It might be of newer graphite. I don't know about that but I can believe whaqt he said. Two weeks later, I got my spey rod back; new guides installed as if they had never been removed; no charge. I've broken one other rod tip and they replaced it when I sent it in, no questions asked. I have about fifteen Sage rods now and will probably never buy another brand merely because of the way they treated me. The service is outstanding. You get what you pay for.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  19. Great company, I've been looking for a gig with Farbank for some time.
  20. Obviously I'm in the wrong here because I had a poor experience with the great and powerful Sage. My bad. Next time I'll keep my mouth shut.

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