I have a Sage BASS rod.....

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by Chad Lewis, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. and I'd like to catch some of the critters. There are a few good lakes in my local area (north end of Whidbey Island) to target bass. Thing is, I don't know tons of stuff about fishing for 'em. Any tips out there about bass? When does the spring spawn happen around here; I read that pre-spawn is a good time to start? Good places? Anything going on in eastern WA? Entertaining stories? Am I just turning into a redneck? I have to catch these fish, you understand. I can't bear the thought that there are a bunch of big fish in a lake near me and I haven't tried to catch 'em. Not to mention there's the new rod I'm dying to use. Also, tying deer hair flies sure is fun. Yeehaw.....
  2. PM sent....
  3. I can't believe Sage makes a special rod for Bass. Wouldn't just any old rod do?
  4. They built the bass rods so they'd be tournament length legal. Some tournaments have a 8' or under requirement. Folks are also using them for saltwater applications, like casting in close quarters up under mangroves.

    Fly fishing for bass is a blast.
    To increase your catch rate, I'd recommend getting a hat with a big orange T on it. Make Bill proud!
  5. :rofl::rofl::rofl: That's great!
  6. No joke.

  7. when i transferred to NJ last summer i started ff'ing bass ponds. It's definately a good time when they attack big surface poppers, but it got old pretty quick. most of them will just run you down in the weeds and sit there. I could probably throw a cig butt out on a hook and have the same success as with flies. I think maybe bass fishing would be alot more fun on moving water. as for the sage rod, can't see spending that much money on it. my tfo 6 wt does just fine for alot cheaper.
  8. Alpine :thumb:

    Check out the Redington Predator if you don't like the price of the Sage. Loomis also has their Shorestalker series, which is in the same dollar range of the Sage.
  9. Look for docks, weeds, or other cover in about 5-15 feet of water. That is where they will spawn in the spring. In early spring if you see no fish there, look for the closest cover or dropoff in 30 -40 ft of water. There will be hella fat hens there gourging themselvs to prepare for spawning. Crawdads and baitfish imitations are gold at this time. If you see them on the spawning grounds, yes a cigarette butt stripped near their spawning bed will do the trick. I prefer Foxy clousers and weighted matuka muddlers though.
  10. On of my goals in life is to win a bass tourney with a fly rod and a canoe just to prove you don't need a $200,000 bass boat and 15 different salmon rods to catch the little buggers just some flies. THe dude who won the classic last year won it by pitching to cover in very shallow water, I bet a competent fly fisherman in the back of his boat coulda out fished him 2 to 1 just cause flies look like food, curly tailed worms don't. Also the way he was fishing you could cover twice as much water with a fly rod than a baitcaster. Sage just like everybody else wants some tourney wins

  11. dont forget you need a livewell on that canoe, other wise if you show up with dead fish to a tourny weigh in you get penalized! i know what you mean i do alot of bassin for smallies in the spring and early summer all over this state and i am usually in a pontoon boat, row boat, or small boat with 15 hp kicker, and i have better luck than alot of these guys with 40k boats that go 70mph and 7 rods and fish finders and etc etc.... i cant believe the size of lures these guys use too... they are goin after 1-4 lbers with 10 inch long musky plugs???? I know bass like big baits on top water sometimes but these fish arent tuna.

    My only hint if you want to target the bass, especially smallmouth, look for groups of basketball size boulders along the shoreline in 4-15 feet of water:thumb:
  12. Thanks for the tips everyone, especially the hat :thumb: I mean, you gotta look the part, right? And thanks for the PM kosel- some good stuff, especially the smallmouth part. I've been wondering where some good water is for these legendary fighters.

    A few notes on the BASS rods. It's not really a bass specific rod, more like a rod that excels at particular fishing strategies. In its own way, it's as task specific as a spey rod. Sage did a lot more than just build a weird length rod. There are three in the series, imaginitively called Largemouth, Smallmouth and Bluegill. I bought the middle one. The rod doesn't feel heavy in the hand, but the "wiggle test" reveals that it's stupid stiff for its weight. I mean, you think that it couldn't possibly cast well. That's why the rod comes with its own WF floating line, developed for the rod. Word is the line's made by Rio. It's basically a 290 grain, extreme weight forward taper (the Largemouth is 330 grain!). That's about a 10 weight line, but despite its stiffness the rod doesn't feel anything like heavy enough to be lined like that. In practice its perfectly matched. Stick a big deer hair bug on the end of it and it'll toss it sixty feet, no problem. A better caster than I threw one to the end of the casting pool at the Bellevue show (with the bass bug). The biggest suprise to me was the way it loads at short range; it'll do a twenty foot cast, and I'm not talking about a lob. Shows how well the rod and line are matched. A review I read speculated the rod might be a parabolic design to get that kind of performance. I wouldn't know a parabolic if it bit me in the ass, so I can't say.

    Add all that together and you have a rod that easily throws the biggest flies, does short to medium distance casts with those flies and has enough backbone to manhandle big fish out of whatever they wanna get into. Like Stonefish said, this makes them perfect for saltwater mangroves and such, targeting baby tarpon, snook, and whatever else hangs out in those kind of places. Of course, they're also perfect for targeting bass. The short rod length helps here too. In the right situation it could be a great tool for salmon and steelhead.

    For minuses, I'd have to say that it takes some effort to cast. Not that you have to work hard to make it load (just the opposite), but it is a really heavy line to throw around and a stiff rod. Maybe not good to try 80' casts all day, unless you're in good "casting shape". I hesitate to call it a fast action rod, because the casting stroke isn't exactly rushed. Instead you get the feeling that there's a lot of mass being moved around. And you're not gonna make presentations that are anything like "delicate" with all that weight on the tip of the line. The rod quality is typical Sage, and the price is pretty good if you factor in the line it comes with. The reel seat looks a little cheap though. I'd like something better there, but it'll get the job done. I think Sage may have built a rod that answers a question no one asked, but judging by the way lots of others have come out with similiar rods, well....
  13. Mmmmmhmmmm

    Kicks Bass

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  14. Nice pics (and a fair job of fish stretching too!)! Your handiwork, XstreamAngler?

    Damn, we need warmer weather, like now. Or a trip to Florida.
  15. Considering how much money is at stake, if flies did actually outfish their current gear two to one, they would be using them.

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  17. bass like cover so a popper drug over a downed tree would be good or a wooly bugger stripped in by trees {over hanging or in the water} rocks, pads, docks would all be good places, or any trout streamer would do. you won't want heavily weights flies b/c alot of times bass will be interested but when you stop your lure they decide to strike.

    what rod do you have b/c i was looking at the bluegill version, do you like your rod
  18. I would recommend havin some deceiver style flies, a few crawdads along with a black, charteuse, and maybe even a white and red popper, all with weed guards if possible. With bass, especially big bass, you will need to use a strip set to set the hook, rather than the rod as a fly rod will absorb to much of the weight and prevent the hook from penetrating. Very frustrating.
    All I can say is that I love to bass fish, in fact the only guide trips I pay for are for bass every spring. In the past, I used conventional tackle and was heavy into the whole BASS and what not. For the past few years though, I go strictly fly. I will say that I would enjoy gettin after them with a soft plastic or jig if the topwater bite is off!
    I have had the opportunity to get after them on lake fork in texas, which was one of the first trophy lakes in the country to have a slot limit. It was also one of the f
    first lakes to be thought of "as a catch and release" largemouth lake by all its anglers. There are over 300 plus guides who work this lake, but until recently it didnt hold any tournaments because of the slot limit. I have done more fishing on it with gear, but a lot with the fly rod as well. The most fish and biggest fish I have caught in a period of time has been with a fly rod in perfect conditions in the spring time in shallow water. Unfortunately, conditions dont always call for these tactics, so this is where a fly rodder is out. If there is anyway to do it, I would think you have a couple carolina rigs, a couple texas rigs, a crankbait setup, a spinnerbait setup, a 1 ounce jig setup for mats and super heavy cover, and a couple FLY RODS. One with a heavy fly, one with a shad like baitfish, and a popper rod.
    I remember the first day I fished on lake fork with the fly, between my buddy and I we landed 14 fish, with 8 over 5 lbs. Before lunch and all on topwater. I guess that was fishing rubbing it in, because I had fished there a week a year for 5 plus years with conventional tackle and I dont know that I had even caught 14 total! Of course, that is the best day I have out there so far, but it just goes to show that it can be done. You should have seen the conventional tackle guys who were fishing nearby. "How come yall are usin trout rods, this is bass?" On most days, a conventional angler has a much better chance of winning a tournament because you can fish depths from 1 to 60 feet. Plus the reels they use are at like 10:1 retrieve ratio, and they land fish in less than 5 seconds 90% of the time. As far as the boats are concerned, if you entered a tournament in a canoe on gigantic southern lake with 2 foot swells when there is hint of wind, there is no way you would compete. They have the ability to cover water in a way that unbelievably effective, often runs of 1-2 hours 60+ miles each way. What if you could do that on the madison during the salmonfly hatch? Exactly.
    I think it is highly possible that a fly rod will find its way in there, or at least flies themselves, and may even become a common way of fishing shallow water.
    Here is my biggest, 9lbs 3 ounces. On a popper!

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  19. Colton, I have the Smallmouth rod. Haven't put a fish on it yet, but I spent some time on the water this weekend practicing with it. First thing I noticed is that I have to keep the backcast up! Using 9' and longer rods all the time has obviously made me lazy. Not the rod's fault, and easily fixed. I started working on the skip cast, and after about fifteen minutes could do a weak imitation of one. More practice needed. As for the rod, it works as advertised. Did all the casting with a 1/0 deer hair Dahlberg Diver. It'll throw that fly around with no problem- all the weight concentrated in the front of the line turns it over easily. I built a leader with 55-40-30-20 pound material, with a 15lb tippet. Whole leader is about 9'. Seems to work well, I'll try some lighter tippets later and see if they'll turn over. Action on the rod is great. I cast it at the show in Bellevue, and it seems to want a faster casting stroke than I originally thought, but it's still not as fast as, say, my G Loomis 6wt GLX. It does need some muscle though. About 25 minutes of straight casting (not any retrieving and fishing) and my arm/shoulder were starting to get tired. I suppose there's no way around that with the heavy line and stiff rod, not to mention casting flies that could eat a small trout. It is as accurate as any of my other rods. It does what it was made to do, and well.

    I didn't cast the Bluegill rod at the show. I did cast the Largemouth, and it was the same as the Smallmouth, but on steroids. I'd think that the Bluegill would be more of the same, except on a diet. Honestly, I'm not sure what you'd use the Bluegill for. I suppose casting fairly big flies to fish that are not that big (relatively). I suppose it would be a good trout rod on the right occasion. If it's like I think it is, maybe it's overkill for fishing bluegill. Then again, I didn't cast it so I don't really know. Sage's literature says it's for smaller bass and for panfish, as well as the ultimate "bugger chucker" for big trout. The difference in line weight for the Large and Smallmouth is 40 grains, with the Bluegill 60 grains lighter than the Smallmouth; so maybe it is quite a bit lighter than mine. It just hit me! Casting poppers for sea run cutthroat! Would probably be perfect for that. Anyway, let me know what you have in mind.
  20. XstreamAngler- true 'dat. I can only hope to get some that size. Maybe you could show me where? :thumb:

    Dan- that's a big 'ole bass! Bass fishing in Texas is probably a lot like San Diego, CA. The fish have all year to eat and grow. Plus, a lot of the reservoirs in S.D. concentrated on creating great bass fisheries, so a few times a year they got fed several thousand fingerling trout! The city made a lot of money by charging people to fish the reservoirs. 15-20 pound bass came out of those lakes every year, with one 25+ pounder a few years ago. Seems it was foul hooked and wasn't eligible for the record largemouth......

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