Redington CT & Sage LL

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Codioos, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Look forward to the analysis
  2. The "nuts and bolts" of why I posted this thread. Hoping somebody who had both rods could and would do a little science experiment for me. It would be great to hear your results and some pictures of the event. Thank you.
  3. I just picked up a Sage 379 LL, and will be comparing it to my 376 CT with some WF line as soon as the snow disappears.

    Just whipping the rods back and forth in a casting motion, the CT appears to be bit stiffer overall...but still a soft rod comparable to most of today's rods.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  4. Alrighty, got out last night on the lawn and here's what I found. And I do emphasize the "I"...your mileage may vary.

    I have a Sage 7'9" 3wt 2 piece Light Line (LL) and compared it to the Redington 3wt 7'6" 4 piece Classic Trout (CT)
    To keep things even, I used the same reel and line set up on both. I used a Redington Drift 3/4 reel, with about 50+ yards of backing and Rio's Trout LT WF3F line. I placed a 6X 7 .5' tapered leader on that, and tied on an old size 16 soft hackle wet fly with the barbed hook cut off, so it wouldn't snag the grass.

    As a side note, am not sure how anyone could get the manufacturers noted amount of backing on this reel, along with the fly line and not get the line scraping on the reel frame. If fly reels had line levelers like spin/cast reels do, then maybe...but for the way I think the most of fish...we just reel in the line, we don't concern ourselves about leveling the line out.
    Anyway, with the approx. 50 yards of backing and the fly line, it fills the spool pretty much full, and still allows some space so it doesn't scrape the frame. Okay, 'nuff of that.

    To qualify my expertise. I started fly fishing late in life, around 20+ years 50 now. Did not do it consistently thru the next 10 or so years, but have really picked it up hot and heavy the last 5-7 years or so.
    I started out with an old Cortland GRF 1000 8'6" graphite rod rated for 5/6, which to me is like casting a broom stick, compared to other rods I've cast. Didn't have the funds to get what I wanted. I cast many a rod over the years and knew my casting style worked with the slower rods.
    I finally was able to pick up a Sage RPL in 8'6" 5wt, as I've heard so much about them. That rod is a perfect fit to my casting style. But when I looked around for lighter wt rods, I was able to adapt my cast style to them pretty easy. 'nuff about me.

    I've not cast a lot of light weight rods, such as 2 & 3 wts...but have cast some over the last year or so looking for a good solid small stream rod.

    I started with the LL first. And it definitely is a soft rod that casts like a feather. Can get out 20+ feet of line with ease and pretty much pin point the fly where I want it. I could get more line out, to the 30 range without much effort. When pushing it to the 40 feet mark, the rod had to do some soul searching to do it. It has the back bone, but I could tell that's not what it was made for. I have cast some 2 & 3wt rods lately, but the LL definitely will set the fly down lighter than anything I've cast so far. Am guessing its the combo of the rod and line?

    Next was the CT. Right off I could tell I would need to change my casting style a tad, as the rod is a bit stiffer overall. Not to say its a broomstick, but if the LL is considered a med, then the CT would be a med-fast. I could effortlessly lay out line to 30 feet, and out to 40 without too much trouble. I went beyond that, it flexed but didn't complain when pushing to 50 feet and beyond.

    The next test I did, was to cast both rods after dark. This way I could concentrate on the feel of the rod only, not where I was casting and what the fly and line were doing. This really brought out the feel of the rods. After doing this, I highly recommend it. Since you can't see anything, the only thing you have is the rod...its feel and balance.

    Conclusion; Not sure who said that the CT is the LL reincarnated, but they need to be slapped! They are not the same rod, not close. The CT is a faster action rod. Still soft by some of today's rods, or so it seems, but the LL is a softer rod by comparison. I was able to lay out the fly so delicate on the grass last night. Was able to do the same with the CT, but just not quite as quiet as the LL.

    I've heard some say that the CT is the poor man's LL...not sure if that would be correct either. The LL is in a different class than the CT, no doubt there. Compared to other 2 & 3wt rods I've cast over the last few months, for the price, the CT is everything I've heard it to be. If I didn't have the LL would I be content with the CT? Yep.

    I will probably use the CT as a backpack rod, as it breaks down smaller than the LL. The 4 piece rod with its case is a nice short package. Am still looking for an upper end 4wt rod, like a Scott G or a TMF...but will most likely pick up the 8' 4wt CT until then.
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  5. Great review wichaka - thank you for taking the time to cast both rods and for writing up your impressions. Your idea to cast them both a second time after dark was truly inspired.

    I have spent time fishing an identical 379 LL and the 8' 6-piece version of the CT, although not side by side - yet. I was able to do a side-by-side comparison of the CT and a Sage 389-5 SP. Although it's a foot longer than the LL, I (subjectively) regard the SP as a bit faster than the LL. In comparing the SP with the CT, there was no question that the CT was a slightly stiffer rod with a bit faster action, which would make it faster yet than the LL.

    Two thoughts come to mind after reading your post: First, your CT was a 7'6" version - 3" shorter than the LL, while mine is 8' - 3" longer. I wonder how the two CTs might compare and whether the shorter rod might seem faster?

    Second, isn't it interesting that no rod manufacturers refer to their products' actions as 'slow'? 'Medium', 'medium-fast', 'fast', and 'very fast' are all terms that appear frequently. But why not 'slow'?

    I wonder if the rod manufacturers think their overwhelmingly male would be as likely to take to a rod with a 'slow' action as they would a 350 pound stripper at a bachelor's party?

  6. Thanks for the report. What I would say is that you might have a change of opinion, or maybe not, if you casted more than one set example. You compared a 2 piece to a 4 piece, and there was 3" difference too. The LL was made from two different graphites, the earlier version was made from graphite II while later models were made from graphite III. Which do you have? ....And I'm not even sure how much of a difference that makes. I have not played around or casted the shorter CT rods. I have only the 389-4 LL to compare to the 386-4 CT and the 904-4 CT. I thought in this example set they possesed some similarities. But my LL is of the limited run classic (500 made), it is graphite III, and not even sure if it is comparable to the older LL rods. But I do like it! I think this comparing the CT and LL is really a mixed basket of fruit and difficult to compare truly. If that makes any sense?
  7. Porter's post above reminds me that I agree with both he and wichaka that the CT bears almost no resemblance to the LL. Yes, they both have somewhat slow, delicate actions that are best suited to fishing for smaller fish close in. But beyond that, they're as different as Fords and Chevys. I think folks who maintained that the CT was built on the same taper as the LL earlier were doing so for rhetorical effect, not a statement of fact.

  8. My LL is a Graphite II, so it is the original early model.

    I agree there are differences in the models...height and piece number 2 vs 4. But not sure anyone will be able to a definitive comparison unless both are exactly the same in those two areas. Since they are not, don't think tapers etc could be compared as they would be different as well.

    The shorter could be faster, am not discounting that as a possibility. Generally if you take the same size diameter of anything and make it shorter, it tends to feel stiffer.

    Kent, as for your comment about " rod manufacturers refer to their products' actions as 'slow'?" I may have to rethink the action of the LL. It may be more on the slow-med side of things, than right in the middle of actions...with that being med.

    I understand the mixed bag of fruit thing. But other than the difference in piece numbers, if the height is close...its about all we can hope for.

    I still think there was too much difference in the rods that 3" would cure. As for the piece difference, am not an expert on rod building, so don't know the total effect that would have.
  9. I agree with everything you and kent said. I believe you can only evaluate youself on the rods. Even when doing the so called apples to apples comparison you could be comapring a granny smith to a fuji. I have two xp's same models (896-4) but made two years apart according to their serial numbers, and they are different to some degree. I have done a side to side with them/same reel/same SA WF8 line and one is defintely more tippy than the other. There are some minor differences too, guides are slightly in different positioning, cork is thicker on one and narrower on the other.
  10. I have both the 7'6" and 8'6" 4-pc CTs in 3 wt size. The 8'6" definitely feels a bit slower than the 7'6" when casting my 3 wt DT line that I have on my Drift 3/4 reel. Must have to do with their different tapers.
    I suppose it would help if I added that this comparison was with about 20' to 30' of line out. And my leader looks like its about 8.5' to 9' tapered to 4x with a #14 Royal Coachman dry, cut off at the bend.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  11. I also have both lengths of the 3wt CTs and agree with Jim about the longer rod feeling slower.
  12. It's very common for longer rods in the same line weight to be slower than there shorter counterparts. I've found this to be true with almost all rod series and manufactures, there could be exceptions but I haven't found any myself.
    Interesting comparison wichaka, thanks for your effort and report.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  13. Wichaka, the idea of casting in the dark so that you concentrate on the feel of the rod and line is brilliant. A great learning tool for any caster.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  14. In talking to some rod people, it seems that when you have a certain model of rod it will keep the same taper throughout that rod model line. The taper starts at the tip, and gradually gets larger the longer the rod is. So if this is true, the longer CT will end up with a slightly larger butt section?

    The tips should be the same, as well as the mid section, which is where the rod casts from, but the butt section where one fights the fish will be different. Not sure how this changes the feel of the cast, but I would think it would change something.

    Now I wonder if one were to cast the 8'6" CT by holding where the grip would be for the 7'6", if that would make the cast feel different?
  15. I'm still kicking myself for not getting a CT 2wt while they were $75 last fall. Would've made a great mountain crick rod for late summer hiking.
  16. Quick comment on the differences with LL rods. I owned a 389-2LL GII and then moved to the GIII version. GII is different and slower. I also own the 389-4LL Classic (GIII) and it is even stiffer and feels more like a 4 wt when compared with the 2 pc GIII version. So yes IMO I do think there is a difference in these three 389LL rods especially going from GII 2 pc to the GIII 4 pc.

    So maybe the comments on the CT being somewhat similar to LL is based on a GIII 4 pc. It would certainly be closer than the GII 2 pc.
  17. Just today ordered a CT 480-4 for $80 with shipping included. Just for giggles I think I'm gonna hang a Martin MG3 that I bought back in the '70s on it. I'd almost forgotten I had this reel until I uncovered it in the garage a couple of months ago. I'm looking forward to tossin' this setup in the Kitsap and OP lakes and streams!:cool:
  18. I couldn't stand it any longer and picked up a 9' 4wt CT at the closeout price. I took it out fishing this weekend and now have some feedback. I have 2 LL's, a 9' 5wt, and a 7'11" 4wt. My opinion is, as others have stated, that the CT is a nice casting rod, but the action is not that similar to either of the LL's. The CT is faster and tippier. The LL's are slower and flex deeper into the butt. I think the action of the CT will make it more versatile, but the LL will still be my goto dry fly rod.
  19. I missed this sale too but thanks to a board member here, I bought one a couple months back.


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  20. If anyone know of a place that still has a 2 or 3 wt CT I'd love to hear about it. Always late to the party...

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