Sage customer service

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by wbugger, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. wbugger Member

    Posts: 91
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Just wanted to give some props to the Sage company for their excellent customer service.

    This summer I had the unfortunate experience of having my Sage XP 4 piece 5 weight get it's tip broke off while on a fishing excursion on the John Day river.

    Now, I could attempt to make this story sound heroic and say that I was battling a possible state record small-mouth when the unfortunate incident occurred, but that would be a bald faced lie and with the recent increase in posts on ethics how could I live with myself?

    So....we had arrived back at the campsite for the night and were enjoying a burger and drink around the fire listening to the coyotes when my beautiful rod (insert phallic joke here) was unceremoniously slammed in the door of the truck.

    Now, I would like to say that I was able to laugh this off or wax poetic or quote some dead philosopher about this heinous crime and the brevity of life, but once again the ethical I screamed, cursed, ranted and raved, and cried like a little baby all the while cradling my rod (more phallic symbolism) and the broken tip. My friends were very supportive offering little pearls of wisdom such as..."why the heck did you leave it there you idiot??" and "tough break, get it, tough break..Ha Ha!" After the brawl was over, I realized that my rod has a life time warranty which leads me back the original reason for this post.

    I called Sage, which is located on Bainbridge Island, and gave them the above story. The outpouring of sympathy I received from them was truly beautiful i.e. "Why the heck did you leave it there you idiot?"
    (Just kidding. The people were wonderful to work with.) Since I live in the Poulsbo area, I was told that I could come in and have the rod fixed.

    So I went to Sage with my broken rod much like Aragorn and his broken sword. I was expecting to hear "we'll have it ready for you in a week" but instead I was instructed to sit down. 10 minutes later the gentleman came out with my rod and lo and was fixed!!

    As my trembling hand reached for the rod, a light suddenly pierced the room and shined gloriously on my rod and I (really, someone had inadvertently turned on their headlights outside which came in through the office window, but I knew it was a sign!). As my hand laid hold of the sword..I mean rod, I felt a sudden strength course along the length of the rod into my body and I swung the rod high in the air chanting some long forgotten dead language A Elbereth A Gilthoniel!! which loosely translated means "the rod that was broken will fish again!"

    I walked out of the Sage factory head held high and shoulders thrown back. I went fishing that afternoon for sea run cutts in the salt. The rod handled as good as ever and was put to the test by some very stout fish.

    As I returned the sword..I mean rod back to it's case, my mind drifted (not uncommon hence this post) to Sage and their employees. There is much good in this world but to take and fix a mans broken rod and shattered dreams is downright heroic.

    Kudos to Sage!!!
  2. Surf_Candy Member

    Posts: 804
    Bainbridge Island, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Nice! Why are we so impressed with great service? Maybe we hit McDonalds too much.

    I live on Bainbridge and often think of scouting out their trash cans at night.....
  3. Bright Rivers Member

    Posts: 513
    Bellevue, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You're not the first one to wonder what's in the dumpster at Sage. I toured their facility last year. They have an extremely rigorous quality control program which results in dozens of perfectly good blanks (or just short of perfect, I guess) going into the dumpster every day. When they learned that the locals were rumaging through their dumpster at night, they began breaking every blank over their knee before tossing it.


    "If I don't catch them today, I'll catch them another day." Art Flick
  4. BOBLAWLESS New Member

    Posts: 2,879
    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Yea, but the guides are still good and handles work just fine when reamed out. :WINK
  5. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Posts: 3,899
    Hiding in your closet
    Ratings: +75 / 0
    Makes you wonder how many people unknowingly bought those tossed-out rods from the scavengers. Sounds similar to the days when Microsoft had to hire people to break the cd's they threw out because people were scrounging them out of dumpsters and selling them.
  6. circlespey Member

    Posts: 244
    Seattle, WA.
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    Hey, we still do that, but we just do it with software that you can't hack!
  7. Michael Thore Member

    Posts: 25
    woodinville, wa
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Dude that is funny post! I've had the same experience with them on my 8wt XP.

    Keep it bent! (not broken!)
  8. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Posts: 3,899
    Hiding in your closet
    Ratings: +75 / 0
    There's no such thing...
  9. glowbug New Member

    Posts: 23
    Sammamish, WA, usa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I broke my xp 8 weight 7 times since december while bringing in steelies on the peninsula. All incidents were manufacture defects with the 4 piece blank. Sage has admitted this and yet they still send me the same rod with the broken piece fixed. Sage doesn't understand that when your rod snaps midway at the ferrule the rest of the pole drops on the rocks causing dings in the blank that will blow up on your next steelhead, even when its returned to you from the factory.

    Yes they cast like a dream, but are they sacrificing strength for performance? I think so. A ton of fishing trips to AK and the peninsula last year have been a serious disappointment. There's nothing like driving 4 hours to fish and your rod shattering on the first hook up. Every time I paid for shipping, and then was billed for $20.00 by sage. Most of the time they immediately ship me a back up rod while mine is being fixed. The only problem, its a nine or seven weight.

    After 7 incidents they still won't give me a brand new rod.
    I think the xp series is the most unreliable rod ever made. I'm afraid to fish with it in fear that I might hook a chromer.

    No kudos from me! I've got more faith in my eight weight 70's vintage fiberglass fenwick. :REALLYMAD
  10. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,037
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +715 / 0
    I have to say that the Sage people have been great to me too. When I lived in New England they were great, and they are great here. Guiding, and on my own, I have seen allot of the XP rods used on a wide range of fish- none of them broke. I might be wrong, but it sounds like operator error most of the time.Rods dont break, they get broken. Frequently by the person who has his hand, or car door, on the rod at the time. An old time rodmaker friend back east,Ted Simroe, who developed allot of the modern tapers for graphite rods used today, told me that most of the big rod makers tips are too small in diameter and that they do sacrifice strength for performance.Yes, the fiberglass rod will last forever, it just won't cast as sweetly or as well and you'll have to work harder too.In all fairness to the XP user's problems stated above, it sounds like Sage is trying to correct the defect and make good on the warranty too.I put my money on Sage. I used to think I could buy cheap stuff and get by with it. And so that's all I ever did- just got by. I work too hard for my money to buy cheap stuff. I pay more for the performance and I appreciate it. The price also reflects the warranty. Next time you pay too much for a car, see if they replace it when you break it beyond repair. In the long run it's a small price to pay.
  11. Tim Ugaldea New Member

    Posts: 30
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have an older Sage 2wtLL. It has been my favorite rod for most fishing in the 509 as well as NoIdaho and Montana. Needless to say I was terribly upset when I broke the tip on a fish. I thought I would have to find a new rod since it was old. I called Sage and they said send it in. 2 weeks later it was returned with a whole new tip section. I couldn't have been happier. I hear St. Croix and Orvis have excellent records for customer service also. Loomis could have learned a lesson or two from them. Tim
  12. drbob New Member

    Posts: 11
    Poulsbo, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Yeah, I had a similar experience with Sage. Not being able to afford a factory built Sage, I built my own. A 5 piece, 4wt. SP model. The process took a long time, was very tedious, but I was thrilled with my accomplishment. Took it to Hosmer Lake in Oregon. Bragged to my fishing buddy who was along with me about what a wonderful job I had done building this spiffy rod. Was out there in the canoe putting it together, first the reel on the butt end, then putting the sections together pushing the butt end away from me as I assembled each section. Rod together, I picked it up by the tip end. The rod bent and one of the sections broke! I was both pissed and extremely embarrassed. My buddy got a real charge out of it. Had to go home without fishing. No rod.

    So I went to Sage. They didn't question me or laugh at me. They empathized with my situation, even though they knew I deserved what I got for my careless handling of the rod. They just went in the back and gave me a replacement section. Of course, I had to wrap the eyes on, etc., but now it's fine. I've caught many fish on the rod since then, and everyone's a thrill because I built the rod. Found out later that technically they didn't have to replace the section because they didn't build it. Nice guys, kudos to them.

    By the way, I live in Poulsbo if anybody else on this side of the pond ever wants to go fishing. :TONGUE
  13. glowbug New Member

    Posts: 23
    Sammamish, WA, usa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You obviously don't break alot of rods. which means you don't fish alot or catch alot. Or when you break one your not to far from home. Must be nice. It also must be nice to have such knowledgable friends. I'm sure thats my problem, the car door. It eats me everytime I try to get out of the car. I think I'm going to spend the rest of today writing appology notes to sage. If only I new after all these years that graphite rods don't break, they get broken.

    And yes sage is trying hard to correct the problem and honor the warranty.

    Take for instance, the fly rod broke on the last section of the butt end right below the ferrule, "very difficult to break". So I sent the rod back and they returned to me the same rod with a new butt end. Eager to cast this rod, I assembled it and took it right out into the back yard and made a cast. On the 3rd cast I hooked about an 8# spawned out sockeye and that dam rod broke in the exact same place. I wish I could blaim it on a car door.

  14. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,050
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    You'll probably get all-fired up about this response to your post, but here it goes . . .

    Sage won't say it, but seven times in one month surely points to operator error. Sure, a person can say "hey it broke at the ferrule, so it has to be a structural problem". If a person forgets to periodically check/tighten the ferrules, and if the ferrules are just even a wee bit loose when a person is stressing the rod with a big fish (which I assume you're catching), the rod will break at that ferrule.

    If the ferrule is loose, the stress is not distributed all along the contact point, like it would if it were tight. Instead, when the rod is bent, the tip of the internal portion of the ferrule is the contact point, and all the stress will be concentrated at that point.

    Of course, I'm sure you check your ferrules all the time, and of course you keep them waxed so they fit tightly. But, from what you described, it doesn't sound like it's probably a gear problem.
  15. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,050
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    Great story!

    Sage kicks butt in both performance and customer service! :THUMBSUP
  16. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,050
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    But how was the fishing . . . ?

    Great Sage story . . .

    But what about the fishing on the fishing trip? How was the trip? :BIGSMILE