Sage LL 379 - Kicking The Tires

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Stew McLeod, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. Stew McLeod aka BigMac

    Posts: 1,180
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +90 / 0
    I was lucky enough to add a LL 379 to my quiver over the winter as a birthday gift to myself. Now, I bought this thing based on all the reading I had done where folks loved the LL 386 and 379's and how these the LL series rods were considered some of "the best" ever made.

    My initial test of the rod was on the Cedar in mid-June. Thoughts at the time were it was a dream to cast and loved it but it never really got tested that day (i.e. fish of any size). My youngest boy took it out for a spin and had nice things to say about it too.

    The real test was during my recent visit to the Elk River in BC. I took along a couple of 3 wts (the LL being one, a St Croix Avid the other) and a couple of 5 wts (which I normally use on that river).

    Day one on the river I took the LL along and got into some prototypical cutties for that river - 15-17 inch variety and the rod handled them marvellously and even handled a mild wind.

    Day two on the river I figured I'd stick with the LL and fish the whole day with it. First couple of fish were the same size as the day before and the rod worked as expected. It must of been the 4th or 5th fish of the day when I tied onto the largest fish I have ever had on that river, easily a 20+ inch fish. The rod fought the fish well and handled everything it tried - running, small leap, some wicked head shakes. The fight was a bit long due to the 5x tippet but the rod handled like a dream.

    The full test of the LL has now moved it to the top of my 3 wt rods and moved my old favorite (the St. Croix) to the side.

    Great rod.
    Nooksack Mac and Kent Lufkin like this.
  2. scottr Active Member

    Posts: 450
    Chasing trout and birds
    Ratings: +106 / 0
    I have the Sage VPS 389 which I was told was the re-issued LL. When I want to fish 6x and size 20s it is my go to spring creek rod.

    One thing I find interesting in your story is that the LL had a enough backbone to fight that larger fish (boy are they healthy on the Elk). This has been my experience with the VPS as well.

    While fishing in Montana I overhead our guide talking about modern light line rods and with the new designs many don't handle large fish as well as older designs. Anyone experienced this first hand?
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  3. Stew McLeod aka BigMac

    Posts: 1,180
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +90 / 0
    My St Croix 3wt has been into a couple of large-ish fish on the Cedar and struggled. The LL had no problems at all and I did not feel under gunned.
  4. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,151
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +795 / 1
    I have a are gonna love that rod for a long time. I want a LL389 in great condition so bad my teeth ache...anyone got one they wish to part with?
  5. Skysoldier Trout Hunter

    Posts: 755
    Lost in the woods.....
    Ratings: +197 / 0
    I have had a LL389 for years and it is easily one of the best rods I have ever used. I plan on taking it with me to that great big river in the sky.
    Porter likes this.
  6. jeff bandy Make my day

    Posts: 2,437
    Edmonds, Wa.
    Ratings: +418 / 2
    Probably because the newer rods are not as forgiving on lite tippet. Faster is not always better.
  7. Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Posts: 839
    Western, WA
    Ratings: +193 / 2
    The LL is a great rod but if you can't find one or don't want to pay a premium on a used rod, get a Circa and don't look back.

    IMO the Sage Circa 389 is easier on light tippets than the LL389-4. I think it casts better too - more accurate and able to generate better line speed while still feeling 'slower'. I don't know how they did it but they did.

    I haven't had a 20" fish on either the LL or Circa but the Circa handled a bunch of fish like this one on 6X with no problem at all. I was very comfortable putting a lot of pressure on the fish and didn't break any off which I usually do because I'm a clusterf**ck when it comes to fighting fish..

    Kcahill, Kent Lufkin and Stew McLeod like this.
  8. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 2,011
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +283 / 0
    That's a pretty fish! I'm going to miss those pure Westslopes when it gets cold out. I know everyone here loves Sage, and they are very good rods, but there are rods similar to the LL still made by all the other big rod companies. Scott G2, T&T LPS, Orvis Superfine, and Winston BIIT are all good too. I had an LL 4711 for a few months last spring. It was a nice 3.5 weight, but I just didn't feel the magic everyone else seems to get from the LL. I prefer a Scott SES 803 instead, it has a bit more balls but casts more delicately.
    Porter likes this.
  9. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,478
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +534 / 0
    Lots of Scott G fans too. I have a friend who was pretty much in the sage corner (little orvis too). He has converted over to Scott rods. Not only the G2's but he also likes the A4 series for tossing streamers.
  10. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,976
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +516 / 2
    I have that VPS 389 as well and love it.

    A shorter version of the same thing would rock. Though the 8' 3wt CT I have does a close enough aprox for my needs I suppose.
  11. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,138
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,228 / 0
    From the very beginning of their all-too-short production run, the LLs were amazingly popular rods. When Sage stopped making them, a lot of shops were left trying to move newer replacement rods like the SP or the VPS to people who came in looking for the no-longer-available LLs.

    Shop staff are notorious for saying whatever they think will help to close a sale. More recently some reps and staff also told prospects that the Redington CT was really made on the same blank as the LL.

    When Sage actually did reissue the 389-4 LL briefly in a run of just 500 individually-numbered rods back in the early to mid-2000s, they didn't play it cagey by giving it another model or name. They simply called it the 'Sage Classic LL'.

  12. 1morecast Active Member

    Posts: 751
    Port Angeles
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    I Agree with Kyle, the T&T LPS series areone of my favorite rods of all time. I'm still looking for the 7''6" 3wt in the LPS series. I have a 905-3 LPS that is a pleasure to cast. A sz 20 trico or sz. 4 salmon fly the lps series can handle them all with grace and ease.