Sage LL 4 wt rods

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Chicago Flyfisherman, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Chicago Flyfisherman Member

    Posts: 49
    Chicago, IL
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've been looking at a few Sage LL's in a 4 wt. There seems to be quite a bit of love out there for the 4711 but I've not been able to find much in the way of reviews of the shorter 4 wt's. All models that I've been able to locate are two piece sticks - which I suppose is no surprise. If I had a 3 piece or 4 piece rod in the LL I'd probably hold on to it too. I saw a 490-4 for about an hour and it was gone.

    Any comments on experiences with the shorter LL's? I'm obviously looking at rods that I can't cast before buying so the more information I can digest in print, the better.

    Cheers,
    Mike.
  2. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,135
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 1
    I bought a LL-379 blank from Patrick's that I built some years back. It's a 3 piece and an really great rod...won't ever part with it.
  3. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,632
    Ratings: +434 / 0
    I built a 490 LL with John Propp, when he had his fly shop in Spokane. I didn't even know there was a four piece in those rods. I wouldn't post any news about it if you find one, ha ha.

    Typical Sage, make a rod that sells like crazy, then in the name of "marketing" change your product line. They should learn from Winston. Once you make a great rod, KEEP MAKING THEM! I don't get it. Reminds me of when I use to race road bikes. Every year Shimano kept changing there product line, the team mechanic would have to re-learn the adjustments.
  4. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,519
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +343 / 1
    I've had a two piece 490 LL for about 25 years. It's the finest "fishing" rod I own. I'd never part with it; coupled it with a Maryat MR8, copper colored reel. It's landed everything from bluegill to steelhead. Good luck with your search. You won't regret finding one.
  5. Paul Potter Member

    Posts: 59
    Westport, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Have had a 2-piece 490 LL for over 15 years. I'm with Steve. If you find one, grab it.
  6. speyfisher Active Member

    Posts: 1,067
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    Ratings: +139 / 3
    You've pretty much got the idea by now. People who have those rods hang onto them. They rarely show up for sale. And when they do, they get grabed up within an hour of listing.

    Back when they were still being made, I had the opportunity to compare a Sage 490-3LL, along with a T&T 490-3 LP side by side. They were so close I rated the LL a 10 & the LP a 9.5. The price tag on the LP being about $100 less than the LL, I bought the LP. I figured I could learn to love the LP just as well. Even though I have a lot of Sage rods, I have never regretted choosing the LP.

    As mentioned in previous posts, Sage is known for discontinuing rods after a few years. They also made the SP (soft presentation) along with the SPL (SP Light). But, alas, they too have gone the way of the dodo. Not sure if T&T still makes the LP (light presentation).

    Basically what you are looking for is to break away from these fast action (tip action) rods that have become all the rage. They are out there. They just don't get the press that the fast actions get. Even Cabellas used to have some nice 3 & 4 & 5 wt slow action rods. Look around. Keep an open mind.
  7. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,249
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +1,033 / 1
    I've used two 490 LL's. The first was a graphite II with the smoothest action. Then the tip broke and when Sage replaced it, they were out of graphite II. The graphite III are just a tad stiffer and don't feel the same. But they are still a soft action.
  8. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,635
    Ratings: +648 / 2
    If you have not cast one of these LL'S let me chime in on what i think about the LL . If you like a rod with a super soft tip and a very strong but then its the rod for you . I bought a 590 2 pc. LL and fished it once and sold it that week . I did not like the soft tip - strong butt - build of this rod , it made it feel like it was jointed - to soft a tip on to strong of a butt . like mentioned you can land a steelhead on it because the butt is so strong .

    I know many casters like these rods and it just did not feel right to me . If you can test one - but that is hard to do - it is an easy resale .

    After trying the 9' I also thought that maybe a shorter version would not have such a dramatic change from tip to butt - you could be on to something with the shorter length . I should also mention I like a progressive taper rod and full flex through the whole blank , i just kept feeling the tip was going to brake when going long and had to flatten the rod and lead with the butt , something i'm not used too.GOOD LUCK.
  9. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,135
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 1
    speyfisher is wise and brings up excellent points about some of the older Cabela's series rods having the LL type action. During my rod building heydays, I made several dozen rods for friends using their PT (progressive taper) blanks. They had a really nice, soft feel to them and most are still with their original owners. They're not made anymore, I think the PT+ is maybe the closest, but don't know for sure? When the "speed sticks" hit the market, it sort of took the moderate action rods out of production -- or perhaps more accurate, faster rods w/o the heritage action simply got re-named moderate or moderate-fast.

    Also good information on the T&T LP. I've never owned or fished these, but have heard they are a clone to the Sage LL's.

    You might also give the folks at Patrick's Fly Shop a call. They know the Sage family and history of rods very well and may be able to suggest some options.

    Good luck in the search on the LL, but know you have company in this quest ;)
  10. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,632
    Ratings: +434 / 0
    Mark is right, and that is why I do like mine. On smaller fish 12 - 16" range, it is a fun rod to play fish on. When I'd catch the medium to bigger fish, I knew I had "enough" rod to get the fish in quick enough, so that I wouldn't tire them out too much in the warmer weather. To each his own I guess. That's why we own so many different rods right?
  11. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,471
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +530 / 0
    Love my 389 LL, best dry line fly rod I have ever casted. I have the 4 piece which was part of sage's attempt to re-introduce their so called classics. It didn't go over to well because most shoppers were in to the fast and faster and fastest rods out there. I was lucky. A store bought up the rest of the LL's and sold them at a discounted price, something like 45% off....I cant exactly remember but I think I paid around 300.00. In addition, I was really impressed with the redington ct (classic trout) rod. A budget rod but with high end feel (MHO). The older usa made st. croix imperial's in trout weights also had a very smooth medium action, and were an underated rod, once again in my opinion.
  12. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,226 / 0
    With all due respect, I think your opinion of LLs may be a bit biased based on your experience with the 5wt.

    I'm not disputing your opinion, but suggesting on the basis of only owning a 5wt that ALL LLs perform the same way strains credibility. Some would argue that a 5wt is a bit stout to be considered a true Light Line rod. I suspect that including a 5wt in the LL lineup that was primarily focused on 3wt and 4wt rods might have been a misguided attempt to broaden the potential market for the line as a whole. (Sage did a similar thing with their wonderful SP series: the lighter weights were beautifully balanced, but as the line weights increased, the rods got clunkier and less sensitive.) A taper design that mated a soft tip with a stiffer butt was probably a bit too much of a compromise.

    I've had a couple of LLs in both 3 and 4wt over the years and a good friend has a 379LL that he kindly allows me to fish occasionally. My experience with both weights is that they're probably the best balanced rod ever made. Yes, compared with today's broomstick rocket launchers, they have a decidedly slow action that's likely an acquired taste for younger fishers who were weaned on fast action rods.

    But as a fisher with a more relaxed casting stroke, another LL is one of the few graphite rods I'd consider adding to my already overflowing closet.

    K
  13. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,249
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +1,033 / 1
    I have the 590 LL also. Mine was purchased to be a chronie rod as I wanted a big loop when throwing chronies and indicators. It's not a 3 wt or 4 wt feel.
  14. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,635
    Ratings: +648 / 2
    I had noticed the lighter weights and shorter length LL rods do go for quite a bit more money . I figured there was a reason for that. Just casting and fishing the 5 wt. 9' rod gives me little experience with the whole line. there is a LL on a popular bid site right now and i watch them go all the time . many of the 5 wts go for only around $250 but the lighter weights go from $300 to over $400 that makes a lot of sense to me Kent. thanks for pointed that out - they have such a following that's why i tried one.

    But i also just tried the new 4 wt. superfine touch and that will be my next purchase. Great rod!
  15. Chicago Flyfisherman Member

    Posts: 49
    Chicago, IL
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks for all the replies all. Do any of you fish or have you fished the 473 LL? I've never fished a 4 wt that short and just recently bought a 373-3 SLT to throw at some small spring creek trout, which will be my shortest rod.

    I've been looking at a 4711 as well but wonder if it's an overlap of the only Winston in my quiver - the 480-4 biix. The issue with these LL's is they're all 2 piece sticks (those that I can find). Even the 490 I found is a 2 piece and they don't travel too well.

    I've also considered older Scott G series rods but there are even less of these around than the LL's.

    Cheers,
    Mike.
  16. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    379,490,590 all LLs AND all graphite II. best trout rods ever made by anyone. 2 piece never have presented a problem with my travels whether driving or flying. can't speak for the graphite III but i suspect that change by SAGE also changed the wonderful soft action of the originals.
  17. P.Dieter Just Another Bubba

    Posts: 707
    Seattle.
    Ratings: +153 / 0
    I have a 486, and wrapped two 4711's for friends. The 486 has been my main trout dry rod since that day and I love it. the 711's we consider more like 3wts, they just don't have the same "backbone" casting that 30' of line.
  18. ribka Active Member

    Posts: 1,432
    E WA
    Ratings: +169 / 0
    look at the Scott fiber touch fiberglass rods too. I have a 7 ft 2 wt I made from a Scott blank. Wonderful rod.

    I had a Sage LL in 4 wt and sold it. Used to be able to pick them up on the cheap. I regret to this day. Would love to pick up another Loomis IMX too. Another great rod that was discontinued

    I have a 4 and 5 wt made I made Cabelas Discontinued PT blanks. Really good small stream rods
  19. hydrological beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto

    Posts: 556
    inland
    Ratings: +106 / 0
    if you dont care about labels, sage reissued some of the LL's under the VPS lite name. you can get them a bit cheaper on fleabay than the originals.
  20. Chicago Flyfisherman Member

    Posts: 49
    Chicago, IL
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks, Hydro. I actually saw a VPS light today that my buddy steered me on another board. I just don't like the components on the rods. I'm sure they're fine blanks and casters/fishers.