Sage Method 7wt 10 ft thoughts

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Paaka, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. Anyone fished the sage method 7wt 10 ft rod? Trying to get overall impressions and thoughts. I have a Winston BIIIx 8wt 9ft that just doesn't seem to have the backbone for getting the hook set in long 60+ feet drifts and turning strong steelhead. Was wanting to upgrade to a "beefier" rod in the 10 ft length for better mending (don't know how to Spey cast yet). I have read that a sage method 7wt fishes more like an 8wt which is why I am looking into this rod.
    Thoughts are much appreciated.
  2. tcx never should have been replaced. neither should the xp.
    ditto on the 9' reccomendation. also easier on the elbow.
  3. I used a ten foot 7wt RPL for years - in fact I still have it and it's undergoing its second rewrap. I don't think I've ever had any trouble landing fish with it. Although I seldom try to "turn" them, choosing instead to let them run.
    Little known secret; if you quit pulling on the fish, the fish will quit pulling on the line.
  4. Thanks for the replies and thoughts. I guess I better explain a bit more. I live in the Midwest and travel to Michigan to steelhead fish. The nymphing method involves casting directly across stream and then dead drifting nymphs downstream sometimes with drifts as long as 70-80 feet. If a fish strikes at the end of your drift (70 feet downstream) it is difficult to get a good hook set simply because of the amout of line out and hard to get good initial pressure on the fish with large amounts of fly line out. I was considering a 10 footer to help with line mending but also getting a better hook set. I have only fished a 10 rod once (with the guide one day) and it appears that most steelheader's up there are either fishing switch rods or 10 foot rods. I lost a lot of steelhead (due to hooks coming out on hook set) when I fished my 9 ft 8wt and noticed that my BIIIx had a lot of tip/mid flex when setting the hook/fighting a fish and was wondering if this was hurting my cause when setting the hook on a 70-80 foot drift.
    I agree a 10 footer will be harder on the shoulder/arm but I am mainly roll casting and the extra length I would assume to help with roll casting.

  5. Th Method will work fine for what you want to do. I think the more directly below you the fish is when it takes, the more challenging the hook set will be. With a swung fly the wisdom says to hold off on the hook set until the fish turns or moves (giving you a better angle to set the hook). I am not sure a 10' rod will necessarily solve the problem you are mentioning, but it should not hurt. It may be more a technique issue, than equipment issue.

    As an aside, if you are looking for a 10' - ish nymphing stick, I cannot recommend the Echo Ion enough. I have two that I've been using for small stream nymphing steelhead (6 wt and 8wt) and they have excellent ability to put the screws to bigger fish.

    I have reached the point where I prefer a switch for nymphing, but that's not what you asked about :)
  6. David thanks so much. I nymph a lot of western streams the traditional way and never have a problem with hook sets but def did when drifting almost 80 feet of 8wt floating line straight downstream this past weekend. Line control was part of the problem but picking up that much line to set the hook required a great deal of effort and I just didn't feel like my 9ft BIIIX had enough backbone to really get that hook good and snug into the steelheads mouth (hence many lost fish within the first 3-5 seconds of setting the hook). I'm sure it doesn't help that the steelhead were smart and started swimming upstream once they felt the hook but even when I was landing a steelhead my 8wt seemed doubled over.
    Thanks for the Ion recommendation...will def look into that rod as well.
    David Dalan likes this.
  7. Have you tried doing a sweep set, using the current to help rather then lift?

    Not sure if it will work though just a thought.

    Also if your rod is flexing like that it depends on fish size, current etc. When you turn a fish is there an issue with him following or is the rod performing well but the bend is freaking you out on landing?
  8. Paaka,

    I don't think rod length or backbone is the issue. I think it is the angle formed by your long line between you and where the fish is. A long angle that is nearly straight downstream is an extremely difficult position from which to make a solid hookup. Another conflict arises in that rods that are good for nymphing typically have a lot of flex. Rods that are good for hooksets are stiff as a fireplace poker. To get a good hookset from the way you are fishing I think requires that your line drift downstream in an "L" shape, with the long leg toward your rod and the short leg toward your fly. When you get a hit, strip set, using the friction of your line on the water to pull the leader and then the fly into the corner of the fish's jaw. Raising the rod to set the hook lifts line off the water, reducing line:water friction and making the connection between you and the fish a more straight downstream line, which lowers the probability of hooking up. All IMO of course.

  9. I'm sure the sweep set would have helped considerably. After 15+ years of fishing traditional western streams with standard straight up hook sets I know I was still trying to set the rod up rather than a sweep set which cost me some fish.
    With regards to rod bend that's a great question...they were obviously large fish and that could have given me a false sense of "lack of backbone" in my 8wt.
    Do many of you guys ever fish 7wt rods for steelhead or is the more standard weight an 8wt?
  10. Sg-
    I think you are right on. I really needed to adjust my tactics and "forget" the way I have been setting the hook on small trout. Line control was a big issue...I was getting great long drag free drifts but had a lot of slack line in the water when my nymphs were drifting which created a TON of extra fly line to pick up if a steelie hit mid to late drift. This in combo with a straight up hook set just didn't get the job done setting the hook.
  11. Paaka,

    Until I switched to using 2-handed fly rods for steelheading, my main winter rod was an 8 wt, and my summer rod was a 7 wt. Fly rods are meant to be bent. My rods were adequate for steelhead to 23#. I just pull hard, bend the rod to the cork. After a while, even large fish come to hand.

  12. Stickier hooks would probably help too.
  13. oh yea I was sharpening my hooks every couple drifts
  14. No clue. I fish by sight and I fish by feel...I mix and sometimes I go with one instinct only. Sometimes I close my eyes and try to feel/imagine the line/fly and the take....sometimes I watch for that burp in the line. I'm sure the rod you have is suffecient. This is my Honest Opinon, and I have not tried the newer sage rods or others being offered by other Mfgers in recent years. But the 896 Sage XP is a rod to have for Steelhead. That thing will fling line to the destination spot, easy to mend with, and the tip is impressive, fishfighter extradoniare on top. .....Some one from sexy loops once wrote a review of the XP and he said he became the 'One' with the XP. I thought semi ironic. Oh well many here know I have a ":rolleyes: " for the 8 weight XP. On a side note 10' rods can be tiring after a few hours and even worse on multi day trips. Now regarding technique ....well many have done what you wish to do with 8' bamboo rods. ;)

Share This Page