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Sage Launch Series Rods


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I was looking at good cheap flyrods and had a chance to look at the the Sage Launch Series Rods. They feel impressive, will not know till I can cast one. They may be a few out there, can someone provide some feed back on these rods and the story behind the new technology.


Through Sages exclusive G5 process, they were able to remove every gram of unnecessary material from each rod blank and replace traditional glass hoop fibers with lighter, more responsive graphite.

In fishing terms, this means these rods provide anglers with an incredibly high line feel and response, resulting in intuitively better casting. This would leave my old G2 and G3 heavier in weight, by a few ounces but no one is counting. It would also lead to a rod with a lower breaking strength since low modulus tend to break easily???


Don't want to bore you, but it helps to know why you paying $600.00 for that 4wt. rod. I will keep it shorter than Mr. Robinson explanations, sorry dynamic Dave :D .


Simply put, graphite is a carbon fiber material containing micro graphite crystals. When these are combined with certain resins and textile materials, they produce the graphite filaments that are used in rod blank production.


Modulus/IM and Ton Rating is the term referring to the elasticity of the graphite. It is the relationship between stress (the applied force per square inch) and strain (the amount of deformation that the force causes per square inch). You can think of modulus as stiffness. The IM and/or Ton rating refers to the overall modulus of the material. Some Rod builders we use a unique blend of high tensile strength AGC (Aerospace Grade Carbon) fibers which give your rods a super strong backbone with added sensitivity. You will also notice the light weight that allows for effortless casting and all day fishing comfort.


Rating Chart used by rod manufactures

IM-6 Graphite = 30+ Ton Material (Standard Modulus)

IM-7 Graphite = 35+ Ton Material (Intermediate Modulus)

IM-8 Graphite = 40+ Ton Material (Intermediate/High Modulus)

IM-10 Graphite = 54+ Ton Material (High Modulus)


While most high end rods fall into the IM7 and IM8 graphite categories, the unique blending of intermediate and high modulus materials create Multi Modulus Graphite. This gives high end rods one-of-a-kind actions and superior sensitivity and durability.


Resin is an adhesive that is combined with graphite fiber to create the material that is used for graphite rod production. high end rods uses P.E. (Polymeric Elastomer) Resin System which is a combination of rubber materials and thermoplastics. This combination allows for greater bonding power of the graphite fibers and also aids in the overall flex, hoop strength and impact resistance of the rod blank.


This may not seem like a big deal, but casting into the wind chucking a size 6 woolly bugger on the Bow all day, ends up in a very sore shoulder the following day....



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Ya kind of lost me after the first para so I'll only comment re: the Sage Launch. The Sage Launch is a great little rod with what I consider to be a medium fast action. I have one in a 3 weight and its a dream. The rod is not 600 dollars..it sells for about 250.00.


I'm not sure where you were headed with the remainder of your post so I'll wait for our beloved Dave R. to put in his 2 cents.



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............I'm not sure where you were headed with the remainder of your post .................Vince

Hey Vince, I taught Mechanics of Materials for 30 years --- I'll explain it all to over beer some time. sigma=My/I, epsilon=delta L/L, blah, blah, blah, blah, yawn, blah, blah, :bugeye::bugeye: Terry
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Thanks for the reply Vince, glad to see that you are happy with it, you must have the 379. The Launch is getting rave reviews at its price point which is now 219:00 for the 2piece. I talked to a fly fishing school and they are switching to this series, because of quality of the rod, for beginning casters. Where I was going with the post was the new patented process they have come up in stripping out unneeded weight, making the rods lighter, so you can feel the action and loading characteristics.


In theory If you can feel the dynamics of the rod, you can better control your cast, with better loop control. To me it simply means you can come close to the technology of a $600.00 rod at a bargain price. I have order 3 to 6 wts., will put them to the test.



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In my books you can't go wrong with the Launch. My 3 weight is a few years old and is the 7'6" 2 piece model. Casts so well that I'm going to pick up a 5 weight for my son.


The Sage 600 and 700 dollar rods are, in my opinion, first class rods and are worth every penny. As you move up the Sage line the quality of rod improves though I'm not sure about their claim of stripping weight from the rod...what I think they've done is make adjustments to better balance the rod and how it feels in your hand and if it feels good then it makes for a great day on the water. Casting and loop control are both a matter of time on the water casting...I know guys that can take a 70 dollar rod and make it sing a sweet tune. Good luck and enjoy the rods.



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Roy, Vince knows my take on the Launch to me it just doesn't have the back bone needed. I tried one briefly on the stream a couple of years ago and really wasn't impress. This is not to say its a bad rod its just a bad rod for me.


All in the perferance of the action you like.


Tight Lines Always

Dennis S :fishing::fish_jump:

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Dennis is correct, sort of. If your like him and prefer to chuck a pound of lead when nymphing then the Launch is not the best rod but if the majority of your fishing is on the dry then the Launch is perfect. Everyone has their own perfect action that they like, mine happens to be a rod in the medium fast range and dennis prefers a very fast action rod...both are good...you just have to decide which action you prefer.



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Ok..got me thinking here...I was looking at possibly picking up an 8wt Lauch at the upcoming Outdoor show..hoping it was on sale for cheap...


I'm going to use my 8wt for mostly pike fishing...meaning throwing heavy flies. What type of action would you recommend? Any lesser expensive rods you would recommend (i.e. no more expensive than the Launch).


See ya


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I've got far too many rods. Some old Orvis ones, a couple of Loomis, some St Croix and some Sage.

With the exception of my older Orvis, which were fine in their day, and the St. Croix, which are four piece travel rods,

I use a 7wt Loomis GLX a 5 wt Loomis GL3 and a 4 wt Sage FLi the most.

The7 wt is for large water, big flies, big fish and as a second rod when trolling big flies in the canoe.

The 5 wt I use on medium water for trout and Rockies

The 4 wt I use for small streams.

The GLX is a fast action rod, strong in the butt, handles big flies and wind well and is good for distance casting.

It's similar to the higher end Sage rods, both in action and price.

The GL3 is a medium action rod, similar (in price also) to the St Croix and Sage Fli.

It's a good all round rod for many fishing situations where some distance and the ability to handle a bit of wind counts.

The 4 Wt FLi is a beautiful rod for small streams, being a bit softer in the tip than the GL3.

Personally, I find the Launch a bit slow and soft to my taste.

I think over the long haul, if you want an all purpose rod, you'd be better off with an FLi.

It has more backbone and a slightly faster action that would stand up better to more varied fishing situations.

I also own a Sage 9wt RPLXi and a 7 wt Xi2. Both are very fast action intended for big fish and salt water. Then thers' my old Orvis 7 1/2 ft 4 weight "brook trout" rod which is fun on very small creeks and little fish.

You should know, that Vince likes slow action rods. No criticism intended. That's his personal preference.

He's also a big fan of small creek fishing, which explains the shorter, slower rods.

Every caster had a distinct stroke and as a result will find some rod actions preferable over others.

The best thing you can do is go to a good fly shop and try a couple of different ones out.

Your casting stroke is likely different from everyone else's and you want a rod the suits it.

What I'm getting at here is that you should pick a rod that matches the fishing you do and your casting style.

Consider line weight and action based on where, what for and under what conditions you fish.

Edited by dave robinson
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Roy & Adam


These posts of ours could go on for a lifetime and at the end of the lifetime you'll get a bunch of people who prefer fast rods and you'll get a bunch of people who prefer any rod but a fast rod. We've been chatting here like we know what the hell we're talking about and really we don't...thats the long and the short of it. Grab a few rods if you can and try them out to see what works best for you....once you've done that see if you can grab a different line or two and see which line works best for your rod. Good Luck and by the way....keep this to yourself...I don't agree with Dave's comment that the FLI is your best choice....remember to keep that to yourself I don't want Dave to find that out.



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Darn someone told you...fess up...was it Roy or Adam.


Now, this is what I don't understand. You call ME a noodle lover...now isn't that a bit of a strange comment coming from a fellow who owns what may be considered the world's noodlest (my new word) rod...the Orvis 7 1/2 foot 4 weight. That is perhaps the only rod in the world where going from a forward cast to the backcast you can sing the following "cows eat oats and doe's eat oats and little lambs eat ivy" and you would still not be ready to start your final forward cast. Hell, that rod makes all bamboo rods feel like ultra fast rods.


See you Wednesday night where the games will continue. :beating:



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You're right about the Orvis Brook Trout being a soft, slow rod.., er should I say a fine "presentation" rod.

I bought the blank for about $80 at a Fishin' Hole clearance about 10 years ago.

I built it with a light wood up-locking reel seat and Fuji single foot guides so it would be light and shoot line well.

I haven't used it much in the last few years and not at all since I bought the Fli.

It is best used on very small, brush covered streams with small fish.

I'm saving it for Vince Creek! :pray::zipper:

Edited by dave robinson
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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, had a great time at the show last night, good to see old faces and a privilege to meet new ones. In conversation about what else but fly gear. The norm these days seem towards faster line speeds and stiffer rods. We all want to throw out 150 feet plus line out there in one cast, and it works well for lakes, but line control and presentation not to mention accuracy becomes an issue. I really wanted to play with the now old Sage launch series rods, being an old Sage and Orvis fan I own a few of the older models. When I fist looked at these rods at the Shops, the first attraction was the price, and the color of the blank. The champagne color was very close to the new Orvis CFO reels, you don’t want to be caught dead on the creek, and not color coordinated, don’t want to get caught by the fashion police like that TV show on TLC. I had in the past acquired a 2wt.TFO series one, and was paying attention to the TiCr. Having recently come to be in the market for a new three weight (yeah, like when are we NOT in the market for a new rod?)

So I laid out the arsenal on the back lawn this morning, followed by a light flurry shower, whatever happened to global warming?

Sage, Orvis, Hardy, G-Loomis, Powell, Winston, TFO, were test subjects


Reading reviews on the web everyone seems impressed with its performance and hated the color of the blank. The test was to be able to throw big bugs with the Launch three weight (376), keeping in mind not to lose accuracy and be in control of the cast. A 3wt. rod is not meant for chucking wooly buggers, but there are instances, where you wish it could.

The launch was very light in the hand, mated with a Hardy Marquis#2. Almost like it was not even there. Very comfortable grip with the typical primo SAGE cork that is not too narrow or fat, just the right cigar shape grip that fit the inside of the hand. Well, it was loading beautiful with about five feet of line out and then casting into about 50 feet of line like it was the same five. The rod is a medium fast action but VERY sensitive. You could feel every move you made with it. Accuracy is within limits, I was in the bulleyes every time even with a medium wind, this would account for the longer rod length for the launch 3 wt. at 7’6” a lot longer than the other 3wt. in its class. Rod cosmetics were superior as well, as compared to the more expensive rods, very impressed with the fit and finish its almost matched to the Winston and Powell. Great nickel silver hardware top off a very functional piece of wood for a spacer. Guides are all stiff snake and the wraps are as good as on the Winston. No sloppiness here. And in this day and age of rods not having a tube with them, this one goes beyond with a very attractive green cordura tube with partition on the inner sock. In a two piece the blanks never rub against each other. The disturbing part of his test is I liked casting the 2 piece over the 4 piece. The 2 piece seemed more sensitive, but would only be able to justify this while casting in water.

Bottom line if you are new to the quite sport of flyfishing and looking for primo gear without the primo price tag look at the Sage launch. The temple fork series is a good alternative, but I am leary with the assembly, fit and finish. I had to take back my series one twice back to the flyshop because of flaws in the rod. The Sage rods all have serial numbers on them where as the TFO’s don’t that tells me that they are mass produced with little quality or no quality control in the actual making of the rod. At $219:00 with 10% off ( $197.00 plus tax ) at the show it’s an incredible value compared to the big players.


With that said, and this is just my two bits I like casting well made flyrods, I am not a rod builder and would never attempt to build a rod. Rod building is an art and should be left to master rod builders with years of experience. Must say, if you are in the market for a new rod and don't want to spend the kids inheritance or if you do but want money for the fishing trip, check into the Launch series. You cannot go wrong.



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If you're in the market for a new rod, you'd best run down to the Outdoor Show.

You can try out rods on the casting pond at least from the Loomis and Redington booths

and can perhaps convince the Fishin Hole staff to try a Sage or TFO you are interested in buying.

Try before you buy is the best way to ensure satisfaction in a rod purchase.

The Fishin' Hole has some great pricing on a limited selection of Loomis and Sage SLTs.

They may have some show deals on others if you talk nice to the staff.


While you're there, don't forget to wander around the Campers Village side.

They too have some great deals on outdoor gear.

I'm thinking of picking up a new Pelican case for my telescope eyepieces .


I am seriously considering the new MSR hyperflow microfilter I saw being demoed.

It's lighter and more compact than the previous waterworks mini so it would be a great vest addition.

It fits to a standard Nalgene bottle with an adapter cap and produces 2.75 l/min

That would reduce the number of bottles and amount of water you have to carry on a hot day.

It has a 0.2 micron pore size which would take out all the pathogens we see in Alberta.

It's a bit more expensive than the older version but can handle 2000 l before cartridge replacement.

Should last me for years.

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