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fly fishing hawaii:
the sage 7136-4 one.
since the last blog i’ve only fished once. yes, even bums get busy once in a while (just ask ed). i finally got my hands on a sage 7136-4 one rod. for 2013, sage has added two handed switch and spey rods to their one series of rods that they released on fish around the planet last year. built for steelheading, the 7136 is probably not the ideal rod for hawaiian waters but, like every new toy, i had to go play with it. besides all two handed rods can throw long distances with ease which isn’t a bad thing to be able to do in many situations.
i went out to an area that i haven’t fished in a long time, over a year at least. as usual, i chose where to fish by what gear i wanted to fish. as i mentioned, the 7136-4 one is not exactly your all around bonefish player. i needed an area that i could unload the longest casts and still be in the fishy zone. if there are fish around of course. catching fish didn’t matter that much to me on this day. i just wanted to play around with the rod. when i got out on the water i was greeted by a brisk southeast wind which makes casting (and fishing) a little trickier. not ideal conditions for sure. oh well, play the hand you’re dealt.
i loaded an abel spey reel with a wulff tracer floating running line. i used a floating running line instead of my usual intermediate because i was going to change heads a lot and i didn’t want the added task of making sure the reef didn’t grab my running line while i was changing heads. i tried a number of heads and in the end the recommended 31ft 480gr. rio steelhead scandi, the 34ft. 480gr. airflo compact scandi, and the rio 525 skagit flight all seemed to work well. next time i think i'll try a little lighter grain weights. so many heads, so little time.
the 7136-4 one setup, to me, did not feel a whole lot lighter than the sage 7136-4 z axis that it replaced. it was lighter though. what impressed me was that the rod has a much crisper or livelier feel to it and, as advertised, tracked extremely well (konnetic technology i guess). the rod also recovered very quickly. i was pleased to find that it was not a whole lot stiffer than the z but perhaps a shade faster. the improvements over the z axis (for this rod at least) were significant while still retaining everything i liked about the 7136-4 z. many times, these days, great rods get replaced by totally different animals. fortunately, i could still feel the soul or mana of the z in the 7136-4 one. in short, i liked it a lot. keep in mind that i only casted it on still water and not on flowing water and i am a work in progress when it comes to two handed casting. also i rarely. if ever, know what i am talking about. so far so good though. now i just gotta go steelheading again.
as far as fish goes, when i hooked the first bone with the 7136 i didn’t put a lot of pressure on the fish and just let it run as i studied how the rod bent under strain. bad idea, the fish took out a bunch of line and some backing and hung me in the reef before i even came out of my rod bend watching hypnotic state. the next fish just came unbuttoned or what we call “weedguard” referring to the losing of a fish for no apparent reason and blaming the weedguard (whether the fly has one or not).
“i better land a fish for the blog,” i thought fearing that my fooling around might result in having to write a blog about how great it was to fish this new rod and not catch anything.
a couple of little trumpets later i hooked a small bone that came up easily (my favorites). with blog photo secured, i absolutely laid into the next fish, put the screws to it and saw just how much this rod would bend on a fish. feeling a rod bent under extreme fish pulling strain is something i like to do with all of my new rods. it also happens to be something that bonefish are really good at doing. this fish felt decent and was able to bend the rod to the point of no give. graphite rods will all bend to a certain point where the powerful, stiff butt section just will not give anymore. this is different from fiberglass which is more of the “gift that keeps on giving” also a good characteristic, just in a different way. anyway the rod hit that point (which was pretty impressive to see) and the 24lb. polyleader turned out to be the weakest link in the system and straight up broke. the sage 7136-4 one, yet another great rod initiated into the quiver of clay. steelies beware. i’ll see you on the water.
check out thuy's latest video "dome chuggin'" from our trip to the n. umpqua
benny "the wombat" sporting his new raiden streetfighter ninja spey look at our "mini" speyclave. this kid can flat out spey cast something serious.
then yesterday, former nwff guide lars threw up this blast from the past on facebook and i quote, "i think we have a winner here :)". note the sage rplxi, abel big game #3, and cortland 555 flyline, and unmasked, healthy, ten years or so younger clay. same rubbermaid stripping basket, it's good to see that some things never change.
the sage 7136-4 one. yet another good rod for the pusuit of good times.