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Hi everyone. This week I got to try out Sage's latest and greatest creation, the Method. Initially I was not all that excited to use this rod, as its predecessors, the TCR and TCX were not rods I was overly fond of. After ten years of looking at new fly rod catalogs every fall, I find myself getting quite cynical about all the new and improved rods, which often aren't actually very different or that much better than last year's model. The Method, on the other hand, I feel is the most different and impressive rod Sage has come up with in several years.
At first glance, besides being bright red, the Method looks and feels like the rest of Sage's top shelf rods- lightweight with a nice balance and a good looking cork grip and reel seat. It's also got a big honkin fighting butt- more on that later. What got my attention during the "wiggle test" in the shop was how the tip had virtually no recoil after flexing 90 degrees. It's called "torsional stability" by Sage, a result of Konnetic technology. That may sound like a bunch of made up buzz words, but it ended up making the Method the most accurate rod I've ever cast.
So after casting the rod for a few days, what makes this red stick so special? It's not the distance casting, which all of the newer Sage rods can do. It's not even the casting into the wind, which is often the bane of flats fishing in Hawaii. It's the quick loading and firing off shots before the fish can change directions. It's the accuracy that allows you to put the fly exactly where you thought it should go. Looking back, I think I only blew one or two casts in three days of fishing, which must be some kind of record for me. So why should you fork over eight bills for a new fly rod? If you're into sight fishing like me, but don't find yourself surrounded by 80-100 fish per day like Doug, you will appreciate the ability to make nearly every shot you get. And while the fish won't always eat, it won't be because you couldn't get the fly where you wanted to.
This new rod might be All I Need for hitting the flats.
Now the bad part: Lest you think I am simply making a shameless, slobbering commercial pitch for Sage's extravagant products, let me say this- there is one noticable flaw with the Method. It's got way too much junk in its trunk. I like a nice round butt as much as the next guy, but someone has got to tell Sage to ease off the big butt action. I was using a 7wt, not a 10, so there was absolutely no need for the badonkadonk. Jamie Lyle- if you are reading this, please tell Jerry Siem that fly rods don't need to be bootylicious to be sexy.
Ridonkulous butt action!
Besides taking the Method out for a whirl, I also got to fish Labor Day weekend with Capt. Chris Wright of Top Hooker fame. After years of honing his lake fishing chops, Chris is turning into a damn fine flats fisherman too.
Chris shows us a diesel white papio.
Bones are no problem either. Chee!
I also caught this fish with my trusty old Xi3 while Chris was casting the Method. Somebody stuck a tag in it, but it had already broken off. I've seen this happen a few times before. I'm betting Doug already caught this fish.
Sorry I couldn't get you any tag data Alex.
Mike from Nankos also got on the board with this nice fish. This is generally the time of year when the most big fish get caught. The glory days of summer are over, but the weather is still great for sight fishing.
And that's it for this edition. I'll be stuck in the shop nearly everyday this month while the old man soaks his oats in Oregon streams. Feel free to stop by and visit me while I'm doing my time. Aloha!