THE LATEST FROM SAGE - TXL-F FLY FISHING RODS
• Line Sizes: 000wt-4wt
• Rod Length: 7'10" (with a 3wt and 4wt at 6'10" as well)
• Sections: 4 piece
• Weight: 1 7/16 oz. (000wt) to 1 15/16 oz. (4wt)
• Handle: Cork - Snub-nose Half Wells Grip
• Reel Seat: Bronze anodized with walnut insert
• Action: Moderate Fast
• Retail Cost: $625.00
Leland is excited to offer Sage’s new TXL-F series of fly rods.
November 22, 2010 (San Francisco, CA):
Since 1985, Sage has
endeavored on perfecting performance by handcrafting fly rods in
Bainbridge Island, Washington. This year, Sage’s master rod builder,
Jerry Siem, has developed a new series of dedicated small stream fly
rods named TXL-F. This latest rod offering provides big rod performance in a small package.
Celebrate small stream fishing:
Ultra-light rods in general have a reputation for being "noodly". Not so with the ,
which responds to the same casting stroke that efficiently loads and
unloads Sage's high-performing, fast-action rods. Now an angler can
play “small ball” on tight trout streams without sacrificing
PRO Review - GEORGE REVEL
What’s the word. . .
The new TXL-F series of small stream trout rods from Sage have been
introduced as the replacement to the much-loved TXL ("Trout eXtra
Light") series. In line weights 000 through 4, the TXL-F fly rods offer
anglers the responsiveness and precision necessary to fish confidently
in tight quarters. The "F" in "TXL-F" is for "feel," and Sage has
managed to produce a rod series that provides unprecedented sensitivity,
tippet protection, and--most surprisingly, stellar casting performance.
Features. . .
The TXL-F raises the bar on its predecessor in a few different ways.
From the 000710-4 to the 4710-4, the TXL-Fs are on average a full third
lighter than their TXL ancestors. Sage has achieved this through further
refining their proprietary G5 construction technology (more about G5
below) and a new style of ferrule which they're calling "microferrules."
These new, more efficient junctions provide the TXL-Fs with weight
savings, to be sure, but also help ensure an even, continuous flex along
the rod's length to give anglers sensitive tippet protection and easy,
intuitive casting. These rods load fully and cast dart-like tight loops.
The "snub-nosed half wells" grip is another feature that's new for the
TXL-F. This high quality cork handle is slightly flared at the top, to
provide ergonomic hand placement and better energy transfer from the
anger's arm, through the thumb, to the blank and fly line.
Action. . .
Perhaps because they are on average a third lighter than their TXL
predecessors, the TXL-Fs are a great deal crisper-casting than any light
line rod developed to date. Historically, the small stream category has
been populated by rods with a noodly, unsatisfying action, one that
loads easily at close distances, but doesn't track particularly well or
gracefully form tight loops.
Not so with the TXL-F. These lightweight fly rods are veritable pistols.
They are designed to be cast with the same casting stroke that best
operates Sage's full range of fast action fly rods. If you are
comfortable casting a Z-Axis 590-4, you'll be able to confidently use
that same compact, modern casting stroke to impressive results with
every TXL-F model.
Materials. . .
The TXL-F rod series makes use of a high modulus graphite blend in
its blank construction, as well as Sage's proprietary G5 construction
High modulus graphite allows TXL-F blanks to efficiently
load and unload during the casting cycle--transferring more energy into
the fly line---while G5 enables Sage to produce lighter, more
responsive, and more precise rods.
Often misunderstood, G5 technology is a manufacturing process rather than a specific material, machine, or treatment.
G5 has two elements: a scrimless reinforcement method
and a fiber alignment method.
Traditionally, graphite blanks have made use of fiberglass "scrims" or
woven sheets of fiberglass that are sandwiched between sheets of
graphite. While the graphite provides axial strength along the blank,
the fiberglass provides hoop strength---basically, it prevents the round
cross section of the blank from contorting into an oval, which is the
first step in failure.
But fiberglass is heavy and makes rods heavier, less powerful, or both.
Through G5 technology, Sage has used advanced resin systems and lateral
carbon fiber reinforcements to provide more than adequate hoop strength without fiberglass
When these scrimless blanks are baked and cured, they achieve a much
denser nesting of graphite fibers--with consonantly greater strength. With
G5, Sage has moved beyond the need for scrim, making it possible to
produce a lighter, livelier, and quicker-recovering blank.
The second facet of G5 has to do with fiber alignment. Unlike fiberglass, which is woven, a sheet of graphite has all its fibers running in parallel
--or unidirectionally. This means a rolled-up tube of graphite is very strong axially. But a fly rod isn't a simple cylinder--it's actually a very thin, gradually narrowing cone of sorts
It has taper to it, in order that it can bend and unbend predictably to
cast the fly line. This taper makes it technically difficult to keep
fibers in alignment as you roll a sheet of graphite around a mandrill to
make a rod blank.
To get around this, Sage lays a cut of graphite sheeting on the mandrill
and rolls it, then lays another cut at a different orientation, rolls
it, then another cut, and so on. These "multiple lay-ups" result in less overall migration of fiber direction off the longitudinal axis
and make for blanks that track better, respond with more energy, and on
the whole provide casters with an extra level of precision.
Fit and Finish. . .
• Sage G5 technology graphite construction
• Exceptionally light in hand, but stable and responsive as well
• High quality cork handle in a Snub-Nose Half Wells configuration
• English Hopkins and Holloway guides and tip top
• Bronze anodized reel seat with walnut insert
• Stitched cotton rod sock and extruded aluminum tube
• Limited lifetime warranty
Reliability and Durability. . .
Sage was founded in 1979 by Don Green, an experienced rod
blank builder and one of the architects of the modern fishing rod, as
owner of the Grizzly Fiberglass Company, which later partnered with
Fenwick. It was originally called Winslow Manufacturing (after the city
of Winslow on Bainbridge Island, Washington) but within a year had
changed its name to Sage. Emphasizing high quality fly rods sold only
through specialty stores, Sage rode the crest of the fly-fishing boom in
the post “A River Runs Through It” years. Today, although there is no
industry repository for exact numbers, Sage is probably the world’s
largest producer of premium fly rods and employs over 100 workers in
their manufacturing facility.
So, has being the 800-pound gorilla affected the quality of their
product as it has with so many other companies in the outdoor industry?
Although challenged by industry wide flat sales, the growth of the
Internet, and increasingly higher quality Asian imports, my impression
is no, for several reasons. Sage has continued to retain talented people
and spend money on research and development. The proximity of
Bainbridge to the Boeing Aircraft manufacturing plants near Seattle and
Toray Composites in Tacoma provides access to a wealth of knowledge from
the aerospace industry, the primary end users of graphite fiber. More
importantly, aside from a few casting and spinning rod models over the
years, Sage has pretty much stuck to their original intention, building
very good fly rods.
The TXL-F has a limited lifetime warranty for the original
owner. If you damage or break your rod, you are responsible for the
shipping charges and insurance to send ALL of the pieces to Sage, plus a
$40 handling fee, to cover return shipping and insurance within the U.
S. International owners are charged the actual shipping and insurance
fees. Not a bad deal for an expensive, relatively fragile tool. The
other five or six top US makers offer similar rod warranties, but not
all provide the same level of service. I’ve seen some customers wait 3
or 4 months, or longer, to get their rods back. Sort of puts the damper
on the fishing season. Sage’s lead time for repairs is currently about 2
to 2 ½ weeks during their busy summer, and shortens to about 1 ½ weeks
in the winter.
Overall Rating. . .
PROS - The new TXL-Fs are really a groundbreaking
series. The actions correlate to Sage's larger trout rods, so you can
use the same, compact casting stroke you would use on a 5wt or 6wt, get
great loops, and still show small fish the respect they deserve.
CONS - Though the TXL-F 4710-4 is the most versatile
of the series, these rods are definitely specialty rods. Any one of
these rods will make a great addition to your quiver, but look elsewhere
if you're shopping for an all-rounder.
BOTTOM LINE – These are precise, crisp light line fly
rods that are fun to fish. The TXL-Fs will open up new water and remind
you how great dry fly fishing really is.
Reviewer. . .
I grew up in Redding, CA, fishing for trout and steelhead on
the many waters of the region. As I grew up, I became more focused on
fishing for steelhead, and swinging a fly through a glassy tail-out is
probably my favorite thing in the world. But fishing the TXL-F this
summer on small water was like "trout rehab" for me, and I've been
fishing trout hard through the summer and fall. I'm remembering that
California has some really outstanding small streams and ponds that
never get the pressure of the larger tailwaters and freestones. Although
I always value the secrecy of my fishing spots, I encourage you to pick
up a TXL-F and go find the small stuff near you. I'll see you on the
water. -George Revel
Leland on sage txl-f fly fishing rodS
Why replace a beloved series of light fly rods? When you can
make that series 33% lighter while dramatically improving its
performance, the real question is why wouldn't you? Besides its near
weightlessness, the TXL-F (the "F" is for "feel") Series of fly rods has
received a tune-up in the form of increased sensitivity and performance
with the latest version of Sage's exclusive G-5 technology, as well as
new and improved microferrules. The series even has a brand new grip: a
"snub-nose half wells" grip that's just one more reason it's tough to
put down at the end of the day.
Ultralight rods in general have had a reputation for being "noodly". Not
so with the TXL-F, which responds to the same casting stroke that
efficiently loads and unloads Sage's high performing fast action rods.
This efficient casting stroke allows you to delicately drift dry flies
under logs and bushes with accuracy unprecedented in an ultzralight fly
rod. We test-drove the TXL-F 4710-4 this summer on a tiny creek in
Northern California and had a blast dropping dries into wooded corners
and slingshot casting under cut banks.
Without question, this is the best-casting series of ultralight fly rods
on the market today. And in a new four piece configuration, the TXL-F
is that much easier to pack high into the backcountry.
For the ultimate in small creek trout fishing, check out Sage's new Circa fly rods.
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