• Line Sizes: 000wt-4wt
• 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
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.
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
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.
Sage TXL-F Fly Rods
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