Sage SLT Blank Rods

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Sage came with the SLT series of rods when they discontinued the extremely successful SP series. Folks initially thought they were going to be warmed over SP's, but that is far from the truth. Only the three piece, very light line models and the five piece models remained from the SP rods. Everything else was brand new. You will note that SLT rods are mostly four piece while SP ones were mostly three piece. Much is gained in the change from SP. The new SLT rods are true trout rods. They are rated for line sizes within casting distances for most trout and warm water species. No longer will customers find Sage rods needing a nudge up to a heaver line to make them work.The SLT and XP rods are very true to the line size for the distances they will be used. I like to think of SLT rods as the most delicate of the Sage rods. In lighter line weights they are feathers with finesse. I've been waiting for these rods for years. They fit my fishing and casting style as perfectly as any rod could.

Since the SLT rods cover such a broad range of lenghts and line sizes, I use a broad range of reel seats with them. The shortest of the SLT rods is the 6'3" 3 wt. model. For such small rods, I like a really small reel seat. Struble came with a miniature uplock seat last spring, and I have chosen it for the really small rods. I also use Bob Venneri cap and ring seats for small rods. Several pictures of that model are on the Pictures and More pictures pages of this site. Bob does a wonderful all wood seat too that is short and small and works wonderfully with light rods. I like the tiny sliding ring and flaired knob with the nickel silver tack on the bottom. Most of my SLT blank rods use Bob's small and large diameter up lock seats, though. I like to go to the large diameter with 5 wts. and above. SLT rods go the whole way up to 8 wts. For those heavier rods I like the Struble U6 seat I use with my saltwater rods. I have several pictures of that seat on the Saltwater Rods page.

I, of course, use the best guides available for all my rods. On all but the 8 wt SLT blank rods I use light wire snakes from Pacific Bay. I've found they allow the line to shoot better than anything I've used yet. They are industrial chrome plated and will last the life of the rod. I have never had to replace a worn guide on a fly rod since I went to Pacific Bay snakes several years ago. They are quite simply the best guides available at any price.

Folks always ask me just what color the SLT blanks are. If you look at them under bright light you will see that Sage has used a tiny bit of metal flake in the clear coat over the graphite blank. The golden brown tint plus the flake give the blanks a warm translucent feel and a tigereye look. Unfortunately photography just doesn't do them justice. I use a warm tan wrapping thread with them and a lighter tan trim wrap on the wrap ends. Bob Venneri does the knurled winding checks for me. Note that Mary Lu mixes her inscription inks to match the color of the wrap trim. My epoxy work is never heavy or thick. It is always sculptured and smooth. Quite a striking set of combinations.

All my rods come in aluminum cases and wonderfully sewn velour rod bags. We searched long for a nice warm color of rod bag material to complement the warmth and delicateness of my rods. Honey Bear is the name the textile company came up with years ago. Unfortunately two years ago the company went bankrupt and we were no longer able to get the material. We went to a lighter, suede material in a tan color. It worked nicely, but never duplicated the plushness of the velour. This fall, we searched and searched and found a supplier who was importing craft velour from a Chinese manufacturer who duplicated the colors after the original company went out of business. We feel gratified that we have Honey Bear velour again. Our bags are longer than the rods and fold over to protect the rod from protruding from the bag and rubbing against the inside of the rod case. Notice Mary Lu's embroidery work at the top of the bag. Folks regard Mary Lu's rod bags as the finest bags available. Many have asked her to sew them for their special rods, but she is just too busy keeping me supplied.

Performance Fly Rods
5798 Singers Glen Rd.
Harrisonburg, VA 22802

Write to, Dave Lewis

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Thankyou for looking at my work. I hope you will give my rods some careful thought.