4pc Sage DS2 versus Temple Forks [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: 4pc Sage DS2 versus Temple Forks

03-29-2002, 01:15 AM

I'm going to buy my first fly rod in the next few days for a class I'm taking, and our instructor is recommending a 4pc 9' 5-6# Temple Forks($139) for general fishing in the western US, but no dealer in my area carries those--I have to order it through him. Today, I went to a local shop and made my first casts with a Sage DS2 graphite II 4pc 9' 5#($275) and two Redington models($175, $125). I wanted to try a St. Croix Imperial($165) but they were out of stock, and the salesman said he didn't really like the St. Croix line because they are heavy and one of their customers has returned his St. Croix rod four times for repairs.

Of course, the salesmen said I cast--if you can call what I was doing casting--the best with the Sage. My instructor--who has flyfished for 30 years and taught flyfishing for 15-- recommended a 6 weight, but the shop guys said that for general local trout fishing a 5 weight is what they recommend and all of them seem pretty knowledgeable and some have big reputations. I am a little confused as to what weight to get, and I read an article that said if you have 5 feet of 5 weight line out in excess of 30 feet--so 35 feet total--it is equivalent to a 6 weight line, so as you cast longer you can start overpowering your rod.

Currently, it's between the Temple Forks and the Sage DS2(graphite II). I am being seduced by the Sage so I am leaning that way. I read somewhere your first purchase of a fly rod should hurt a little--that way you will always treasure your rod.

Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Thanks

03-29-2002, 03:25 AM
Tell your dealer to order you a Temple Forks Ti 4 piece rod.Their new rods blow away anything else on the market for the price.I think that to find a better rod you will have to shell out more than twice the price.I don't think the Sage DS2 even comes close to them and I actually prefered casting the TFO Ti over the Sage VPS.IMHO the TFO Ti is the best rod on the market for your dollar.The reel seat on the heavier(8wt& up) model is the same as the one used on the new Orvis T3(titanium look with a spiral).It's a very light rod with nice components and a unconditional lifetime warranty.You'll love this rod.

03-29-2002, 06:05 AM
Fisheze your multitude of questions and learign curve is going to have you labeled an "industry expert" in the near future.

WHile Tony's advice is good, I think he's incorrect in that he is comparing apples to mango's. The DS2 and anybody's titanium based rods are as different as night & day.

Buy the rod based on what feels right to you. If possible, borrow a rod for the classes and to fish with for a while - until you feel that you have a more finite grasp on how you are going to be casting & fishing. Then buy what you think is the best rod you can afford.

Good luck.


03-29-2002, 11:33 AM
I think you meant to address that last response to newbiefish.
Fisheze...aka me... doesn't have a problem with purchasing fly rods - except for the fact that there's always another one that I want to buy!
Good luck newbiefish. Just try out some rods and see what feels right for your style. Make it a good quality rod and you'll have a rod for a lifetime.


03-29-2002, 03:54 PM
Roop,apples to mangos?!:hehe: In a sense though you are right.Being as this is his first flyrod,he may find it easier to cast with a medium action rod like the Imperial that is a little more forgiving towards casting errors.I got caught up in that whole "best bang for your buck" thing again ;) Definately the best thing to do would be to try some of the rods out before you buy.

03-29-2002, 06:22 PM
Newbie - I think you're on the right track & Roops advice is spot on. Get the best you can afford AND fit your "style" (don't worry my own style is in quotes too).

I too am currently in a rod search and I'm looking at all the same models you are (only in 8/9 wgt) so here's what I've found...

TFO rods: my overall impressions are good but yet I hesitate...but I'm looking at a different weight class than yourself.

Sage DS2: I like 'em and they say "Sage" on them but it doesn't automatically make them a great rod for me.

Redington: I'm guessing you're looking at RS2 & Wayfarer. I personally haven't spent a lot of time casting either one, just flexing in the store. My impressions are that they have a great finish but the reel seats kinda put me off - the molded graphite just gives it a cheap feel - the rest of the components look to be o.k. though. when form follows function, and function is equal - it's the form that is the deciding factor.

St. Croix Imperial: I've owned a 5/6 wgt for 10 years and love the rod. I've never had a problem with it or the company when I needed their help (read: waaay out of warrenty and my fault anyway). Things may have changed with that company but I still love my 4pc - I have reccently started to really study (and try to correct) my casting "technique" but my St.C is like a comfortable old pair of jeans.

I also asked about LLBean rods but I haven't chceked that thread yet.

One big piece of info I keep hearing is that, and I paraphrase: "Even moderately priced rods can out-perform most of their owners". My take on that, I don't need to spend a freakin' car payment to get a good rod that will do what I ask it to, provided I ask correctly...

5 vs. 6wgt: you are correct about adding 5 feet of line out the end of the rod and coming up to a 6wgt.
If you're tossing back and forth between line size (like I am) look at the conditions of 90% of your fishing - if it's windy, gusty, etc. you might want to go with a 6. If it's more protected areas with less winds, go with a 5.
I think the St.C in a 5/6 kind of covers you for both and steps up when wind becomes a hinderence.

my advise: you're still learning and begining - to start with a less expensive outfit that will do what you ask it to and upgrade later, as you get better at asking, might be the way to go.

Good luck and keep us posted - I enjoy your questions and the responses of those who take the time. It's all helping me think out my next big purchase...

03-29-2002, 08:35 PM

Thanks for all the responses. I had all but decided on the Sage, but today I went online to check out the specs on the St. Croix Imperial and it is only 4/100ths of an ounce heavier than the Sage(3.31 v 3.35 ounces), which to me means they are the same weight. I also like the St. Croix guarantee: for the Imperial it's an unconditional lifetime warranty and you only have to send them $10 for shipping. The other companies require you to send them up to $25 for shipping which really means they are charging you a nominal fee to get your rod repaired.

So, I decided to find a shop where I could try the St. Croix Imperial. I found one and cast the St. Croix Imperial 9' 5-6wt and a GLoomis($245) 9' 6wt for comparison. I liked the St. Croix better--but maybe that was because I cast with it first-- and I couldn't really tell any difference between it and the Sage, so I decided to save myself $110 and get the St. Croix. (The GLoomis sure was a beautiful rod with silver reel seats and a wood insert.) I fitted it out with an Okuma Sierra reel($27) and Cortland444 Rocket Taper(WF) line($42) and backing and a leader. I got out the door for a total of $256. I went directly to a park to do some casting, and after a few minutes, I managed to get my line caught up in a tree with the leader completely snarled. Oh well, I'll learn!

Then I came to visit this forum and it was nice to see someone talking about how happy they were with their St. Croix Imperial. Thanks Sprocket.

Thanks for everyones advice and suggestions. Thanks for your email fisheze. Check out fisheze's web site:
for some beautiful pictures.

03-29-2002, 11:02 PM
The St.Croix is an excellent choice!You won't be dissapointed in the rod or the customer service from St.Croix.As your casting skills develop you may eventually want a faster rod(or not),then look at some of the TFO Ti,Loomis,Sage,etc. and decide if one of them are more to your liking.Chances are though,you'll be quite content with the rod you chose.

03-30-2002, 01:01 AM
Thanks for the encouragement tonyd. I really wanted to try out the Temple Forks rods but there doesn't seem to be much information about them online, and I couldn't find anywhere to try one. Is the Ti the $239 model? Our instructor was recommending a 4pc TFO(IM6 graphite) for $139.

New rod update:

After casting in the park I disassembled my St. Croix Imperial and put it away. Of course later I decided I needed to look at it and hold it, so I took it out and much to my surprise discovered it's a 5 weight. I had cast a "5-6" weight at the store along with a GLoomis 6 weight for comparison, and I had told the salesman that my instructor recommended a 6 weight. From what I can gather, St. Croix doesn't make a "5-6" weight anymore since their current catalog only lists distinct 5 and 6 weights. No worries, some of the local fly shops recommended a 5 weight for local fishing anyway. But here is the problem: the salesman picked out 6 weight line for me and put it on my reel. What the heck??!! I know rods can take plus or minus one line weight, but I assume ideally you want to start with the recommended weight. In fact, St. Croix says their warranty is void if you don't you use the recommended line weight for the rod.

I guess I am going to pay the store a visit tomorrow.

03-30-2002, 02:21 AM
The Temple Fork Outfitters Ti rods retail for around $280 CAN(for either the 2 or 4 piece rod) up here so that should be around $3 US.:hehe: I have a IM6 in a 9ft 8wt as my back up rod and it casts surprisingly well.As for the rod you purchased,take it back if it's not what you thought you were getting.If it's a 5 weight rod and you want a 6 then get them to swap it for you.

03-30-2002, 08:59 AM
Hey, Newbiefish, You asked for a 5/6 wt. and they assumed that you would benefit from the heavier line. I think that people forget, we are casting the line, not the rod. If your instrictor recomended that you cast a 6wt. line then I think that's what you should go with. As you become more proficient, you will probably like a 5wt. on that rod. The rod that you start with is kind of irrelevant because you don't know what your style is. It will probably wind up being similar to the people that teach you, and the folks you fish with.

03-30-2002, 11:38 AM
No, I asked to try 6 weight rods, and the St. Croix Imperial on display was a "5-6 weight". How I ended up with a 5 weight without even being asked is beyond me. Do fly shops generally give you a different weight rod than the one you cast when you decide to buy one? Second, you are the first person I have heard recommending that when you buy your first rod, you should start off with a line weight that does not match the recommended weight on the rod. Is that sound advice? Third, St. Croix's warranty is void if you use a line that does not match the recommended line weight on the rod. Are you suggesting I use the 6 weight line and void my warranty? Or, are you recommending that I use the 6 weight line and if anything goes wrong with the rod lie to St. Croix about what happened?

03-30-2002, 10:35 PM
Newbie,I suggest that you take a deep breath and try not to offend the people that are trying to help you.
The shop selling you a 5wt when you asked for a six is weird, and I am sorry that you feel cheated. Don't assume that your shop was trying to rip you off.
As you spend more time fishing, you will see that it is common to fish one line heavier(a 6wt line on a 5wt rod for example). Especially for people just starting out. Most people have fished a heavier line than the one designated.
Most rods, like the St.Croix Imperial have a single line rating. You don't see many 5/6 rods any more. Maybe the one you saw in the shop is a few years old. The Imperial is a good value, and the five weight is great rod to start with.
As to the warranty? Since you are troubled, call St.Croix(your shop will say it's OK.). I suspect that if you ask them, they will tell you that it's OK. This is well within the normal use for this rod. The six weight line will NOT break that rod.
Lastly, you will have to change your handle, you won't be new for long. Take it easy, Eddie

04-02-2002, 08:49 PM

I think fly fishers are analytical by nature. Our idea of a great time is spending the day searching the environment for hatches, tides, moon cycles, or anything that might have even the slighest effect on what might make a fish bite or not. It comes as no suprise that we can argue the finer points of one rod versus another. After fly fishing for almost 30 years I can tell you the one thing that matters more than anything about how a rod casts, and that is your casting stroke. A good caster could walk down to the local WalMart and by a fiberglass rod, pull it out of the package, and throw it 100 feet. The best piece of advice I could ever give you is to spend you money on your knowledge. Take casting lessons, tying lessons, ect.

In other words save your money and spend your time.

By the way all those 20-30 lb fish in my pictures are caught on a 5wt with 6-7X tippet. You made a fine choice........;)


04-03-2002, 04:49 PM
Bring the rod back and swap for the 6 wgt.

I have never overlined a rod. It will just lead to sloppy casting.

Just my .02

04-04-2002, 11:13 PM
If you’re not 100% happy with it in any way at all, I would take it back and swap it for 6 wgt (if this is what you want). My reason for this is simply . . . . confidence :) To be successful in fishing, you need to have confidence in yourself and your entire outfit.

I know I would hate to be on the water with a rod that I thought the weight was wrong. Its kinda like fishing with a fly that you have caught fish on before, you know it works, so you fish it with confidence and as such it usually pays off.

Best Regards