Well, my friendly Sage dealer (Scott at Bear's Den) told me Sage would charge him a restocking fee if he tried to return a rod he got for me to cast. Two other dealers since confirmed that's standard sage policy, in fact pretty much the standard policy for the industry. So it would cost me two-way shipping plus a restocking fee to try a sage rod.
I understand it's unreasonable to expect each and every dealer to stock each and every rod; however, there did use to be a much wider selection atr New England dealers just two or three years ago.
I guess something just snapped, and I said dahellwidit. Besides, I think mass-market rods are approaching designer rods in casting quality, andf their customer policies more than make up for the difference, in my mind.
I really wonder if we're witnessing the demise of the high-end rod market. Does anybody know how these folks are doing financially?