sage vxp 890-4?
anyone have any experience with the sage vxp 890-4 (8wt 4pc)? im lookin for a good bonefish/cuda/permit/small tarpon (who am i kidding? light weight for monster tarpon) rod. its price seems pretty good, especially when compared with the gloomis nrx or sage one. its no bargain priced rod by any means, and im not sure about getting an 8wt tfo bvk only bc i have a 6wt bvk already and want to see what else is out there. i havent cast it yet, but wanted to get some opinions before making a trek to cast one.
hook a brother up with some insight!
I have not casted that rod so I can not say, but for the saltwater fish you are talking about, I would think an old Xi2 or new Xi3 would be the way to go. I've casted and loved the Xi2 8wt actually and it is stiff in the butt section which really helps for the saltwater bruisers you listed. Deals can be had on Xi2 rods and blanks also since it was discontinued. The Xi3 is better in many ways and I've casted the 9wt and liked it A LOT. The Sage One is the replacement of the Z-axis which I have in an 9 1/2' 8wt for steelhead. I like the rod but it is really fast action and takes some getting used to for me at least. I hear the Sage One is really fast too. On the Sage website they list the VXP as fast too so understand Sage rods can be really fast action. Key of course as has been stated it casting one for yourself and seeing if YOU like it. That is what realy matters.
well, my post was just erased for some reason, so.....
in a nutshell, thanks jnashed. i always test drive before buying, and ill check out the xi3 more carefully. only picked it up yesterday and didnt cast it.
ill report back with my findings from the store in the next week or 2. ill be test driving 8wt versions of scott s4s, winston b3k, sage one, sage vxp, hardy zenith, and tfo bvk. ill bring my lamson litespeed 3.0 to swing the sticks with. im already a huge fan of the bvk and zenith due to other rods i have.
I hate long posts but here goes...
Originally Posted by dave00100
If this is going to be your one do it all saltwater rod I’d probably go with a 9wt. Along those same lines I would cross off the BIIIX or the S4S. The Winston doesn’t have the power to fish salt effectively at any sort of distance and the BIIMX is just not a very well balanced rod at all. The S4S is an awesome rod, I just got one in an 8wt but it is also slightly lower on the power spectrum but has amazing feel for normal saltwater casting distances in lighter wind. I have an XI3 in an 8wt too and it is a better all around rod because it’s a bit stiffer. Mine gets most of its use here on the bay with a sinking line. The ONE was not designed as a saltwater rod and does not have big stripping guides which is a no no in my book. Deneki outdoors just did a review of the ONE and enjoyed it for lightish bonefishing, but for what you want I’d look elsewhere. The NRX in an 8wt would be a fine rod for what you are looking for as well but for whatever reason I just do not like it. I can't put my finger on why, I have the nrx in a 9wt and love it. It gets fished more than just about any of my other rods. It loves to take a 375 grain rio outbound and a bermuda triangle taper and chuck it into the next county. I have never casted a VXP but I know it was created because there was a demand from Sage loyals for a modern XP. From what I have heard it turned out a bit too stiff with lack of feel. Go cast it and find out for me! I have no experience with the Hardy or TFO but I do know they are both made overseas for whatever thats worth.......
Definitly go cast as many of these rods as you can get your hands on.
The other thing about the saltwater sage rods like the Xi3 and Xi2 is that they have bigger guides which I think help line get out faster and farther, especially helpful in windy conditions. Of course a lot of people use the Zaxis for that application because they feel it may be a little more accurate caster, especially important for bonefish. The Xi2 and Xi3 are rockets to be sure and actually stiffer and "faster" in most opinions than the Z Axis, but I do love my z axis for that longish accurate cast. The VXP get fantastic reviews though, most calling it a big improvment on the XP. Let us know what you think after a casting session.
ill for sure report back to you guys, thank you both for your insight. i will definitely be casting all of the rods just to have something to compare everything too. ive cast most of the rods mentioned in 4-7 and 10wts, but never 8 and 9. i will definitely be casting the xi3. i like the way the one feels in lower wts, but i dont see myself ever buying that rod. bigger guides do eliminate that birds nest pretty quickly and get the line out faster than small guides, so ill be keeping an eye on the guide sizes as well.
mdmakaira, good look on casting the 9wts too. ill be testing out 8 and 9wts per your advice.
ok guys! heres my review!
i went today to cast a few rods, and my purchase surprised me big time. i went to tco fly shop in reading, pa, and made a day out of it, casting all over their lawn.
i picked out 8wts of: scott a4, scott s4s, sage xi3, and sage 1. i was really impressed with each rod, especially with the strong winds today. i was casting into the wind the whole time with each rod. the reel used was an old lamson large arbor, as i havent received my spare lamson litespeed 3 spool with 8wt line on it yet.
first up was the sage xi3 due to the praise it received from you jnashed and MDmakaira410. it had a great action and felt really good in my hand. i have only held this rod in the store before, so it was nice to get a casting session in. first things i noticed that really impressed me were the quality grip and the large guides. the color didnt impress me but im not buying a rod based on its color, so no big deal. the rod threw a tight loop into the wind but wasnt as sturdy as i was hoping it would be. it just didnt have the backbone i was looking for. maybe its my casting, but my backcast with this rod sucked, real bad. i couldnt help but snag the back deck multiple times. i figured it was the wind because it was really blowing. i tested for about 15 minutes.
second on the swing test was the scott s4s. holy shit. immediately i knew that i would not be buying the sage xi3. the s4s was so powerful and i felt that i could throw the line a hundred feet if there was room to do so. my backcast returned to normal (for me) despite the same persistent winds that were blowing with the xi3. not only did i not snag anything and have a really tight and precise cast, but i thought that i was going to knock the hats off unsuspecting pedestrians close to the street by the front of the shop with my tight backcast loops! the loops were way tighter than the xi3, and despite having smaller guides than the xi3, it still shot line out like a fiend. one quick forward thrust and all the line went through the guides effortlessly. i was really impressed with the ribbing above the cork before the first guide, it felt really unique when i ran my fingers over it. the grip was really nice but was covered in plastic because it was new and had never been taken off. i bet the cork felt great but i never touched it. it certainly looked great and the handle was very comfortable. the grip felt a little larger than the xi3, which i like. i like handles on rods like my baseball bats and tennis racquets: larger grips and less slippage. the s4s just felt natural. man did it have a backbone. the loops were tight and held their form throughout the stroke. accuracy was dead on, unlike the xi3. i tested for about 20 minutes.
third up was the scott a4. word to the wise: dont test this rod after testing the xi3 and s4s. you will never buy it. you wont think it feels good. youll want to take off the reel and test another rod, which is basically what i did pretty quickly. money wise it seemed like a great deal, i think it was about $350. however, there was no backbone and the whole rod bent under the same pressure applied to the xi3 and s4s. i mean the WHOLE rod bent. my casts were sloppy in the wind. i could throw the line out just as far as the other rods, but it didnt look pretty to say the least. it was the heaviest in the group, and it was definitely noticeable. i tested for about 10 minutes and went on to the next rod knowing that the s4s was in the lead.
last to the platform was the sage 1. i had mixed feelings about the 1 from the get go. i liked it in the 4wt i threw a while back, but a rod thats called the 1??? it better be good to have a name like that. i was immediately impressed with its butt, a beautiful cork end that seemed to balance the rod perfectly. it was the lightest in the group, and after swinging the a4 before it, it was a relief to throw a light rod. i didnt get the rod at first. it had as good of a backbone as the s4s but my casting was a little off. i was told by the store's guide that it would take some time to get the hang of the 1. i thought ok and kept swinging it. like the s4s, it has small guides. i did the same test i did with the s4s, throwing all the line out from a stop, and the line moved through the guides just as effortlessly as the s4s. the small guides didnt bother me at all. my accuracy wasnt all there but i felt that there was some power in this rod that i wasnt tapping into for some reason. i tested for 20 minutes.
even with the reservations i had for the 1, i narrowed my choices down to the 1 and s4s. i tested the s4s again for 10 minutes, and it felt the same as it did the first time. clean, powerful, and accurate. i picked up the 1 again and suddenly "got" it. it was as if a lightbulb went off in my stroke. i was able to tap into the power that i knew was there and bingo, my casts were dead on. backcasts were super tight and i was double hauling this thing like a pro. i was hitting my targets with precision. it was the same price as the s4s, but all of a sudden felt a million times better to me.
i purchased the 8wt sage 1. what a rod. i cant wait to take it to the flats in july-august and then cast for rocks in the bay with it. i hope i remember how to tap into that power when i cast it again!
thanks to jnashed and MDmakaira410 for the insight.