…and the gear reports from IFTD continue! This afternoon’s update covers the highlights of what we’ve seen so far from Sage, Rio, Redington and Tibor.
Sage 589-4 Xi3
Sage is making the kick-butt Xi3 in a 5 weight. The 8 foot 9 inch length helps it feel really light in your hand. This rod would be a great choice for sea-run cutthroats maybe, or for chasing bonefish in places where they don’t get as big as they do on South Andros. Hot Tip: we don’t generally overline our rods, but this one cast awfully nice with a 6 weight line.
Sage has replaced their lightweight trout series, the TXL, with the TXL-F. What’s different? They’re 4 piece now instead of 3 – easier for traveling. They’re 33% lighter on average. They’ve got a new grip that’s smaller in diameter on top and super comfy in your hand. They’re a little faster. We haven’t cast one yet.
While Sage says officially that these rods aren’t really ‘the new XP’, pull one of their people aside and they’ll tell you that the taper is a lot like an updated version of the XP taper. Besides, the name can’t be a coincidence, can it? The single handers come from 3 to 10 weight and run $485 to $525. There’s also a 12’9″ 6 weight spey rod and a 13’3″ 7 weight double-hander. George Cook brought the 7 to the Dean this year and said he liked it.
Sage TCX Switch Rods
The Death Star from Sage has been super popular. They’ve expanded the short, super fast two-handed category this year by adding 11’9″ two-handers in 5, 6, 7 and 8 weights. At 11’9″ they’re definitely more oriented towards spey casting than overhead casting. We fished a prototype version of the 8 weight on the Kanektok this year for kings. Yeah, it was a little too light when we hooked up, but it is shocking how easily these little rods throw a whole lot of line. Unofficial name for this series: “The Death Starlets”.
Rio Steelhead Scandi Line
The Rio Steelhead Scandi line is basically a shorter version of the AFS. It’s designed for casting polyleaders as opposed to chunks of T-14, but it should do a better job turning over bigger flies than the AFS. Translation: Rio’s version of the Vision Ace shooting head.
Tibor Signature Series
It’s a Tibor reel with a sealed drag! The Tibor Signature Series uses a delrin disc to keep water and other stuff out of its cork drag mechanism. It’s a beautiful reel with very few parts (Ted Juracsik took one apart in front of us). Like Tibor’s other reels, this is a high end piece of gear, and it’ll set you back $775 – $795 depending on the size.
Looking for a new pair of boots but don’t want to spend a whole bunch of money? Redington’s got some new boots that look pretty darned nice. The Palix River and Skagit River Wading boots come with felt or sticky rubber soles and cost $69.95 – $99.95. The Willow River Wading Boot is for the ladies and costs $89.99 with felt or $99.99 with rubber.
Redington Cascade Hoody
And last but not least, a little fashion! We were really impressed overall by the new line of Redington apparel – in our opinion it’s a big step up from what they’ve put out in the past. Our favorite item was the Cascade Hoody – just a lightweight, good looking hoody in cool colors made of anti-microbial polyester stuff.