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Replace / Suppliment Sage XP 8 WT?

mnigromnigro Posts: 73 Deckhand
Hi all, I've been out of the market as far as new rod purchases for too many years to know what's what anymore. Thus, looking for some ideas please. Sorry for the long post.

I just returned from a recent trip chasing bones in HI and got a chance to test the old 8 XP again (**** there are some big fish swimming over there). I'm thinking an 8 wt rod with some added backbone would be a good addition to the quiver as I felt undergunned on fish in the 6 or 7lb range. The heavy winds didn't help the XP feel like a cannon, either. Who knows... maybe it's just me and the hiatus from big fishes? The fact that the XP was bent into the cork and broke at the reelseat leads me to believe that it's time to upgrade.

Anyway... I'd like to pick up a salty 8wt with some extra backbone vs what the XP brings. With only one shop in Atlanta to visit, I'd like to get some opinions on a few rods to seek out... Might have to buy online from some place with a good return policy.

Rod will be used on flats trips, inshore in GA, SC, & FL...whatever swims by and maybe some bonitos, jacks, etc.

I'm currently considering the St Croix Legend Elite SW - I have the Legend Elite Salt in a 10wt, which I like, but I know from experience that different weights in the same lineup can differ significantly. Can't get my hands on that one in 8 WT locally. Loomis CC GLX is another option that I recall liking a lot when I cast it years ago but also can't source locally. Newer Sage and Scotts (and TFO, no thanks) are what my shop carries so I'm sure the latest models from both will be considered.

Whatever rod I get will need to have great line feel and more lifting/fighting power than the XP. Budget is open... If I need to spend $800+ I'll just consider selling the XP. Would rather spend less though.

So, what 8 wt's does everyone like for the salt? What else should I look at based on the info provided?

Thanks in advance.


  • trout069trout069 Posts: 5,668 Admiral
    Their more than one shop in Atlanta. The one I go to doesn't handle tfo. Scott meridian,give one of them a whirl.
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 293 Deckhand
    M: I fish Sage Blanks and have since RP. I fish flats FLA, Bahamas mostly guided skiff. I don't blind cast...well sometimes because I lose sight of the fish. So I don't care if the rod is a gossamer 8wt of 2 oz or a sis boom bah 5 oz. I tend to use short headed floating 24 to 30 feet which are over speced by 50% to 200% or I upline by one wt if I use a 40 foot head. That's because I'm a weak caster and enjoy the rod and line doing the work with me trying to be accurate and keep my eye on the prize and wind is always there for my limited days on the water. The 8w Legend Elite SW would be my suggestion since you already have the 10...it will work for you if you try different lines...there's a line the will make it work for you...BTW He's neither the gospel nor the prophet Anderson's 8wt Shootout look at his rating for the 8wt Elite SW BUT only performance to 80 feet compared to his tops it's within 1 or 2% at 30, 60 80 feet and note the line they used. My other suggestion would be Sage used on Ebay 8wt Xi2, Xi3 or One new on closeout 475-525
  • mnigromnigro Posts: 73 Deckhand
    Thanks for the info, guys. I've heard all the praises for the Meridian and it'll get a look.

    Tarpon41, appreciate the added details. I'm really thinking the St Croix will be fine. I'm hoping someone with the 8wt can attest to how much backbone it has. I don't want another rod that folds into the cork when the heat is on.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    The fact that you broke the rod so easy, makes me think you have a junk reel, If you set the drag properly, It's almost impossible to break the rod. What pound leader are you using?

    The cure would be replace the reel first, then the rod, nothing wrong with a soft rod if that's what you like, A high end reel with the proper setting would prevent any further rod breakage.

    Good luck

    Carl Blackledge
  • mnigromnigro Posts: 73 Deckhand
    I hear what you were saying Carl but I was fishing a Galvan torque T8 with zero mechanical issues. I had to drag set on the lighter side for the first two fish of the day. Even with palming the real, those two fish ran for the horizon and never stopped. The guide set the drag on my real after those two fish and we left it there for the rest of the day. I can't say for sure but I'm guessing it was around 5, maybe 5 1/2 pounds - 75% of full rotation. But I didn't put a scale to the reel to check it.

    Leaders were taper down to 12 and 15 pound fluoro. That's the prescription for Hawaii. Coral everywhere, barely any sand and crazy fish. If you don't stop them, they go off the edge and they are gone. The average person fishes and 8wt so the answer wouldn't be jumping up to a 9 or a 10.

    Anyway, I just figure moving up to a saltwater-dedicated eight weight with added backbone would allow me to put the screws to the fish with less fear of breakage.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer

    I understand your predicament a little better now. You can always just point your rod at the fish and play the fish off the reel, That way you take the rod element out of the equation. However when you hook the fish, if they turn and run over the edge and cut you off just like the GT's in Xmas island, The rod size won't matter much, perhaps a wire leader LOL

  • BacklashBacklash Posts: 880 Officer
    I love my XP's. 7/8/9/10 weights... Never have felt the blanks were lacking whatsoever.
    I feel your breakage may be the result of earlier damage/stress placed on the rod at the seat.

    How do you like that Torque? Been eyeing up on the larger model... Need a new 12/13 wt size reel for upcoming sailfish season.
    Right now I'm between a vanquish and a torque.
  • mnigromnigro Posts: 73 Deckhand
    Backlash, thanks for chiming in. FWIW, I'm pretty certain I'm picking up a used GLX. Let you know once I've put it thru its paces to see how they compare. You are right that there may have been some previous damage. Although, Sage called me today and stated that the repair will be covered under warranty. They say that there was/is some defect within the reel seat or handle which caused the problem. They think it's an epoxy issue. The blank didn't snap, the reelseat is the issue.

    Anyway, onto the Galvan. I like their reels a lot. Had a Galvan Open Back and it was flawless for years. But, never put it thru heavy grunt work being it was on a 6 wt. I also have the Torque in the 8 and 10. They're smooth and light with good drags. My 10 has not seen enough work to vouche for it's big fish capability but I've never seen a review or post talking trash about the Touques. They're solid. I think the size you're looking at falls into their big game models which are much beefier than the standard version. I wouldn't hesitate buying one based on their other models.
    I like Lamson... own 2 (Litespeed and Force) and have had others (Velocity and Purist). They seem to lack in backing capacity in the sub-8 wt models. Largest model I owned was a 3.5. To be fair, no real complaints other than a rusted out clutch back before they were upgraded to the anodized and stainless combo. At the size you're considering, a spool held on by an o-ring would cause me some consternation. Maybe the Vanquish is different - the price leads me to believe that there's a lot more happening with that model than their mid priced reels. Still, I'd seek additional opinions. Find some people that own that reel and have really put it thru the paces. If not, I'd skip it and opt for Tibor, Abel, Hatch, etc.

    Hope this helps.
  • BacklashBacklash Posts: 880 Officer
    I've always felt the GLX and The XP were pretty comparable rods. They were introduced at the same time right? Around... '97?
    Sages customer service, and warranty work have always been a deal sealer for me as well. I find that they not only meet, but on most occasions, exceed my expectations... Making me a Sage dude for life.
    My last dealing with them, I had/have a 1090-3 RPLXi in which the tip section was not fully seated when a tarpon hooked up. Cracked ferrule. I sent it in to get the tip section repaired. When I got it back, it was a brand new rod. No exaggeration... New cork, new seat, new guides (not reused guides like Carl's guys seem to do, lol), new clear coat... The whole 9 yards. Only way I could tell it was my old blank was the serial#. Not too often in this day and age are we satisfied with customer service, even more so blown away by it. I hope this remains the same.
    The vanquish, yeah I posed the question for reviews here and on some FB fly groups. A lot of glowing reviews, worse feedback I received was some get a squeak from corrosion/oxidation. I have a few other Larson/WW reels as well, and have been very impressed with the quality, light weight, and virtually maintenance free aspects of them.. Rinse em off and put away wet, so to speak.
    I've recently sold all my Tibor products, except my one remaining TL Backcountry Wide. I would say the only reason I've moved away from them is weight. And I am constantly tempted by the lighter weight, larger arbor reels.
    The torque I'd think I'd want to put on my Sage 1390 would be the T14. That's a bad mammajamma. Only other consideration besides the V12 and the T14 would be the Danielsson H5D 11-14. ( http://danielsson-flyreels.se/en/flyreels/h5d-series/ )
    I replaced most of my Tibors with Danis, and just love them. And the prices are incredible because they're being bought direct from the machine shop..
    Sorry, rambling... I get fired up, lol.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    never mind....should have read more carefully before posting. :banghead
  • mnigromnigro Posts: 73 Deckhand
    If anyone is interested, Sage is repairing the rod under warranty so no $ fee. Kudos to Sage.

    As for what rod, I ended up grabbing a CC GLX for a great price. After casting it and bringing it out on its maiden voyage this weekend, it has substantially more meat to it than the XP. Primarily in the lower 1/3 of the rod. Interestingly, the tip on the XP seems stiffer and faster but the CC GLX feel much more geared towards the Salt.

    I'll fish both of them on a single trip and see what other fish-fighting differences I can pinpoint.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer

    I have always found the Loomis rods and especially the "GLX" to be the best casters with my casting stroke, but I like the way the Sage fights the fish better. I own both kinds.

    Carl Blackledge
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