I reckon a new 8 foot 4 weight is on the cards…

I have decided I need a new 8 foot 4 weight for next season โ€“ as much as I like my current Greys 4/5 weight, it being a two piece does my head in. Additionally it is always nice getting a new piece of kit. Seeing as how the old sponsorship deals are not exactly flooding in I reckon I might just have to buy this next piece of booty.

The contenders so far are:

ย Sage Fli

I have heard good things about this rod and they say you cannot go wrong with a Sage – somehow it all went wrong when I did though. My pal Alex has the Sage launch and rates it very highly. I reckon it might be a little fast for me. For my 4 weight I want something nice and forgiving. I can test cast this rod at the Glasgow Angling Centre

Loop Optistream

This is actually a 9 foot rod however if it seems right in the hand it would fit the old budger rather nicely. I doubt I would be able to test cast this rod though so I should just forget all about it.

Orvis Trout Bum

Like Sage you cannot go wrong with an Orvis – in fact Orvis and its amazing customer service might just swing it for me. The only problem is the fact that the Glasgow Angling Centre does not have many Orvis rods to test cast – what I would probably have to do is travel through to Edinburgh to try out the rod there – a hassle yes – however I would do this for the right rod!

Hmmmmmm – pondering – anyone else have a nice slow action rod they want to comment on ?


  1. scott · December 13, 2007

    I would also sing the praises of the sage launch, i use the 8’6 3 weight, and its been fantastic, plus its in 4 sections so its nice and easy to transport, the FLi looks even nicer in my opinion!

  2. Sierra Trout · December 13, 2007

    I have a couple of friends who have the Fli in heavier weights and they are awesome! The action is pretty fast, and they cast a long line beautifully. If you want something more forgiving then I would avoid the Fli.

  3. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    Yea, my pal Alex uses the Sage Launch and really rates it – I think it is slightly faster than my Sage SLT which is slow – saying that though i want something nice and slow for warm summer evenings – I wonder whether I should go for a three weight !

  4. alan atkins · December 13, 2007

    Alistair, as you know i almost exclusively use my Penn 4 weight for my river trouting. Although only 7 feet i find that i’am rarely in need of more distance than the rod can handle. However, having used Alex’s Sage i’m seriously considering one for trip to our other river, especially on windy days !

  5. James Hathaway · December 13, 2007

    I love my Trout Bum!! But then, I may be biased ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    Alan – I will still use my SLT on windy days at our other river – a need the four weight for………….ah, you know the evenings I am thinking about! I am still unconvinced about Sage – their after service is crap!

    James – what kind of action does the Trout Bum have ? – these days everyone seems to want to go faster and faster – I want something that can make an accurate cast at very short range – something my SLT struggles with !

  7. James Hathaway · December 13, 2007

    Hey Alistair,

    As the Trout Bum is a full flex rod, it is designed as a slow action rod for accurate, short casts… I love mine, truly…

    Here is a bit about full flex design (from our website at

    Full-Flex: 2.5 – 5.5

    -Well suited for close-range, delicate casting
    Protects light tippets best because of full-flex
    shock absorption

    -Responds well to a gentle casting stroke

    -Offers superior โ€œfeelโ€ on close-range casts
    A favorite traditional action of Orvis anglers for
    many years ”

    Our reccomendation would a model with the lowest flex profile, like the 763 (http://www.orvis.com/store/product_choice.asp?pf_id=8265&dir_id=758&group_id=759&cat_id=5114&subcat_id=6708&feature_id=17)

    or the 664 (http://www.orvis.com/store/product_choice.asp?pf_id=8285&dir_id=758&group_id=759&cat_id=5114&subcat_id=6708&feature_id=17)

    Hope this helps!!

  8. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    What one have you got ?

  9. Alex · December 13, 2007

    Surely a Grey’s rod must be considered too. Great value for money and most of their models are a bit slower-actioned (and cheaper) than their Sage counterparts.

  10. James Hathaway · December 13, 2007

    I have the 664… I am trying to stay out of the trees… not always succesful! Don’t think I can blame the rod, sadly.

  11. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    Hi Alex- I had thought of Greys actually however I dont like their new GRX and GRXi range of rods – they do not have the same class as my old greys rod. They just dont seem as well built or something !

  12. Emanuele · December 13, 2007

    Hi Alistair,
    I would go with Sage….
    the Fli 7,6 line 4 will be just perfect for your style of fishing

  13. scott · December 13, 2007

    I managed to snap a brand new grxi rod after having it for about a fortnight so i wouldnt recommend them, although to be fair i know a few people who have been happy with them. I reckon you could comfortably get away with a 3 weight, certainly on the kelvin on those summer evenings.

  14. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    On the Kelvin I use my 7 foot 4 weight bamboo rod which is the ultimate in slowness ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Jim · December 13, 2007

    Hi Alistair,

    I’ve been a bit of a whore to the Sage company for a long long time, right now I’ve got….. well lets just say I’ve got a bit more than a lot of folk think you need. Between my own rods and those owned by friends over time I’ve used RPL’s, SP’s, SPL’s, Launch’s, Fli’s, XP’s, TXL’s, TCR’s, Z-axis and Xi2’s. Through the years I’ve also used rods from Orvis, Loomis, Penn, Greys and a few others… what you’ll like is a personal thing like it is for us all but for me Sages are head and shoulders above the rest. Also, when my nephew broke his TXL 0wt last season Sage pulled out the stops to get it back to him in time for his holiday.
    The SPL I have is a 1wt and is the slowest rod I’ve ever used, as Sages I’ve used go next up is the SP/RPL then TXL/Launch, Fli, Z-Axis, XP and fastest is the TCR. If you like the speed of your SLT (similar in speed to the SP and RPL I believe) I’d go for a shorter and lighter one of those, since they’re being replaced now by ZXL’s it’s also a good time to pick one up cheap(er). I’d expect to see a lot of them appearing on e-bay soon as well, that’s what happened when the XP was replaced by the Z-Axis and there were some real 2nd hand bargains to be had. If I was buying an 8ft 4wt for myself I’d get a TXL. VERY accurate short range rods.
    Drop me a line if you like and I’ll make you up a list of rods I can borrow for you to test cast, they won’t be 8ft 4wts but they’ll give you an idea of the different actions.

    Hope this helps.


  16. mike · December 13, 2007

    Just to make things difficult, have you looked at the streamflex rods from Greys? They look rather nice, and having performed the all-important ‘waggle’ test recently, I like the feel. Probably rather nice kind of action for yourself.

    Whatever you do, don’t get drawn in by the ‘name’. We both know the dangers of that, eh..?

  17. Gareth · December 13, 2007

    Hi Alistair,

    I can recommend the Sage Fli, although, any kit I get in the future will probably be Orvis due to their service.

    Go on, you know it makes sense ๐Ÿ˜‰


  18. hans_g · December 13, 2007

    Hello Alistair,

    I would like to make you an offer. How about making your own flyrod on a cts blank we provide for free.

    Reading your fishing stories I would say a Affinity One, #3 or #4, 8’0″, in 4 pieces would be great. This blank has a kind of moderate action. From the cts site: “While this blank is still rated as fast, it has an extremely smooth action. Thanks to our constant taper system, the blank loads beautifully yet delivers the punch needed for distance and accuracy”. Allthough you can read their marketing machine between the lines, we use it ourselves and I can fully agree with their description.

    Making a flyrod by yourself is not difficult and increases the satisfaction when there’s a fish on! We can help you with advice on spacing charts, guides, wrapping and all the other aspects involved. Through our site you can read and follow the steps and techniques needed. Allthough not complete yet. But we’re working hard on it.

    So why making this offer? Partially for PR reasons, allthough we’re very small as an “organisation”, just the two off us. We have decent jobs and this site is just for fun. No commercial goals or sponsoring! We were looking for blanks for private goals and incidently ran into CTS. More important, I like your site and the “urban” concept. I like the shins. And I read about your search for “this next piece of booty”.

    Again, we’ll provide it for free, no obligations whatsoever! But when you agree then it would be nice that the rod is really going to be finished and fished! The extra costs for eyes, reelseat and cork are on your behalve.

    Greetings from Holland,

    Hans Gerritsen
    Eat, SLeep, Flyfishing!

  19. Campbell · December 13, 2007


    See if you can pick up a Scott SAS 8ft 4wt 3 piece. I have one its a great rod, and you should be able to find one cheap as they are discontinued. Or then there’s the ZXL……


  20. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    Jim, I reckon I want something just that touch slower than my SLT – plus I dont want to break the bank ๐Ÿ™‚ saying that though I reckon I would like to cast some of your rods next season !

    Mike – I take it you are now getting fully into the swing of slow rods – I bet you sell your XP ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Gareth – yup that is exactly why I am swinging towards Orvis as well – the only problem is my local store do not have the one I want in stock – I reckon a trip through to Edinburgh may be on the cards.

    Hans – what a generous offer and one I would like to take you up on however I know for a fact I would make a balls up of putting my own rod together. Hmmmm – let me think about it further though !

    Campbell – a Scott you say ? hmmmm slow actioned ?

  21. Jim · December 13, 2007


    No problem, the slower rods I thought you might like better are friends rods. We’ll sort it out once the seasons open again and I’ll borrow them for you to try out.
    Slower action rods are quite thin on the ground nowadays, even as a mid flex the Tout Bum might be the slowest you’ll be able to get so a trip to Edinburgh sounds like a good idea. Orvis make some very nice rods.
    I know you don’t want to break the bank so I shouldn’t mention this….. but…. check out this for the probably the finest slower action 4wt available..
    I mention this because when he owned Winston Tom Morgan was responsible for the design of their rods that are famous for “feel” and Winston might be another option in the price range you want.

    Good luck with the search.


  22. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    Those look mighty fine rods Jim – you getting one? Might go well with one of those Ari T Hart reels ๐Ÿ™‚

    Saying that, I dont know why I deny myself as I just spent 60 bucks on some smelly water for the wife.


  23. Jim · December 13, 2007

    No…. definately not….. well maybe…. NO NO NO Ha-Ha
    They are beautifully made rods aren’t they and in independant tests they kick serious tail at short ranges, but no I can’t see myself laying out ยฃ600-700 and waiting 6 months for delivery. Pair it with one of the new ATH’s? We’ll see what numbers come up on the lottery.
    I’ve got a cane rod coming next year, I’ll be happy with that.

    By the way I was just looking on e-bay and saw this.
    I had the 8 1/2ft version of this last year, picked up on e-bay for ยฃ225, I ended up swapping it as it was too soft for what I needed it for but it was a very well made rod.


  24. Stuart B · December 13, 2007

    Has anyone who reads this bought one of these new to the market Sonik rods . If so I’d be interested to hear if they are worth buying.

    They are sold direct by the company at introductory rates and were also put on Ebay and all 10 sold at bargain prices ,presumably to get some rods “out there” to gain a foothold .

    Not sure how they are going to raise their prices to the stated RRP if they are successful .

    Have a look at http://www.soniksports.com
    p.s.I have nothing to do with the company

  25. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    Look nice anyway – would be interesting to see how they compare against the budget range of Greys etc – maybe they will send me a free one and I can let you know ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Stuart B · December 13, 2007

    Well funny you should say that Alistair .I was going to suggest that maybe you could get in touch with them ,mention your blog and ask if they would like you to give a rod a trial . Apparently the guys running the show have a history of design with Greys
    quoted from another Forum http://www.gameangler.eu
    Two Ex hardy guys are behind the company,
    Ian MCormack the ex commercial sales director and Tony Anderson ex rod tester and guru of the sea rod ranges of Greys”
    Anyway I took the plunge and order an SK4,4 piece ,4/5 weight for ยฃ99 delivered . so as soon as I get a new line I’ll give it a try .My present Hardy and B&W rods are about 25 years old ..the B&W one cost ยฃ83..I found the receipt..That was in 1983 which I guess was a fair amount of cash in them thar days .I’d hope that technically things have moved along a bit since then. Probably stick the old ones on Ebay .Apparently the Hardy 9ft’s get a fair price .

  27. Stuart B · December 13, 2007

    The new rod arrived this morning . It was packed in a 4 section rod bag and a triangular rosd tube .Looks ( imho) very well made . Each section has the length and line weight printed on it and there is a line on each section to line up the joins . My heart skipped a beat when I fitted the reel ( it has been reported elsewhere that some carp rods wouldn’t allow some reels fit the seats ) .The fixed recess is a bit shallow but when I screwed up the other part it held the reel securely . Line and backing went on to the reel along with a braided loop and a tapered leader . I couldn’t go to Queen’s Park because of things ongoing there so it was off to QP Recreation Ground aka The Reccy to throw the line around and it is looking good and will be better once I get my casting in order .I am presently reading “Master The Cast ” by George v Roberts Jnr to try and get things sorted out . I’m also on the lookout for on-line videos about casting so if anyone knows of any please give us a shout .

  28. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    What weight did you get ?

    Oh, companies like that are notoriously difficult to give stuff to bloggers โ€“ it takes a brave company to give something to someone who may write something piss about it. I only know a couple โ€“ Orvis and Highland Rods

  29. Stuart B · December 13, 2007

    I got the SK4 and bought an Scientific Anglers Ultra WF5

  30. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    Yea, but what weight and lengh was it? Is it for the Kelvin?

  31. Stuart B · December 13, 2007

    It’s the SK4 8’6″ 4/5 shown here as SK4020.
    I’ll be using it wherever I happen to go I expect .:-)

  32. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    Hey Stuart – have you tried it out yet? does it cast nice?

    Thanks for the link, I doubt I will use it though – the bounders should be glad I am taking and using one of their rods – not expecting me to flog them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  33. Stuart B · December 13, 2007

    LOL…I’ve only used it on dry land so far but it looks promising . I WTF it would rain .
    BTW I saw a message on another Forum saying that the septic tanks that serve Symington near Biggar are full and haven’t been emptied in ages and SEPA have done nothing about it .I sent an email to Karen Gillon MSP and she e-mailed me back withing 5 minutes and said she do something about it there and then and let me know .She is on the Rural Affairs and Environmental Commitee. It’s coming out at Sandy’s Ford near Townfoot Farm .It seems a lot of rain would mean it spewing out a lot which is bad news.

  34. Alistair · December 13, 2007

    I read about that as well – certainly not good news especially considering we are going to have a dose of rain over the next few days – could be a disaster actually. I hope you are right and the council actually does something !

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