Sage 8123-4 TCR

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Sage 8123-4 TCR Test
Dress For Cold

Newest Underwear
Top Secret Spot
All pictures are Mouse-over.

Field test:
Sage 8123-4 TCR Spey Rod & 3600D Reel Combo
Sage TCR two-handers will throw very tight loops.

Pete Gadd, Patty and I had fished since daylight under a gloomy sky without a touch.  The river was glacial colored and about 9:00am we had commented that it was getting dirtier and would probably go completely un-fishable in another hour.  Now it was 11:00 and even though the river had changed to clearing, I was losing my focus.  Then I remembered that a Sage 8123-4 TCR spey rod was along for our examination..  "TCR stands for Technical Casting Rod which really means (very, very fast intimidating action - only the best

Pete Gadd with a big native.

 casters need apply)".  We attached a Sage 3600D reel on which was spooled a 550-grain Skagit line and 15' type 8 tip for a total head length of  42'; kind of a similar configuration to the Scandinavian shooting heads that are popular for use with fast action two-hand rods. 
A large tube fly was attached to the end of a 4' leader.  A short quick stroke produced best casts and by the time I finished the first run the outfit was becoming comfortable.
The next piece of water was wide and deep and Pete said it is one of his favorites.   The sun came

My arms arn't long enough to make my fish look as large as Pete's.

out and with it came my favorite camera.  I asked Pete to demonstrate what he had learned about "under-hand casting", which is a favored Scandinavian technique when using relatively short, fast two-hand rods and lines with short, heavy sinking heads.  This style employs a drop/stop with a definite pull with the bottom hand. The characteristic loop is very narrow and it produces blazing line speed.  It was immediately apparent Pete had familiarized himself with this type of equipment and technique, and I was able to shoot pictures of 20 consecutive perfect casts.  When he tried to hand me the rod back, I refused.  "I want you to show me how you like to fish this water", was my reply.  He started with a short line at the top of the run, but pretty soon he was covering the river bank to bank at a very steep angle with the fly fishing deep and slow.  After about the 30th casts the line tightened and then began to melt from the reel and Pete had to get out of the water and give pursuit.  After a very vigorous battle a native buck that we guessed at 19-pounds was brought into shallow water and tailed.  This Sage outfit proved to be the perfect size to match this fish.  Later on in the day using the same outfit, I landed two steelhead, both about 9-10 pounds. It did a good job with them too.  The Sage 8123-4 rod is so stable that there is virtually no tip wobble to produce any standing waves in the out-going loop. As the day went on casting accuracy rather than extreme distance proved to be the factor which dictated success. Being able to drop my fly between trees hanging off the opposite bank and fishing under the overhanging brush brought the most hook-ups.  This rod/reel combination can deliver comfortable precise casts in the 75' range with little back cast room.  Ninety foot casts are also possible with keeping the running line from tangling being the major influence at long range.  Being short and powerful the 8123-4 TCR  is also a great rod for working off of steep banks with over hanging trees.  By the end of the day the TCR was very comfortable and not intimidating at all.  Other Sage TCR Two-Hand Rods.

8123-4 TCR

Length: 12' 3"       Line: #8/9/10     Pieces: 4   

Sage 8123-4 TCR Rod.

Summer steelhead and smaller salmon rod .  Will throw both floating and sinking tip lines. 
Rod weight: 7 3/4 Ounces.  IN STOCK!
Item Series Line Wt Action Handle Price To Top
8123-4 TCR 8/9/10 Fast D $795

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3600D Reel  (Possibly the ultimate spey reel)
Designed for 7- through 10-weight spey rods, these  reels have a powerful multi-disk drag that can be used for salmon and steelhead fishing without fear of the drag pressure changing because the reel got dunked.  The drag system is enclosed in a totally waterproof cylinder; a huge advantage in situations where the reel gets submerged.  I pulled my 3600D apart after a full year of hard use and it was clean.

Sage 3600D Reel inside.
Sage 3600D Reel showing adjustible drag Sage 3600D Reel front
  There was no moisture or evidence of water intrusion into the drag assembly.  It works as good as when new.  The 3600D is a favorite steelhead/spey reel.

Model

Line

Backing

Weight Price To Top
SAGE 3600D REEL Black Frame and Spool WF12 300 yd. ** 10.5 oz. $635

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SAGE 3600D REEL Black Frame, Silver Spool WF12 300 yd. ** 10.5 oz. $635

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Sage 8123-4 TCR / 3600D / Rio Skagit Combo
Includes the rod, reel, #30 micron backing and Rio Skagit line with a type-8 sinking tip.
Item Description Price To Top
8123TCR-COMBO Sage 8123-4 TCR / 3600D / Rio Skagit Combo $1,450 SALE ENDED

Dress Like a Veteran Steelheader
How you dress will make as much difference to your success in fall & winter steelheading as your choice of tackle.  Pictured below are some men who spend a lot of time searching for big steelhead during wet/cold weather.  Anglers who catch fish like these, don't have the time or an inclination to use any but the most practical gear.  "We know, because it all came from The Fly Fishing Shop."

Freestone Jacket and Guide Model Waders.

Freestone Jacket and Guide Model Waders.
G3 Guide Jacket and G3 Guide Model Waders. G3 Guide Jacket and G3 Guide Model Waders.

Fall/Winter steelhead weather can mean rain and lots of it. 
The word "rain" turns most people off, because they associated it with discomfort. However, rainy days don't have to be uncomfortable, 
if you dress properly. 
Many rainy days can be beautiful.
 
Everything is washed and clean. Rain softens the edges of the landscape. It dampens sound and a rainy day on the river can be one of personal intimacy. But the best reason to fish in the rain, is that steelhead are more aggressive on cloud-cover days.
If you dress correctly, you can be comfortable, even during long days in cold, wet weather. If you don't dress correctly, you can get cold & wet.  As you lose thermal energy, your motor skills will suffer.  Warm muscles perform better than cold ones.  Dress to keep yourself warm and dry.  Keeping your skin surface free from dampness is one of the biggest keys to staying warm.  
Many people think that preparing for rain only means the addition of a rain coat and chest high waders.
 
The selection of these items is very important, but what you wear under this outer layer is also very important.  Any moisture trapped within your clothing will conduct heat away.  This means that you not only have to keep the rain out, but your clothing also has to have the ability to disperse and dispel
your own perspiration. 
When dressing for cold or wet weather fishing; dress from the inside out.
The layer of clothing next to your skin is the one you will feel all day.

Warm & inexpensive!

Maximum perspiration zones are your arm pits, groin and feet.  All these areas need special clothing.  Your inner layer should be made from synthetic material for maximum comfort.  It should be soft and designed to wick moisture away from your skin.
Never wear cotton clothing under your waders.
Cotton retains moisture and has very little insulation value when damp.  It also becomes a medium for fungal infections.  The organisms that cause infections such a jock itch and athletes foot can not live in synthetic fabrics.  Synthetic materials tend to  "pass-through", rather than "retain" moisture from perspiration.   Nylon, acrylic and polyester do not retain as much moisture as cotton, silk or wool.  Dressing with layers of Synthetic material can

 further customize the wicking of moisture away from your body.    Pay special attention to the layers that cover your legs and feet.  These extremities are the ones that will be immersed in cold water.  When water temperatures are below 50-degrees double layering is recommended.  Water temperatures below 40-degrees demand heavier double-layering.  Nylon fleece such as Dutch Harbor becomes much more efficient with a layer of Capilene under it.  A layer of Patagonia Mid-weight Capilene next to your skin with a layer of Simms Heavyweight WaderWick over it can keep you roasty-toasty during what would otherwise be inhospitable climatic conditions.  Heavyweight WaderWick is the best cold weather insulation that we have found.

Pay special attention to your socks. Water runs down hill and some of your body perspiration will collect at your feet. This happens much less with breathable waders, but is still a factor, especially if you are hiking between pools.  There is no way for wader feet to breath inside your wading shoe.  Wader feet are still made from insulating, but non-breathable neoprene.
We like thick wool/nylon blend socks that have a knitted loop pile on the inside which gives them the capacity to retain a lot of loft, even with the squeezing pressure of your waders around them. They act as a reservoir for migrant perspiration but help keep it away from your skin.  
Of this type, Outdoor Socks by Fox River are the best we've tested.  They are knee length so provide another layer of insulation for the lower leg.  Remember, all socks are made from knitted yarns which tend to wash-out as you launder them, thereby loosing loft and insulating qualities.  Replace them often for maximum comfort.  

Your outer layer is your first layer of defense.
It must be water-proof, but it too must be able to dispel any moisture that might collect inside it.  This is accomplished by a special membrane sandwiched between two layers of protective fabric.  This membrane is porous so it can breath.  The pours are of a diameter that allow smaller gaseous molecules to escape, but will not allow larger liquid molecules to enter.  Non-breathable waders and rain jackets have all but disappeared 
from the steelhead fly fishing scene in favor of newer technology fabrics such as:  Gore-Tex.

Because of a revolutionary immersion technology from W.L. Gore & Associates, Gorte-Tex keeps water from getting in, yet is very breathable, even when completely submerged and allows sweat and moisture to escape. This keeps your skin dry and helps you retain your body heat. Gore-Tex does not stretch, but the articulated knee design employed in Simms G3 Waders allows a streamlined fit with full mobility of the angler.  A good fitting pair of waders should mold to your body and give you the most streamlined configuration you can have. This lessens water drag in the currents and makes wading less difficult.  Waders with bent knees enable a closer fit than straight legged waders.  For durability multi-layer construction is nearly mandatory from the crotch down.  Five-layer construction co-developed by  

Uncompromising!
W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. and Simms was designed specifically for use in fishing waders.  Simms/Gore-Tex® waders feature this laminate which results in the most puncture-resistant, most durable, most technologically-advanced breathable waders you can purchase.

Wading shoes serve three purposes; to protect your feet and enhance your balance and traction. High top leather or man-made leather wading shoes give better support and last longer per dollar spent, than their cheaper canvas counterparts. Felt soles with silicone carbide studs are the best traction you can have on all kinds of bottom structure. Some guides object to having studded shoes in their pretty boats. If yours is that way, get a different guide. Fly-casting, like many other athletic events, depends on good traction.  A selection of proven wading shoes can be found here.

Be sure that your wading shoes fit for maximum support, but have enough room so as not to impair your circulation. Always wear your waders and full under garments when fitting a new pair of wading shoes. Our favorite wading shoes are Simms Guide Boots.  Their new L-2 Model is also becoming very popular.

Your wading jacket forms the roof over all your innerwear. It must have a weatherproof parka hood. A wading jacket must be impenetrable to rain by keeping water from coming through the fabric shell and must also be designed to keep water from running down your neck or up your sleeves. A jacket that is rain proof is also wind proof. If the outer shell material will allow perspiration to pass through without allowing rain water to get in, you can remain comfortable in about any kind of weather you will encounter during productive steelhead fishing.

The G-3 Guide Jacket from Simms has proven itself to the most demanding anglers and has held up against the most demanding conditions. It's made of the same material as the G-3 Guide Model breathable Gore-Tex waders.

  Since your jacket is the outer most shell, it is the most convenient place to carry your gear. Few avid winter steelheaders wear vests. A vest worn on the outside of your jacket gets wet. A vest worn inside your vest is hard to get at. Besides, you don't have to carry that much gear.

For a whole day of steelhead fly fishing, all I carry are: (besides my rod & reel) 1. A lanyard with a leader clipper, hook file, and nail knot-tying tube. 2. (1) Medium size box of flies. 3. Zippered wallet to carry Launcher tips and leaders. 4. Leader dispenser with 10, 15 and 25 pound test hard, abrasion resistant leader material. All of this gear will easily fit in the breast pockets of a properly designed wading jacket. If these breast pockets are equipped with D-rings you can attach your tool lanyard and then drop the tools into the pocket where they can't get tangled in your fly line.

Don't forget to consider your hands. Neoprene gloves are great for cold weather, especially if you are rowing.  Both slit-finger and fingerless gloves are appropriate at times.

The selection of a hat is of prime importance. It too must be waterproof, even though it will be under the hood of your waterproof jacket most of the time.  A baseball cap with a bill will shield your glasses from rain and help keep your face moisture free.  A waxed cotton baseball cap is very practical.  We had these specifically made for the purpose.

Waxed Cotton Hat
Item Description Price To Top
FFS-WAXED Waxed cotton baseball cap with The Fly Fishing Shop logo, Forest Green, one size fits all $25.00

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Until Spring Time comes......


The Newest! Fly Fishing Underwear & Layering
For wearing under waders & wading jackets
or lounging around the lodge or home.
Dutch Harbor Fleece
Dutch Harbor Fleece
 
Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket
Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket
 
Simms Rivertek Zip Top
Simms Rivertek
 
Patagonia Capilene Women's Zip Top
Patagonia Capilene
 
Patagonia R4 Jacket Zip Top
Patagonia R4 Jacket
 
Simms Heavyweight WaderWick Zip Top
Simms Heavyweight WaderWick

Top Secret Spot
By: The Fly Shop Guy
The Fly Shop Guy's secret spot... There comes a time when you have spent enough seasons on the same river (more than you have left anyway) that one acquires a certain, well, ...reputation. You get to know all the likely holding places for most of the fish you’ve caught, heck, perhaps you even have names for them by now. Perhaps the fish get to like you enough to LET you catch them. It could be the case, you know
Many of the fishers that are new to the river are always interested in what you might have to say, where you fish at and what you use. Always looking for a bit of free information, perhaps a casting tip or a possibility that might have been overlooked.
While I don’t usually get identified (to my face at least) as an old guy, I know that I am getting there. I prefer to think of the word Sage Fisherman, rather than old. I work in the fly fishing trade, been fishing the same waters most of my life, and most folks think that I must have learned something  about fishing. Many people think that people like myself are absolute masters of the sport. Able to drop a fly on a dime at 68 feet in 20 mph winds (using a 2 wt). Able to levitate a drift boat rather than actually row it. Rumored to have lived three days on the river with nothing but a half of a Hershey’s candy bar and no camping gear whatsoever, just drop on the river bank when it gets dark. Jump up at first light and go to catching fish on every cast. Got secret spots where you stand on the bank for a few moments and the fish all gather ‘round urging you to catch them first. Yep. It’s the stuff that legends are made of. Unfounded rumors are often the culprit.
Was out on the river a few days ago. Thought I might share a bit of a fishing report. The fishing was just normal (for a Sage old guy, anyway) I ‘d sure like to share the location, but, well, it’s secret you know.

The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes

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