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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

New Toys!

Fall is basically Christmas in the fly fishing industry – all the new goodies announced at the show start showing up at our doorstep, and Remy, our UPS guy is the best surrogate Santa ever. Today the Sage Train came for a visit! We received our first TXL-F (F for Four Piece) ultralight rods, two VXPs (a 5- and 8-weight), and the new 5-weight Xi3.

From the left: TXL-F in 00-, 2-, and 3-weights, VXP in 5- and 8-weight, and my favorite: a 8'9" 5-wt Xi3. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

We also now have two of the DXL line of luggage – the large waist pack with a TRUE waterproof zipper, and the DXL Boat Bag – one of the newest and freshest ideas in tackle storage. Oh yeah, and that’s waterproof too. C’mon down and take a look at them all!

Sage Typhoon DXL Large waistpack and boat bag. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

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This past weekend, Tex and I scooted down to Athens for the annual Fly Fish Texas event at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center to give our (in)famous gear seminar. After a small start (5 folks), our class grew to close to 25 or so, but I’m still unsure as to whether they came for us, or to watch the huge aquarium teeming with giant bass, catfish, gar and bowfin swimming around to the side of our projector screen. Talk about distracting when you are trying to stay on point!

Overall the event was great, with folks from all over participating -the Temple Fork Fly Rod boys were there, the House of Hardy crew, and a plethora of local fly tiers. Prior to and after our talk, Al Crise sought us out to help give free casting lessons which despite the wind was a great time, and hopefully hooked some newbies!

Another highlight was meeting Kevin Hutchinson, author of the revised Fly Fishing the Texas Hill Country – a “cult” classic, and one of Tex’s personal favorites, published by Fishhead Press. The new edition includes all of Bud Priddy’s original quips and descriptions, updated with current access info, and most notedly: GPS coordinates for every bridge crossing/access point! We were able to procure a few for the shop, and two have already made their way out the door. Now I just need to find the time to put it to use!

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Or, more correctly – carbon fibre (I like the British spelling). This morning I gave a lesson to Dick Murtland, a golf-club guru with Adams Golf, who has done more with the manufacturing carbon fibre and shaft making than anyone I know (or have heard of).

First and foremost, our clubs (rods) are NOT made of graphite – graphite is merely the powder or powdery solid form of pure carbon (atomic #12 for those chem geeks out there like me). The material they are constructed of is carbon fibre in sheet form. What drives the costs up is the type used – mainly its tensile strength. The higher the tensile strength, typically the greater the modulus (number of fibers per square inch on the sheet), the lower the weight, and the higer the cost. Your higher end rods will be made with these types of material, which gives us the cool strength-to-weight ratio we all love.

Another interesting tidbit I garnered was how the thickness of the fibre is supposed to be uniform throughout the length of the rod, butt to tip.  “But Bart, that doesn’t make sense – the tip is much smaller than the butt.” That statement is true, but the THICKNESS of the fibre is the same – it is just rolled over a smaller area at the top. The thickness of the rod decreases, but the fibre sheet does not. This is why rod makers must be careful with sanding – you can end up with flat spots where the fibre is thinner than in the rest of the rod, resulting in a weak spot.

I have a few other questions for Dick the next time I see him, about things like Boron and the like,  and I will be sure to post the answers once I do – a great lesson for me, and he will be double hauling by his trip to Argentina!

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