My latest acquisition... How I covet thee. I've finally had enough time to get out on the water and cast the world's lightest (line weight) fly rod: the Sage TXL-F 000710-4.
Here's the outfit I was using:
Sage does an adequate job in this department. The rod wraps are nice. The color is attractive. The cork is decent. I've always felt that for the money, Sage puts less effort into its rods than other brands in the fit and finish department. That said, the rod is incredibly functional.
The choice of a snub-nosed half-wells grip is a great one that adds a lot of feel to the rod. I much prefer this grip to the standard Western or Reverse Half-Wells grip for a small-water rod.
Where are my alignment dots??
The TXL-F weighs in at 1.4oz according to Sage. Basically, it's super light. It hardly feels like I'm holding a rod. The Sage Click I balances perfectly.
This is NOT a distance rod. Casts over 35' are very difficult to execute in anything but perfect conditions.
The rod is highly accurate for short casts with dry flies. I was able to throw darts out to 30' with a small dry. More importantly, it has a great feel for how much line is out there which lets you thread it through trees on small streams.
Dry fly presentation is also amazing. I think an elk hair caddis lands softer with this rod than an actual caddis might land on the water.
Medium to Medium-Fast. I found myself adjusting down from my normal casting stroke (Hardy Zenith), but not so much that I totally had to change the way I fished (like I had to do with the Winston WT).
Ok for very light nymphs with a light indicator, or casts of 15' or so if you really want to muscle it out there... I don't recommend using this rod for nymphing unless you're high-sticking a very small stream.
It's a blast! Even small fish feel like monsters. I was able to land 2-3lb brook trout on this rod (Yes, it's possible to land big fish on small rods)
Lifetime to the original owner. $50 "Shipping Fee", which I think is excessive.
I love this rod. For light line enthusiasts, it's a must have. This rod is very similar to all of the TXL-F rods <1wt, so if you want a little extra muscle, you can get it without a lot of sacrifice.
Is it easy to cast? No. Does anyone NEED this rod? No. Will you fish it all the time? Probably not. If you don't already own at least 5-6 outfits, this probably isn't a rod you'll want.
Bragging Time - 3lb Brook Trout caught on this outfit: