Tag: 389LL

My first true trout rod

gear bagStarted off chasing dinks, and still rolling!

I guess it’s my dirty little secret – I haven’t been trout fishing all that long. I held my first fly rod when I was maybe five or six (a bamboo something with an old Pflueger reel) and remember catching plenty of bream out of a South Florida canal that day. I was certainly “hooked”, but didn’t buy a fly rod with my own money until I was like ten – and I don’t know what ever happened to it. The bottom line is I grew up on bass and bonefish, and didn’t actually catch my first trout until I was twenty-something.

When I first took up the pursuit of Salmoninae, I purchased a Sage 6-weight DS2 after checking it out in the shop. It felt good in the hand, had a comfortable weight, and stiff action. But my tutor laughed hysterically the first time they saw me with it on this little East Coast tailwater we were fishing. “You should take that rod to the bass pond,” they noted. Up until that time all I’d ever cast was 7’s, 8’s, 9’s and 12’s, and soon after the exchange I was pulling the jaws off of 12 inch rainbows. “Maybe I need a lighter rod,” I thought.

sage-389ll-3That inkling became a Sage 389-3 LL, which I got a decent deal on (including a good price for my ‘overweighted’ trade-in).

Why did I buy this rod? I knew diddly about trout rods, but this one came highly recommended. And I think because it was so beautiful – the finish was that glossy deep blood red, and the reel seat was an excellent mahogany tint with silver hardware. I put a Lamson LP 1.5 on it, and fished almost every afternoon for an entire summer with the rig. Since that time I’ve built up my trout quiver, and this little gem sees much less use. It last saw action on the Arkansas River during the Mother’s Day caddis hatch, winding up being the perfect compliment to #18 elk hairs (as well as morning nymphs). The rod/reel couple remains together until this day, and the rig remains one of my favorites.

And why did I bring this up? Tom Chandler of Trout Underground fame has been bragging profusely about his seemingly never-ending trip to Montana, and the latest of his jaunts was to yet another untouched small stream. While reading Tom’s blow-by-blow I heard a rattling in the closet – it was the LL wanting to get out. The poor thing wants some attention, and of course Mr. Chandler immediately volunteered to assist through the freshly chartered non-profits The Underground Home for Underused Sage LL Rods and the Underground Rod Rescue (A Home for Under-appreciated fly rods).

So where does that leave me? Well…I’m about to get hauled in for rod neglect, and I’ve got other fishing folks queuing up for adoption. I better get this baby wet, and soon. So I guess I’m now frantically searching for some small Colorado streams. Please don’t call the authorities on me – provide venue advice instead.


Classic, seasoned, and pristine – needs owner that won’t leave me in the closet all the time. Loves throwing double-taper lines and #20 Adams’s. Email sage389-3LL@lonelyflyrods.com with pictures of habitats frequented and potential partners (reels).