It is currently Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:26 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Go to page 1, 2  Next   Page 1 of 2   [ 33 posts ] New Topic Add Reply
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:19 pm • # 1 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 11/18/08
Posts: 3185
Location: Texas
Les drove up from Ft Worth today so we could spend several hours on the ponds here performing the excruciatingly difficult task of playing with a bunch of flyrods.  The things we do for you people--I swear! Image

Today's outing started off with a simple purpose; to answer the question Is the Redington CT really based on the Sage LL series?  This has been coming up a lot and I don't know if Sage/Redington started it off but we figured it was time to put it to rest.

Since I already had a 7'9" 3 wt LL I bought a 7'6" 3 wt CT ($129 shipped) and started to put them to the test.  I already stated earlier that the CT and LL are not even close to being the same taper--I think all or our testing today backed that up, however the CT is a great little rod all the same.  Just to mix it up a bit we also threw a 7'9" St Croix Legend Ultra into the mix.  So here we go:

I've already fished these rods a lot.  Even though I just got the CT I have 5 or 6 hours on it.  For today I strung the LL up with the ULA reel and Sage WF3 Performance Taper II and had Les start with it, while I fished the CT with a CT 2/3 reel and an $11 Orvis Silver Label line.  When it came time to trade rods we removed the reels just so that would not be a factor in Les's testing.  He put the ULA and Sage line on the CT while he fished it as well.

Top to bottom:  Redington CT, Sage LL, and St Croix LU
Image
Image

Jerry's Results in order of preference:

Sage 379-3 LL

Okay, so you guys already knew I was going to stick with my LL.  This is really one of the best all-around rods I've owned for fishing for the type of stuff I do.   Silky smooth medium/fast-action.  Very sensitive tip.  For me it does everything well.  Tip casting in close, nice and smooth at medium distances, and it'll put out some line if you need a little distance.  The St Croix is a better roll-caster, and the CT will carry more line in the air, but the LL does everything smoothly.  One big difference I saw between the LL and the CT is in the feel with a medium size bass or 'gill on.  The LL transmits all those little pulses better than the CT and just feels like it's livelier in the tip.  This is all pretty subjective, of course, and others will no doubt feel differently.   This LL is the rod I fished on the South Platte last fall when we were slinging weighted nymphs with droppers and it performed very well there with fish up to about 22".  This is my "if you could only have one rod" rod.

Redington 763-4

Absolutely not a LL.  But I think whoever is making this comparison is doing the CT a disservice.  This is a fantastic little rod!  Not as soft in the tip as the LL, the CT is 3/4 of an ounce lighter and feels very good in hand.  It's a very accurate rod and carries a *lot* of line in the air if asked to.  If someone is familiar with LLs and buys this rod thinking that's what they're getting they'll be disappointed.  However if someone is looking for one of the best 3 wt rods around for under $300 this is the rod for them.  I'd also say that this 3 wt will give a lot of the high-end 3 wts a run for their money.  Just quit comparing it to a LL--they feel completely different.

The CT is another rod that does almost everything well.  Although it's faster in the tip than a LL it's still pretty easy to walk around doing those little 15' casts in close.   It's seems to be accurate at all distances and has an edge over the LL at 40' and over.  It's also a fun rod to cast.  My son Sam was with us today and he's been fishing the St Croix LU the last few times we've been out.  He's a beginner but has picked it up pretty quickly and is doing well.  He was off fishing the St Croix and after Les had had a chance to fish the LL and CT I called Sam over to have him try it.  He picked it up and immediately started throwing some very nice tight loops.  He said it felt way better to him than the St Croix and his casting backed that up.  This is an amazingly good rod.

St Croix Legend Ultra 793-4

Okay, so out of the three rods this one came in last for me, but not because it's a bad rod--it's just not as good as the other two.  Of the three this one was the best roll-caster and despite a softer tip than the CT it could really belt some line out on regular casts as well.  This one wasn't part of the original question so we didn't spend as much time on it, but it did help to put things into perspective.  This is a beautifully built $300 rod and is another fun rod to fish.  But with the exception of roll-casting, the CT was a little better in most areas.  One thing we noticed on the St Croix was tip-bounce.  When Sam switched to the CT he mentioned that the St Croix felt like something was clunking around.  I checked to make sure the sections weren't coming loose and then watched him.  It was quickly apparent what was happening and after that I noticed it too when I was fishing it.  For some people it might not be an issue at all, but for some it will be disappointing.

Again, this is not a bad rod at all.  In fact Les fished it for one long stretch and was ready to make a trade or buy it from me.  He was getting some impressive distance out of it and Les is also a roll-casting machine and really appreciated that aspect.  This is also arguably the best looking rod of the bunch.  Curly Maple seat, nickel-silver hardware, good cork and very nice looking matte green blank.  But after I handed the CT back to Les I think he changed his mind. Image  The St Croix is a rod that I would be very happy with if I didn't own the LL or CT and know in the back of my mind they're better rods.  It's a very good all-around 3 wt.

Fit and Finish 

I'm doing all three rods together here because this had little (nothing?) to do with how the rods performed and all three rods are very nicely put together.  I think the St Croix is the best looking of the three, with the CT and LL so close it's a toss-up for second.  I did have to turn about 3/16" off the diameter of the CT grip before it was comfortable for me.  Some folks like beefier grips though so I can't knock it for that.  The cork on all three are comparable.  The CT has a large void right on top of the grip but it's in a spot where you won't feel it, and it's just the luck of the draw and could happen on any rod once all the filler comes out.

The CT was the lightest by 3/4 of an ounce at 2.25 with the LL and St Croix coming in right at 3 oz (stinkin' nickel silver!Image).  All three rods come with a tube and the St Croix has an integrated bag (compartments).  The CT and LL have conventional rod bags.

In Summary

I've owned and fished a *lot* of 3 wt rods under $300, including St Croix Avid, TFO Pro, TFO Finesse, Cabelas TQR, Kettle Creeks, Albright A5, Elkhorn Travel, etc. and I think the CT beats them all.  That's just me though and you may very well prefer something else.

The LL is in a different class though and I think there are some other rods there as well.  If someone gave me $300 I'd go with the CT and have a bunch left over for a great reel.  If money were not a problem (like that's ever true) I'd find a used LL or buy a new 3 wt TXL.  The CT is a really a great rod but there are a few nicer rods out there--it just seems like they cost a more... a LOT more! Image

While we're waiting for Les's writeup here are a few more pics:

Les laying out a nice loop with the LL
Image
Image
Image

Les with another nice loop with the CT
Image
Image

Sam cranking out some nice loops with the CT
Image
Image


I know the rods are upside down but this angle give you a better idea of the color of the blanks.  CT on bottom LL on top.
Image

Unfortunately, this was about as big as they got today.
Image


Top
  
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:47 pm • # 2 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 5437
All,
When I stepped up to this challenge, I had only handled a heavier version of the CT- a 5WT CTX-and that rod to me felt like the older Sage RPL taper. So guided by that image I had suspected that perhaps the CT 3wt might feel lie an LL or at least close. But that was not to be.
The modern generation graphite rods ( redington CT) are lighter than the previous generations made by Sage and although the appearance screams " I'm a Sage" the actual rod is very different from the LL. Weight - the CT is lighter in the hand. Length 7'6" v 7'9" . Action the CT has a crisper action with the LL feeling like more a a true moderate action. Overall I grade the LL as the superior rod.

Here's the rub: if you're loooking to buy an LL then go to eBay and try to win one-asuuming you can find one in your prefered UL weight. It is a wonderful rod and from today's test I discovered that this rod is truly in a league of its own. Now, I know why Jerry will never sell or trade for this rod. But there is another happy side to this story you can buy this CT for $129.00 delivered. it may not be the same taper, but is one of the best values in today's market. If memory serves me, my 8'9" Sage VPS light has a similar feel to this rod. Perhaps these tapers are based from the same design.

Lastly I cast and fished Jerry's 7'6" St Croix and I liked it. This rod is the perfect fit for those of us who fish creeks and find them selves roll-casting in tight spots. This rod can change directions on a dime and pops out 30-40 rolls with ease. But it's no one trick pony. Later in the afternoon on a second lake, I cast this rod using a "water haul and delivered pin-point casts out 50 feet and more in wind. The downside is that the rod is a bit butt heavy and would require a lighter reel for perfect balance. Its maple insert and green finish make for a beautiful package. This might be one of the better rods for a new entrant into UL fly fishing. Not the same rod in feel or action compared to the LL or CT , but a rod worthy of the distinction Made in the USA.

Les


Top
  
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:02 pm • # 3 
User avatar
Hero Member

Joined: 12/02/09
Posts: 566
Interesting evaluations by both of you.  Sounds like the CT is one heck of a bargain.  I sold my Legend Ultra once I built my Winston WT.  The only thing the LU had on it was length, 7' 9" vs. 6'6" but once I cast the WT, I could never go back.  In most of my fishing, the shorter length is better anyway.  Not to say the LU isn't a great rod.


Top
  
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:03 pm • # 4 
User avatar
Hero Member

Joined: 03/08/09
Posts: 2144
Thanks for the reports on those rods...My son-in-law expressed to me that he is interested in getting a UL outfit soon...He has a 7' Eagle Claw he "borrowed" from me and a Baston 5# fielding made, He also "borrowed" :) Guess if he is gonna dip (finally) into the UL ranks I gather the CT would be a great rod for me to buy and let him "borrow" also..:) Thats ok, he is gonna get it all eventually anyhow, tho he will probably have to peel the East Branch 2wt out of my hands!!!


Top
  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:43 am • # 5 
User avatar
Full Member

Joined: 08/08/10
Posts: 198
Very Nicely Done Gentlemen!  An excellent report and one that is sure to get some on the fence to make a decision.  I've always liked St Croix rods and never was a Redington fan, until the CT series came out. I'm glad I took the plunge on the CT rods. For the price they are the berries IMO!

Great Job!


Top
  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:43 pm • # 6 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 4827
Excellent review guys, we need more good stuff like this.

J.


Top
  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:59 pm • # 7 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 11/18/08
Posts: 3185
Location: Texas
Forgot to mention that the $11 Silver Label line is a pretty good line! I had a bad experience with my last Silver Label but this one works great.


Top
  
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:42 pm • # 8 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 5437
Yeah, the buckskin silver label performed well yesterday, not bad for the price.


Top
  
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:40 am • # 9 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 06/25/09
Posts: 3259
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Excellent review guys! It'd be great to have more comparisons out there.
My buddy is about to get a 8'6" ZXL and I'm going to try to do a comparison to my 8'6" CT.


Top
  
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:11 pm • # 10 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 11/18/08
Posts: 3185
Location: Texas
I met up with Don earlier today and he tried the LL, CT, and St Croix. Don also threw a 6'9" cane rod into the mix. I'll post more later this evening with some pics, and hopefully Don will post his impressions here as well.


Top
  
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:26 pm • # 11 
User avatar
Hero Member

Joined: 12/22/11
Posts: 2056
I confess I did not discern as much difference between the rods as Jerry and Les did. More like graphite, hum, graphite, hum, graphite. The St. Croix had noticeably more tip bounce. The 6'9" cane was similar to the LL when both were overloaded with a 4 weight. However, the LL was clearly no longer at its best. I will wait for Jerry to post the pix before I comment further. Don


Top
  
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:42 pm • # 12 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 11/18/08
Posts: 3185
Location: Texas
Zenkoanhead wrote:
I confess I did not discern as much difference between the rods as Jerry and Les did. More like graphite, hum, graphite, hum, graphite.
I had correctly forecast this outcome while talking to Les earlier Image.   Don had already tried my 3 wt LL once and wasn't impressed.  I predicted he would be even less impressed by the CT and St Croix and I wasn't disappointed.  While Don did say at one point he preferred the LL to the other two, I got the distinct impression it wasn't a rod he would look forward to owning. Image

What we did decide was that if you totally overlined the LL to the point where it was almost unrecognizable to me, it felt kind of like a beautiful cane rod that Don brought that was also slightly overlined with a 4 wt line.  We walked away with Don preferring the cane to any of the three graphite rods, and me preferring any of the three graphite rods to cane Image, although the cane was undeniably the best looking rod... by far as you can see here:

Image

Since this is still a CT versus LL thread I'm going to start a new thread and post more pics of the nice little cane rod where Don can explain a little more about it.  Very cool rod, but what can I say?  I'm a graphite guy.


Top
  
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:55 pm • # 13 
User avatar
Hero Member

Joined: 12/22/11
Posts: 2056
Pretty much it, Jerry. I think that unless you are a very experienced caster (Les and Jerry are) you will find the CT to be an excellent rod. I am not much for the disembodied line thing that Jerry so loves. When you cast the LL, it kinda feels like "Isn't that strange, there is a line describing horizantal lines about 7' above me, I wonder why?". With the St. Croix you get a hard nod from the tip as the line unfurls. This is mildly annoying. I did not feel that with the CT or LL. Not trading in my cane anytime soon. Don


Top
  
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:35 am • # 14 
User avatar
Sr. Member

Joined: 05/21/10
Posts: 302
Thanks for the review guys, much appreciated...


Top
  
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:53 am • # 15 
User avatar
Full Member

Joined: 12/22/11
Posts: 203
Location: UK
Very nice report, guys - another urban myth staked once and for all!

Theo


Top
  
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:01 pm • # 16 
User avatar
Full Member

Joined: 06/21/10
Posts: 219
so the CT is no LL, but it is a steal of a deal in a light 4pc 3weight?  thanks and I will try one!


Top
  
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:21 pm • # 17 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 5437
bobkent10 wrote:
so the CT is no LL, but it is a steal of a deal in a light 4pc 3weight?  thanks and I will try one!

I think you'll be pleased.  


Top
  
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:47 am • # 18 
User avatar
Full Member

Joined: 06/21/10
Posts: 219
the CT sounds like a great fit for mountain brookie fishing - light, 4pc, and not too expensive.  A 4pc LL would cost too much for rough use, and I think the CT will be good enough for me.   This is a point of difference for me versus some people here: while I do like easy-access local streams, most of my favorite wild trout streams require bushwhacking and a 7+ ft. 2pc rod just isn't a good thing to carry...

hey there are trout down there:

  http://www.flickr.com/photos/22661054@N00/4938707291/sizes/l/in/photostream/


Last edited by Guest on Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:33 am • # 19 
User avatar
Full Member

Joined: 06/21/10
Posts: 219

My 7'6" CT 3w is here, and while I need some rain before it goes trout fishing, it seems promising.   Balances nicely with a BBS1, and is a bit lighter and shorther than my 3w Legend Ultra.  Also cheaper, just in case.  The CT does make a nice lawn cast, and when the rain hits the streams, it will, too.  Thanks again for the comparison article, guys.



Top
  
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:43 am • # 20 
User avatar
Hero Member

Joined: 05/16/09
Posts: 2123
I might have to test one before I buy.  I'm still putting all the cookie crumbs together I need to buy the Thomas Bamboo of Don's, so that is priority.  However, I am looking for a >7' <8' 4 pc 2/3wt for back packing or just as a good micro nymph/midge rod for Wintertime when I should not be using bamboo.  I don't know, I might still use a Fiberglass rod in the Winter time.

I just can't decide.  I'll wait for more reviews.  To tell the truth, after I get the Thomas paid for, I am thinking of splurging and getting a 7' Hardy 3wt Glass.  That seems to me to be the ideal Wintertime Midge Rod.


Top
  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  

Go to page 1, 2  Next   Page 1 of 2   [ 33 posts ] New Topic Add Reply

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

- OurBoard Support -