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I picked up an xi3 11 wt from a shop years ago when it was going out of business. well, shorty after I went through a divorce and the rod was "lost". well its just been found again at my mothers for whatever reason. I plan on grabbing it on Easter--In the meantime....

I somewhat remember the guy at the store said to buy a reel size up to balance it out. Does anyone with experience with these rods agree with this statement? I would love to order a reel now for it so I can test it out as soon as I grab it. any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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The approximate point (or fulcrum point) where the rod basically sits level at rest, balancing it on one finger, is where your thumb and forefinger sits (in a pistol or side grip fashion, or... where your index finger rides under the grip, and where your thumb is on top). That position should be forward in the grip in the front well of a "full wells" grip.

So a proper balance should be the reel mounted on the rod, loaded with the backing and the fly line, with the fly line stung up inside the rod and the line draped out of the tip top guide where some of the head is in the rod and then laying on the floor in a bit of a pile. THAT, is the real point where the rod and reel, in a real world situation, will feel properly balanced and then will easily pivot at that exact fulcrum (or pivot point), which will help the swing weight of the rod feel the lightest and also flex the rod at it's deepest point to help the rod load the line with the fewest amount of false cast. I hope that makes sense to you.

The Sage Xi3 is not the lightest rod in the world. But properly balanced, it can feel light and shoot like a cannon with little effort and few false cast. In my experience with that rod, a Tibor Gulfstream balances out that rod perfectly. Yes it's a little heavy, but the rod needs it to feel it's best.

Also, Line is important. Read the thread below about "Tarpon line preference? 11wt and 12wts." and also my thoughts on the subject. Which basically, that rod needs a good true to weight line like a Scientific Mastery Tarpon or Saltwater, Cortland Liquid Crystal Tarpon Sky Blue. Any of those in an 11wt floating line. Or a Royal Wulff Bermuda Triangle Taper in a 10wt.(the weight of an 11wt line).

Ted Haas
 

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Generally you would want a reel that will hold your fly line plus 250 yards of 30 pound backing.

needs a good true to weight line
Yes and no :)
Chances are that an 11 wt line will cast ok on an 11 wt rod.
BUT that's not always the case.
Properly "loaded", means to me that it will cast the line with the least effort as well as the furthest.
I have two 5 wt St Croixs, one is their top end rod which is a "fast action" and to load the rod properly I use a 7 wt old Cortland rocket taper 444 (a true to weight line) . I can cast it over 60 feet with a single back cast and 80 feet with two. The other 5 wt is their Avid model with is moderate action rod and I use a 5 wt line on it as that's what works best for that rod. Next I have two 9's, a Scott that throws a 9 wt line just fine but my 9 Sage throws a 350 grain line like it was made for it.
(11 wt lines are 330 grains)

Last I've a 12 wt Legend matched with a Rio 13 wt line which turned out to weigh in at just under 500 grains at 30 feet and 570 grains at 40 feet (has a 40 foot taper).
BTW, 13 wt lines are rated at 430 grains.
I've had 4 other 12's over the years and none of them cast as nice as this one.

All that being said I happen to have an 11 wt rod too :)
which does cast an 11 wt line just fine, going up or down a line or two would not help it cast any better.

If your 11 is a "fast action" rod it too might cast better with a heaver line, but you won't know till you try. For me it's no big deal to try different weight lines because I've got 2 through 13 wt full lines (except don't have a 3 wt).
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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6,429 Posts
Generally you would want a reel that will hold your fly line plus 250 yards of 30 pound backing.



Yes and no :)
Chances are that an 11 wt line will cast ok on an 11 wt rod.
BUT that's not always the case.
Properly "loaded", means to me that it will cast the line with the least effort as well as the furthest.
I have two 5 wt St Croixs, one is their top end rod which is a "fast action" and to load the rod properly I use a 7 wt old Cortland rocket taper 444 (a true to weight line) . I can cast it over 60 feet with a single back cast and 80 feet with two. The other 5 wt is their Avid model with is moderate action rod and I use a 5 wt line on it as that's what works best for that rod. Next I have two 9's, a Scott that throws a 9 wt line just fine but my 9 Sage throws a 350 grain line like it was made for it.
(11 wt lines are 330 grains)

Last I've a 12 wt Legend matched with a Rio 13 wt line which turned out to weigh in at just under 500 grains at 30 feet and 570 grains at 40 feet (has a 40 foot taper).
BTW, 13 wt lines are rated at 430 grains.
I've had 4 other 12's over the years and none of them cast as nice as this one.

All that being said I happen to have an 11 wt rod too :)
which does cast an 11 wt line just fine, going up or down a line or two would not help it cast any better.

If your 11 is a "fast action" rod it too might cast better with a heaver line, but you won't know till you try. For me it's no big deal to try different weight lines because I've got 2 through 13 wt full lines (except don't have a 3 wt).
What you are saying is you like a moderate, progressive action in a rod. So if the rod is not designed to have that progressive feel, then you are forcing it to feel that way by over lining it with a heavier rod. You are better off getting rods that have a more moderate progressive feel, rather than rods that are faster and stiffer and then lining it with the properly matched fly line. That is what a lot of old school trout guys prefer.

Or.... You can change up your casting stroke, pick the pace up a bit when going to faster rods with more truer to weight lines. Then the overall "feel" to the swing of the rod will feel lighter in-hand.

The Cortland rocket taper was discontinued about 15yrs ago. It had a 45ft thin head and that is why you needed a 7wt line on a 5wt rod, to get enough weight out of the tip top guide, in order for you to "feel" the rod loading further down the blank, which is your preference. My advice to you is to toss that fly line in the trash since the outer PVC plastics have dried out due to the age of it. It's basically a junk line now. Then just buy a new SA Mastery Bass Bug or save some money and buy a new TFO 5wt fly line and try tip casting the rod instead of trying to load it down in the butt section of the rod.... and you think you have a new improved rod. Otherwise, Just buy a new Royal Wulff 5wt freshwater triangle tapered line, which is exactly 1 weight heavier than a standard line, and you'll be able to keep that same "feel" while loading with that rod with only 30ft of head +/- and then just let it shoot and I'm sure you'll love the way it casts for you (your style).

I can go on about the other rods too. Just giving you an example on your 5wt.

Ted
 

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We just about wore out an Xi2 11wt on big tarpon, sharks, etc. I still have somewhere and it will be a restoration project...
It worked well with every “tarpon sized” reel we mounted on it. That included a Billy Pate Tarpon, an Old Florida #55, and a Nautilus 12..
Although it worked well with an 11wt line I loaded with a 12wt when I had a first time tarpon angler aboard...
 
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