James, I have used Sage rods in the past, and they are really, really sweet. They do cast beautifully. They are, however, well out of my price range! At least as a biologist who has been largely unemployed as of late...though that may be changing soon. One can never have too many fly rods, and if you can afford it, buy the best. As a budget angler, I do try to make the most of my $$$, and as a veteran angler, I'm quite surprised and pleased with some of these realy inexpensive rods I have used lately. However, I'll have to treat myself to a "high-end" rod one of these days (I am only about 15 minutes from an Orvis shop) just to see how I cast with them instead. For me, the biggest difference would probably be in casting distance for lake fishing - I like to be able to cover as much water as possible while fishing from shore or dock, where I frequently find myself, as there is a lake about 2 1/2 miles from me right here, you've seen the pond, and I have friends who live on a lake about 40 minutes from me. Big fat bass have risen for me from each!!
Tight lines and dancing bass to all,
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...