egregrious corporatespeak,    fly fishing industry,    ONE,    sage,    sage fly rods

Our Astonishing, Augmented, Fluid, Unparalleled Friday Fly Fishing Industry Rant

Posted by Tom Chandler 6/24/2011

Sage makes great fly rods and all -- they didn't get to where they are by pumping out a stream of losers -- but frankly, they could use a little help in the corporatespeak department (this from their just-released ONE fly rod announcement):

The ONE rod is the first precision casting instrument to take advantage of Sage's groundbreaking Konneticâ„¢ technology. The ONE offers exceptional tracking with virtually no lateral or torsional movement, resulting in astonishing casting accuracy that is unparalleled in the marketplace.

The inherent strength of Konnetic technology allows ONE rods to have a smaller diameter and are 25% lighter than comparable Sage rods. These attributes combine to provide augmented aerodynamic efficiency. Further innovations are the 70% lighter, low profile ferrules that help direct and carry energy through the rod without sacrificing strength, critical action and feel.

"The ONE rod becomes a true extension of the angler's arm," notes Sage Chief Rod Designer, Jerry Siem. "It offers a more fluid transmission of energy from the arm to the fly. The eye sees the cast it wants to make and is translated to the hand through the rod instantaneously."

Astonishing? Unparalleled? Augmented aerodynamic efficiency?

Do people still cast these things, or are the rods doing it all themselves? Oh wait:

"The eye sees the cast it wants to make and is translated to the hand through the rod instantaneously"

Really??

Isn't it more likely that "the mind reels at the onslaught of the mega-hypish copy which is translated to a deep, nauseous feeling instantaneously?"

And I'll let the Undergrounders debate the wisdom of naming your latest fly rod the "ONE" (makes you wonder what's coming next).

C'mon Sage. By every measure, you build really, really nice fly rods.

Why can't you talk to us like we're all, you know... people.

Dr. Tom's prescription? I suggest Sage undergo an emergency corporatespeak-ectomy. Maybe take a lesson in folksy brand marketing from Scott Rods.

Relax a little. Maybe have a beer. Record yourselves explaining the good stuff behind the ONE rod to some young guy with that fever in his eyes, then send that text out to the world -- most of which already knows you make good fly rods even before you bury us in suffocating superlatives.

See you further befriending the industry, Tom Chandler.

AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

29 comments
[...] after I received a late-to-the-party email challenging me to do better than Sage did for their hypish ONE fly rod announcment, I thought I’d powder two birds with one software test. Ladies, Gentlemen and [...]
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[...] I spanked Sage for the unspeakably hyped copy announcing the release of their ONE fly rod, so it’s only fair they get a pat on the back for [...]
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[...] after I received a late-to-the-party email challenging me to do better than Sage did for their hypish ONE fly rod announcment, I thought I’d powder two birds with one software test. Ladies, Gentlemen and [...]
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“The ONE rod becomes a true extension of the angler's arm,” notes Sage Chief Rod Designer, Jerry Siem. “It offers a more fluid transmission of energy from the arm to the fly. The eye sees the cast it wants to make and is translated to the hand through the rod instantaneously.” Which words are confusing the author I wonder? The world of lightwieght composites is kinda hard to dumb down. If ... more your pilot doesn't care about the new materials in his 787, that's fine, but to deny that its special makes no sense at all. I'd like to hear MORE about why a rod is special. And... FYI- Lighter, farther, faster is the designers challenge in today material science world.
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[...] Flyrods can’t speak, so we do it for them. Branding managers choose their words carefully- some are better than others. Case in point: Tom Chandler’s/Trout Underground indictmenet of Sage PR. [...]
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Black-eyed Joe: Bottom line? I suppose they accurately figure that hyperbole often sells better than substance. I'd suggest this post -- and one or two others found on a normally industry-friendly blogosophere -- suggest that's not true. What is true that consumers might tend to perceive all the sound and fury as an attempt to conceal the fact there's little actual substance to the new rod, ... more unless of course somebody actually believes Sage has "Redefined Casting Accuracy" or "augmented aerodynamic efficiency." Unfortunately, this is hardly 'one' slip of the tongue; recent Sage claims include:

"Sage Manufacturing Outdoes Themselves in the Lightweight Rod Category"

"“I set out to create a rod for the ultimate light line fly fishing experience, and thanks to some great breakthroughs in technology, it has been achieved,”

"Sage Manufacturing Introduces the VXP Rod Family with Incredible Power and Efficiency"
Hype, it seems, is a Sage staple, and some of us would rather they took a few deep breaths and stopped trying to bludgeon their customers into submission with uberlatives...
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It's all about 'market share', folks. Unless Sage keeps up with its industry competitiors in releasing new model rods, they'll lose market share as surely as the sun rises or the 'One' intuitively cast where the eye and mind speak. This is not to say that I don't find it a tad ridiculous (if not entirely arrogant) that their marketing department couldn't come up with a better monicker for this 'One' ... more rod. Bottom line? I suppose they accurately figure that hyperbole often sells better than substance. By the nature of the sport, most fly fishers prefer modesty and understatement over boasting and hype, but Sage is not the leader of the pack by virtue of doing either. In such an over-built and competitive industry like fly rod manufacturing, you are either innovative, efficent and marketing savy or you soon fall by the wayside. Sage continues to make excellent products and continues to prosper despite a gloomy economy and downturn in discretionary spending. Give 'em a break don't be so quick to pile on........ despite this 'one' slip of the marketing tongue.
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Abbot and Costello walk into a flyshop and…. Customer [walks into flyshop and says]: “I want the One fly rod!” Salesperson: “Which one? This one or that one?” Customer: “No-no I want THE ONE!” Salesperson: “Oh yeah, I think we just got the One, let me check the back.” Customer: “You only have one?” Salesperson: “Yeah that's all sage sells now…” Customer: “No, no… Did ... more you only just get one?” Salesperson: “Well I did get some Winstons, and Scotts…, but I thought you wanted the Sage.” Customer: “Nevermind, can you just check for the One please?” Salesperson: “Sure, be right back.” Salesperson [From the back of the Store]: “Now did you want the one?” Customer: “Yes!” Salesperson: “Ok, I'll bring it out.” Salesperson [Plops down rod on counter]: “Here's the one.” Customer: “I didn't want a one.” Salesperson: “You asked for the one.” Customer: “Yes, I do want the One, but I want it in a 5wt.” Salesperson: “Oh sorry we don't have one.”
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Hell, I'd buy the tactical version if it featured a pistol grip and camo...
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My guess as to how this came about- Speculation- Sage CEO- "Ok, we need a new way to sell a $700 rod." Rod Designer- "I think I can make a rod that casts farther than the TCR now." Sage CEO- "No good. Nobody could cast that thing. That's why we softened up the TCX, remember?" Rod guy- "Oh, yeah." Marketing guy- "What about lighter? I can sell lighter." Head of service- "Bad idea, they'll break too ... more easy and we'll have to make 3 rods for each one that's paid for." Sage CEO- "WHOA! That's no good at all!" Marketing guy- "Ok since light and distance are out, what's left?" Sage veteran (who's been tirelessly campaigning to bring the LL back)- "What about accuracy?" CEO and Mktg guy- "YES! PERFECT! ACCURACY!" CEO- "Can we do that?" Rod Designer- "Uh, maybe. I guess so." Mktg guy- "And its gotta look really cool." And here we are.
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Maybe it's just me but when I see the word "augmented " fly rods are not the first thing that comes to mind; so my attention drifted from that point on.
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Gotta agree with Tchaser, not impressed with Sage at the moment. The Z-axis WAS my favorite, the Launch and Vantage are garbage, and the rest are too specialized for me. IMHOP Redington is killing it with affordable, good rods but sister Sage is in a funk.
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This is what a bad economy does to a company. Marketing dept gets laid off and they let engineers write the ads. Either that or they're trying to tap the burgeoning world of angling calculator dweebs.
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"...the first precision casting instrument..."? There are other "precision casting instruments"? Give me a break! Let me try my hand at a little marketing, here. "You can catch fish with a stick and a string, but you'll have more fun with this One." Oh, and the Sage marketing people need to know that I do claim a copyright on that phrase. Will the next rod be the "Two"? A conundrum for Sage's marketing ... more department to ponder...
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Best part (other than the "handmade rod sock") is the Z-Axis in now discounted and next year the 2 handers will be, so I'll be able to find a nice used one. In 5 or 6 years, I'll probably get a One, when they flood the market after the next greatest rod ever is released.
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It's New!!! It's Improved!!!! It's Sexy!!! It will get you Dates!!!! What more could you want? Oh,yeah, our 'Tactical' version comes out next week with the laser rod sighting grip and extended fly magazine. Also has the camera mount option.
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Turkey piss doesn't sell me anything.
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I've got to agree with trout chaser I've never cast a sage I liked don't remember when they came around but I've cast many of them and not ever felt one that was anywhere close to T & T or Winston.... of course 10 years ago I drifted toward bamboo and haven't messed with plastic and a long time.... from my perspective they're more of a marketing company and very good at it
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I googled it too; perfect word for this stuff (first cousin to "unobtanium").
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And yet...in three years it will be discontinued and replaced with the next superlative. Sage has always had what is probably the best marketing department in the biz. But in the twenty six years I've been paying attention, I have yet to cast a Sage that I really liked. They have made a few decent rods, but frankly the majority of their products have been pure shite. This is of course only my not-so-humble ... more opinion, but it's worth noting that there are nearly as many used Sages floating around for sale as all other brands put together. Actually I'm not being entirely honest here, their early two handed rods were pretty nice, in fact I still have one, but of course they "improved" them out of existence with rods that cost twice as much and cast half as well.
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I take that back! Just Googled it. Uberlative was entered into the urban dictionary 11/10. It means the mostest.
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Tom Chandler: I didn't even know “uberlative” was a word, but what a great one. I'm confiscating it for further use… It was invented here, today. Run with it!
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I didn't even know "uberlative" was a word, but what a great one. I'm confiscating it for further use...
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It's called The One because it can dance like Michael Jackson and it's child-friendly. Sage makes excellent stuff - they don't need to baffle 'em with bullsh*t, but every season they script a new encyclopedia of uberlatives that makes you want to poke someone's eye out with their latest "precision casting instrument". The tenor and release timing of Scott's down to earth vid was perfectly executed.
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leave to "MAN" to screw up another good thing.
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Translation: "It may be short, but its skinny...". Cuts a liitle too close to home for me, but that's a conversation for another day.
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"... exceptional tracking with virtually no lateral or torsional movement, resulting in astonishing casting accuracy that is unparalleled in the marketplace." ... but because we wrap the dang cloth like a Zig Zag, one side still has half a turn more than the other, and the rod do flop around some as a result ...
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Translation: A light rod with little guides that casts straight.
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So is that..."one rod to rule them all?" Sorry, I couldn't resist! And I guess that soon rods will be so light that they will float away...kind of like helium balloons M
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