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Sage: Saving America one rod at a time

A recent article about Sage Manufacturing in the Kitsap Sun newspaper gave me cause to ponder publicly something that I’ve pondered privately before…taking my love affair for Sage fly rods to the next level by getting a job at Sage. I make no effort to hide the fact that I like Sage fly rods. Nobody pays me to say that. In fact, nobody pays me to say anything else for that matter. I just like their rods and what they stand for: excellent products, with excellent warranty service, made locally. After reading the article, it sounds like a place I’d love to work. They’re a company that stands for something and sees the value in not letting their growth get the better of them. American made, by real people, in America.

“We want to be a case of American manufacturing that works,” he said. “We want to buck the trend both nationally and locally.”

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When I got my first Sage rod, my decision was based on favorable reviews of their many rod offerings, but also on the fact that they’re a local company.  I like to support local anything whenever possible. But I didn’t let the reviews be the conclusive factor, so I went to a local fly shop and test casted a few others in addition to the Sage model I as interested in. I told myself to not fall head over heals for the Sage just because it was locally made.  I demanded personal objectivity.  And I did not disappoint myself. And after testing several rods I walked out with my first Sage and eventually began adding other Sage sticks to my quiver. I won’t say exactly how many I have because Mrs. Unaccomplished Angler may read this, and it’s best if she remains ignorant on the matter. In my defense a couple of the rods were purchased used so I didn’t spend money that would otherwise have gone to cloth and feed my children.

Back to the matter of getting a job at Sage. The company is located on Bainbridge Island, which is a short ferry ride from Seattle, and Seattle is about 25 miles from where I live. That doesn’t sound too far, and to the person not from this area it might seem like a reasonable distance to commute for a job, with a short ferry ride that would be an enjoyable part of the commute (who doesn’t like going for a boat ride, right?).

I’d love to work for a company that I believe in, and working for Sage would be a dream. Waking up each day, passionate about the company one works for, is not something that comes along very often.  I’d be happy working as an Office Boy if Sage were my employer.

Without any traffic whatsoever, and assuming I caught the scheduled ferry I desired, I could be on the island in just a little over an hour after leaving my home.  Unfortunately, the greater Seattle area is home to some of the worst traffic in the country (9th worst according to this ranking by the Chicago Tribune), and if I were leaving on workday mornings it would take me well over an hour to get to Seattle on a good day. Add to that significantly more time if when the rural roads are closed due to seasonal flooding.

I probably wouldn’t make the boat I wanted, so I’d have to wait for the next one.  If all went well I’d be on the island 2 hours after leaving home.  Then there’s the return commute which would probably be even worse.

No job would be worth the 4 hours a day I’d spend in transit getting to and from the office. So, until Sage moves their operation to Duvall, WA (shall we start a rumor?) I guess I’ll just have to continue to be a huge fan of their rods and other gear. Sorry, Sage, but that lucrative Office Boy position will have to go to someone who doesn’t live out here in the sticks.  If When the company decides to move to Duvall, rest assured I’ll make the best Office Boy Sage has ever known.

Thanks for doing what you do, the way you do it.

6 thoughts on “Sage: Saving America one rod at a time”

  1. Patrick says:

    I think a move is in order, say a nice one-of-a-kind luxury home near old-growth forests, waterfront view and a year-round creek. All for mere pennies. Definitely something a renowned artist and author could easily afford as a second home during the work week.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Yes, that would be excellent except for two things: First, living on the island puts me a good ways away from the fabled Yakima River which I loath love to fish; Second, since I earn less than $2 per copy of Olive sold, even a single wide mobile home would be a stretch. But it don’t hurt to dream!

  2. David G says:

    I’m glad to see the occasional post again Kirk! I don’t think sage would know what to do about the kid in their candy store. Heck, maybe it would help us Americans a bit if people still believed in what they did for a living. Anyhoo, I’m still down here rooting for ya! Maybe one of those dreams is going to make it.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      You raise a good point, David. My productivity would likely suffer as I’d be distracted by goings-on in the warehouse. I’d be caught in a storage room fondling blanks when I should be doing the things that an Office Boy does: emptying waste baskets, restocking the office supply room, making coffee and picking up dry cleaning for the executives. Nothing a good performance review reprimand wouldn’t cure, however. Thanks for the support!

  3. chuck says:

    I own many Sage rods – most of which I built myself from blanks! I put betetr guides than they provide on mine and I make a full wells grip that better fits the my meat paws!

    My favorite is an old 7 weight SP which is relatively slow compared to all the fast rods that appeal to the machismo of youngsters! I have caught everything from steelhead to carp and channel cat on that rod! It’s like butter!

  4. chuck says:

    I own many Sage rods – most of which I built myself from blanks! I put better guides than they provide on mine and I make a full wells grip that better fits the my meat paws!

    My favorite is an old 7 weight SP which is relatively slow compared to all the fast rods that appeal to the machismo of youngsters! I have caught everything from steelhead to carp and channel cat on that rod! It’s like butter!

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