Review – 2016 Sage X Fly Rod

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Sage Fly Fishing is known for their to-tier buggy whips and I’ve taken a look at the Sage SALT not too long ago; coming to the conclusion that it was a great fly rod to use on the flats while targeting my favorite species. While the Sage SALT is still available, Sage has replaced the Sage ONE series with the new Sage X fly rod. The ONE fly rod was an ‘all water’ rod that I tried a few times but didn’t really love as much as my SALT series or even the famed of old TCR series rod that has been discontinued for years.

The Sage X has replaced the Sage ONE and features some really cool specifications and new technologies.

From Sage’s website:

  • KonneticHD Technology®
  • Black Spruce blank color
  • Dark Green thread wraps with Metallic Grey trim wraps
  • Fuji ceramic stripper guides with hard chromed snake guides and tip-top
  • Laser etched line weight on slide band
  • Black rod bag with Titanium logo and Black Spruce model tag
  • Evergreen powder coated aluminum rod tube with Sage medallion

The Sage X comes in a sleek black finish with all the trimmings you would expct from Sage – plus a really nice flat black machined real seat which would look really killer when paired with a flat black reel.

Photos:

How it Feels

A buddy and myself took off out onto Mosquito Lagoon last weekend to put the rod through its paces, but how would it stack up to the SALT for flats fishing?

Pretty darn well! With a few quirks.

The new Sage X is a great rod that throws line a country mile and has a solid back section that can handle the wiliest of redfish we could find. The line pickup on the rod was great and we were able to make repeat casts in tiny creeks as well as open water with little to no effort, or back casting. The Sage ‘Konnetic’ technology really shines here and makes the overall fly rod very solid and a force to reckon with. With that said the fly rod tip was very responsive and allows you to turn over your flies with ease once you have the motion down due to the fast action of the rod. Coming from a heavy user over the Sage SALT and Orvis Helios II this was proverbial music to my ears….or hands.

During one of the redfish dances I had that day I made a note to really tug on the fish and bend the rod and the Sage X had no problem handing the redfish’s runs out to the deep water and pulling them back in to the skiff. Here’s a photo of my buddy Matt fighting a fish with one hand on the butt section ahead of the cork showing how strong the rod can be.

The only negatives I found with the rod is that it was a little heavy in the butt. Now I know you’ll probably notice the classic Tibor Everglades reel that’s strapped to the rod and say to yourself “Well, no wonder!”. It wasn’t the reel.

Even with a Nautilus FWX on the rod that we tested it had a noticeable heavy handed feel in that section that we couldn’t quite explain; almost like it was slightly off balance. I love heavy reels on my fly rods for a nice ‘counter weight’ but this was something else. I’m not going to say that this feeling is detrimental to the rod’s user experience in any way, but it is ‘different’.

One last little gripe is that it stops at 9WT. I would love this in a 10WT for bigger fish like jack and permit.

Overall I would say the new Sage X is a very nice rod and I would have no problem adding one to my arsenal given the chance. The line pickup, line throwing ability and toughness of the rod would be right at home in the salt as well as the fresh; or anywhere you decide to take it.

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