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Sage X rod review

※ Please note that I am not a Sage sponsored guide nor a retailer, and am the most skeptic person to please when it comes to fly rods, simply because of too many rods wouldn’t deliver the action, power or accuracy of what they promise in marketing pitch, and I dare say I wasn’t a fan of Sage Rod for last decade or so. This demo Sage X 690 – 4pc model was paired up with a local store’s demo line (not sure exactly what it was) but it was not too complicated WF line of 90ft length. First impression of the rod was “very light in hands” and “I know this action from somewhere???”. Taper was medium-fast and true progressive taper. Bending curve was slightly brought back to medium from previous top hitter “Method” series, which was a very tippy distant casting stick. First cast about 20ft, nice and punchy and reasonably tight loop formed yet it’s not slapping the leader too hard. So the cast goes to 40ft then 60ft, and surprisingly it can still hold tight loop at 70ft cast and I can control the landing of leader at that distance. At around 75ft range I started to notice a big jump in the strength of the butt section, I gave it a bit more juice to bend through the butt section, and the result was astonishing. It shot 5 yards of backing off the tip, and few casts later with better arm adjustment I managed to shoot out 10 yards of backing off the tip. OK, in a realistic fishing term you will will only need that sort of distance casting in a very few occasions, however nice to know the reserve power is there when you need them. Summary: Strength of this rod is the line control ability. It comes from being able to bend the rod deeply down the blank and flexing back to still really quick, which will give you a faster line speed all round and better distance casting ability. And having true progressive taper allows you to control casting at various length. This type of rod action also comes with a benefit of feeling fish’s movements better when you have fish on, as well as giving you more reserve power closer to your hands to fight off the big fish. A lot of fast action rods (some of Sage models included) are designed to serve specific purpose in fishing. Recent big trend in rod world was to create the rod casts 1.5 loading line (heavier than standard AFTM line weight rating) easier, and went away from traditional “Parabolic” or “Progressive” curve and followed what I call “Pancake parabolic curve” which means mid section of the rod has more strength than butt section, catering for heavier line casting, and allows you to cast big indicator rigs etc… without slowing your line-speed down for short- mid range cast, it makes casting up to 60ft rage sweeter, but it runs out of puff when you need to call in the butt power for distance cast, unless you apply a lot of wrist rotation to squeeze out the torque of what’s left in the blank. On the other hand, super aggressive progressive taper rod (which also was popular) is great for controlling lines beyond 50ft ranges but needed a heavy line and a lot of arm adjustment to cater for short delicate presentation cast, simply to get the rod working. Compare to those, I think Sage X is a good old fashion rod with great balance of power and control, which originally was the trade mark of Sage rods Only doubt I have about this rod is the loading strength. blank’s wall being so light and thin, how durable this rod is under repetitive loads of the casting and fish fighting. I suppose time will tell. Price tag is quite premium too! Lastly, this rod feel quite similar to “RPL” I own. I don’t think I will get a chance to see it, but if I could see the comparison of “Graphite Stress Strain Curve”(this is one of company’s top secret document). I’d expect of “X” and “RPL” curve to have quite similar curves. Conclusion: Sage X is a good all round rod with plenty of reserve power to burn; it would suit most intermediate – advanced anglers, with variety of fishing method and style. Over all, thumb up for the rod. ※ Due to the commitment to, and for the loyalty of our sponsors, River Talk Guiding NZ will not be offering this rod as a part of our guiding package. However I may fish with one for myself sometime down the track. Tight lines

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