Sage Trout Reel Review in 2024 – Fly Reels

From the beginning to end Sage built this reel to cover all the angles and left no stone unturned when it comes to the thought process and design of the Sage TROUT series. It's a big deal!
sage trout reel review

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Most anglers of a certain age grew up using the old click and pawl or cassette reels. They are fantastic f trout fishing where minimal drag is needed. We all cut our teeth on this style of reel. So when Sage brought out the TROUT series of fly reels the nostalgia set in. We had to fish it!

As with most modern-day things, they were influenced by what has been, and this couldn’t be more true when you first see the TROUT reel series.

The Sage trout reel has that old-school look and feel, backed by some serious modifications and modern performance; this fly reel is one of the top Sage reels on the market today.

Looking at the TROUT reel, its classic, retro look makes you reminisce, and when you fish with it, you can only applaud this Sage creation.

With its classic feel and full-frame design, it’s a reel that will be with you for a very long time. The combination of the old-school look and feel, along with the modern design and performance, makes this a top choice reel for fly fishing.

The fact that you could probably hand it down to your grandkids, and they will get the same service you did out of it speaks volumes for what the reel stands for and how its fishes.

If you are the angler that likes the older stuff and is looking for more modern performance, then look no further than the Sage TROUT. Or if you want a fantastic reel to fish with, go for the Sage TROUT reel.

Sage Trout Reel Review

sage trout review

Sage Trout Specs:

Available Size: 2 – 8 Overall Weight: –
Arbor Size: – Material: Fully Machined 6061-T6 Aluminum
Spool Diameter: – Colors: Bronze, Stealth/Silver
Spool Capacity: – Warranty: The Sage Lifetime Warranty
Drag Type: – Country of Manufacture: USA

Overall Score

Drag System Quality
Weight and Balance
Line Capacity
Ease of Maintenance
Aesthetic and Design
Price to Value Ratio
Brand Reputation & Customer Service

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First Impressions

At first glance, your mates might think that you are pulling out a reel your grandfather used to fish. With its old-school look and feel, the Sage TROUT reel has that appearance with eye-catching classic aesthetics.

Retro is coming back, and whether you like it or not, the old stuff is influencing the new, and as anglers, we are fortunate enough to be able to fish and test these masterful creations. Yes, some may not be great if the balance of style overrides the functionality of a reel, but this is not the case here.

The Sage TROUT series ticks all the necessary boxes for a top-class reel.

The satin-bronze finish gives the Sage TROUT reels a very simplistic and subdued finish that catches the afternoon sun beautifully and fits into the Sage retro theme for the trout fly reel.

Look and style

The classic narrow profile and full-frame design are machined from aluminum giving the TROUT fly reel a very sturdy, solid frame to start with.


The lovely subtle silver/ satin colors work with its classic cassette styling giving the TROUT series reels a timeless look and feel to them.

The large arbor and small minimal porting feel give the Sage TROUT reel a quick line pickup and a little extra weight on the smaller versions.

The added weight to the Sage TROUT reels is preferred by many small stream anglers as it gives the fly rod a lighter more sensitive tip. This is great for those single dry fly presentations and delicate nymph work.

The classic extended drag knob on the reel is quite the eyecatcher and really does fin sh t e reel well. It has numbered and detented settings with a lovely clicking sound. One full revolution sets the drag from completely open to tightened.


The Sage TROUT fly reel is a machined aluminum masterpiece. The solid frame design is old technology but is done right with this Sage TROUT fly reel.

The full-frame design doesn’t catch the fly line when changing the spool and makes for easy spool release and replacement. The spare spool is easily clipped back in, and the reel is ready to go.

The spool design has a unique concave arbor for fast line retrieval and an added strength-to-weight ratio. Basically, as Sage explains, the concave arbor creates a curved surface which increases the structural integrity of these reels.

The large arbor is great for fast line retrieval and minimizing fly line memory. The large arbor combined with its narrow profile delivers a fly reel that is not only attractive to look at but can deliver in service as well.

An easy switch from left to right-hand retrieve makes the TROUT fly reel an even more attractive fly reel.

Drag system

The Sage TROUT reel has the SCS drag system and is a sealed carbon system with one revolution drag knob.

sage trout drag system

The Sage TROUT drag is super smooth with no start-up inert a what so ever. Even when put under full strain, the sealed carbon system is smooth and steady. The fly line leaves the reel with ease, with no jerks or hindrances.

The Sage TROUT is designed with trout in mind, the drag system has about 2 pounds of pressure fully tightened. This is enough for even the largest trout, given the size and breaking strains of the tippets used.

The drag system allows for smooth take-off with no start-up inertia really does help when fishing those lighter tippets, providing that extra protection that is needed when using 7 or 8 x tippets.

The drag system which uses combined stainless and carbon surfaces is adjusted by the retro one revolution drag knob. With numbered and detented settings, the angler can easily change the drag as they need to.

There is also a loud assertive click for each setting of the drag. The first half of the tightening has very little incremented tension, but from the second half, it really does crank down and apply that pressure.

If you do hook into a beast and are get ing smoked with a fully tightened drag system, the option to fully palm the spool is there. the full frame doesn’t completely cover the spool and allows for the front end rim of the spool to be exposed. This is the perfect palming surface for those big runs.

The reinforced rim finishes the reel’s appearance beautifully. Besides, some anglers actually prefer fighting the fish off the fly line or palming the spool.

sage trout features


  • SCS Drag system (sealed).
  • Machined aluminum.
  • One Revolution Drag Knob with 20 numbered and detented settings.
  • Concave, ported arbor for added strength.
  • Machined aluminum full-frame.
  • Smaller porting for a classic look and heavier balance
  • Machined and anodized aluminum hub
  • Easy conversion from left- to right-hand retrieve
  • Neoprene and embroidered ballistic nylon reel case
  • Bronze, Satin/Silver colors

Sage Trout Specifications

Line Size: 2/3/4, 4/5/6, 7/8/9 weights available.

Backing Capacity:-4wt 100 yards / 20lb, 6wt 100 yards / 20lb, 8wt 150 yards/ 20lb

Drag: Carbon Fiber and stainless steel discs (fully-sealed)

Tested Max Drag: Measured to be about 2 pounds.

Machined/Cast: Machined 6061 Anodised Aluminum.

Spool Release: No Tools Needed, screwable knob.

R/L Convertible: fully convertible left to right spools and operations.

Colors: Satin/Silver and Bronze color.

Reel Pouch: reel comes with a reel pouch.

Spare Spool Available: spare spools are available at most Sage outlets.

sage trout reel pros cons


  • Stylish old-school look and feel.
  • Lovely stealth/silver color that beams in the sunlight.
  • The concave arbor spool provides greater strength and capacity.
  • Large arbor for greater strength and capacity, faster line retrieval.
  • Quick and easy spool changes.
  • A solid fully machined frame with classic porting adds weight.
  • Easy to use drag knob.
  • Rimmed fully machined spool for palming and spool protection.
  • Zero start-up inertia, which provides great tippet protection on those spawning runs when fishing.
  • Sealed carbon drag system that has little to no maintenance required.


  • Sage built the reel with a lack of modern porting. This doesn’t give a lighter feeling reel.
  • The rimmed spool may catch the fly line when changing spool, of not monitored.

sage trout reel conclusion


From the beginning to end Sage built this reel to cover all the angles and left no stone unturned when it comes to the thought process and design of the Sage TROUT series. It’s a big deal!

With the ever-increasing popularity of retro-looking fly fishing gear, the fishing gear that’s turning heads is the stuff that reminds you of your past but delivers something you couldn’t imagine was possible. I feel that Sage has done this with the TROUT series.

When looking at the reel, the first thing you want to do is put it onto a classic glass rod or even a spilt cane fly rod. The TROUT reel will look great on any of these and performs even better.

So whether you are a dry fly purist who believes that the single dry is the only fly fishing way or you have moved over to the dark side of nymphing, the Sage TROUT series will work for all applications.

It’s that good!

So next time you are out and have a chance to fish this reel enjoy every second of it and get your bank card ready because you will be buying one the next day.

Tight Lines!

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