The Sage Accel hit fly shops back in 2014 when Sage released it to replace the earlier VXP rod. There’s been a lot of hype around this line of premium, medium-fast action rods. Primarily aimed at avid trout anglers, they’ve been described as being lightweight and sensitive, with the capability of throwing incredibly tight loops.
So, we couldn’t wait to find out how this rod will fare, compared with some of the top trout fly rods on the market. Here’s our in-depth rod review of the Sage Accel. If you’ve been wondering whether to add this beauty to your fly fishing gear, read on!
All About the Sage Accel Fly Rod
Sage has reinvented its Generation 5 technology for the latest Accel rod series, incorporating a narrow shaft, a graphite core, and axial fiber material.
The creators of this rod aim to give anglers more control over their casts. They’ve done this by coming up with a lightweight, responsive rod with a lot of sensitivity. The idea is that when you cast the Sage Accel fly rods, you can precisely feel the loading so that you can get your fly precisely where you want it to go.
The Sage Accel is available in 3 weight up to 6 weight for freshwater fly fishing – prices start at $595. If you prefer to hit the coast, you can buy one of the saltwater models, available in 6 weight up to 9 weight. Switch models and two-handed are also for sale, with costs starting from $750.
Not only does this rod have some of the best technology, but it looks awesome, too! It’s got a stylish bright green blank, with olive and black trim, reminiscent of the earlier Sage Z-Axis.
Sage Accel Features and Benefits
Curious about whether you should go for a Sage Accel? Let’s find out exactly what features the Sage Accel has to offer, and whether it’s the right rod for you.
The Sage Accel is a pretty lightweight fly rod. The 5 weight 9 foot model comes in at 2.9 ounces, which makes for a lighter swing weight. You can comfortably use this rod all day without worrying about straining your arm, and you’ll still be ready to head out on the water again tomorrow!
We’ve come to expect great things from Sage, a company that manufactures all their rods within the US. The Sage Accel is no different. This high-quality fly rod boasts an anodized aluminum single up locking reel seat, a rosewood insert, one small stripping guide suitable for freshwater fly fishing, and the standard Fuji hard chrome snake guides.
This rod looks attractive, with a bright apple green blank, olive wraps, and black and dark red thread wraps. Every detail has been finished to an excellent standard, and the snub-nosed half wells handle fits nicely in hand. Most anglers find this handle shape very comfortable to use.
One negative we found was that the reel seat doesn’t match the rest of the outfit for quality. It seems cheap for a model that will set you back several hundred dollars, which was a disappointment.
The Sage Accel is a medium-fast action rod, although some anglers have commented that this rod is closer to being a moderate action rod. However you define this rod, it sits nicely in the middle, between slower, less powerful rods and the super-stiff fast action models.
The medium fast action on this rod makes it ideal for casting shorter distances, with beautiful, tight loops. You also get plenty of feel and sensitivity when fly fishing with this rod.
The Sage Accel does have enough power to get the rod out to 60 or 70 feet, but the further you cast, the more accuracy you lose. We wouldn’t recommend taking this rod out on big water or windy days, as it just doesn’t have the power to get your fly where you want it.
We’ll be the first to admit that the Sage Accel isn’t the most versatile of rods. You wouldn’t want to take this rod to a huge river or in extremely windy conditions; it just doesn’t have the power and the accuracy at long range.
But where it does excel is for fly fishing on smaller waters. You’ll be wowed by the precision and the responsiveness of this rod when you’re casting under 40 feet.
If you like the Sage One, you’ll probably like the Sage Accel even more. It has a softer tip than both the earlier Sage Z Axis and the Sage One, making it a better go-to rod for trout fishing.
The soft tip and the medium action make it ideal for fishing dry flies, perfecting that gentle landing and natural presentation on the water. But it can also handle throwing out streamers and nymph patterns effectively, too.
Our advice on this rod is to think carefully about when you would use this rod, and see if ticks the right boxes for your needs.
Sage offers a generous lifetime warranty to the original owner of any rod or reel they produce. They will replace or repair your item if it breaks or becomes damaged as a result of defects either in the craftsmanship or materials.
However, there are certain circumstances that Sage won’t cover, including intentional damage, theft, and missing rod pieces. Check out the full terms and conditions here.
Sage Accel Review: Advice From Locals
Don’t just take our word on the Sage Accel. I’ve scoured the internet to find out what other fishers thought of this 2015 rod by Sage. Here’s what I found:
‘BornOutdoors’ is a fan of the Sage Accel: “This is phenomenal fly rod for 6wt and under… If you are planning on nymphing or using small streamers, it is a great rod. It has delicate presentation, smooth casting, and has stellar accuracy when compared to its competitors.”
‘Troutn’ was also impressed: “Like all Sage rods, it has an attractive finish. It was a pleasure to field test at Hargrove’s. It loaded well at 30 to 40′.”
‘Tedwin183’ had to say: “I’ve test casted the 590-4 Accel. It was definitely nice, and the blank is beautiful, but I’m more a fan of the VXP/XP series… The Accel was definitely lighter, a little more responsive, and definitely more accurate at distance.”
Sage Accel: Pros & Cons
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to read the full rod review, here’s exactly what you need to know. Find out what’s great and what’s not so good about the Sage Accel fly rod:
The Wrap Up
The Sage Accel is one of the more affordable premium fly fishing rods at around $600. But you’ll need to ask yourself whether you’ll get enough use out of this rod to make it worth your while. While this rod has the faultless finishing and exquisite craftsmanship we’ve come to expect from Sage products, it’s not the most versatile rod.
The Accel is a nice middle-ground rod, with medium-fast action, a mid-range price. However, it seems to divide opinion among anglers: Some rave about its accuracy and responsiveness, while others find the action too slow and the rod too heavy in hand. This is definitely a rod you should try out before you buy.
For the trout angler who prefers fishing smaller rivers, this Sage rod might be just what you’re looking for. It offers a nice combination of accuracy, feel, and those beautifully tight loops when casting. Plus, it just looks cool. The Sage Accel is a better choice for the trout angler than other Sage rods like the Method and the One. But if you’re looking for an all-rounder fly fishing rod, this probably isn’t it.
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