sage fly rods

Sage Fly Rods (Which is the right one for you?)

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Sage has been a reliable rod producer since 1980 [1], when Don Green founded the company. An experienced angler, Green channeled all his expertise and fly fishing knowledge into creating awesome fly rods. From the beginning, the Sage models packed plenty of power.

Over time, Sage became known for its super strong, fast action rods. But Sage’s rod designers have since come up with innovative designs for fly fishing in freshwater and saltwater. [2]

Sage Fast Action Fly Rods

You can shop for Sage rods online and in many reputable fly shops across the country. As an extra bonus, shipping is free for any order over $200 from the official Sage online shop. So let’s take a look at what Sage has to offer, and which of the Sage fly rods would be best for you:

Fast action fly rods are what Sage is most famous for, and they won’t let you down! Currently, Sage’s fast action range includes the premium X fly rods, the mid-range Pulse, and the Foundation. These rods all come in with a different price tag and have some important variations to note. Sage’s free shipping policy covers all of these models.

Complete Range of Sage Fly Rods

If you’re comparing them in a field, the X will cast the furthest. But there’s a lot more to consider, too. Here’s a quick overview of the different rods:

Sage X Series

The X fly rods are Sage’s high-end fly rods for freshwater. With this rod in hand, the search for trout, bass, or muskies will be a doddle. Thanks to Sage’s KonneticHD, you’re guaranteed tight loops, a quick tip stop, and convincing presentations. Read more about the Sage X here. You can also check out this video to see why the Sage X is such a popular sort of rod. 

Sage Pulse

SAGE Pulse 590-4 Fly Rod Outfit (5wt, 9'0, 4pc)
  • The smooth, fast-action...
  • Perfectly balanced with...
  • Premium RIO Gold WF...
  • Includes Sage Cordura...
  • Complete outfit shipped...

The Pulse fly rods fall into the mid-range, with a price of around $450. While these rods contain the earlier Graphite IIIe technology rather than the latest KonneticHD, they are still impressive rods. The Sage team has paid attention to every detail, with nothing left to chance. As a result, you’re left with a versatile, performing rod at an excellent price. Interested? Check out our full rod review here.

Sage Foundation

Sage Fly Fishing - FOUNDATION Fly Rod
  • Handcrafted on Bainbridge...
  • Graphite IIIe Technology
  • Stealth Black blank...
  • Ceramic stripper guides;...
  • Snub nose cork handle...

If you’re looking for a fast action rod on a budget, the Foundation is the sort of rod you need. It’s versatile and impressive, performing well anywhere between 25 – 70 feet. It won’t reach the furthest distances on the water as well as the X or the Igniter fly jobs, and it does feel heavier in hand. But the accuracy, the sturdy build, and the affordable price make this rod a worthy contender. Find out more here.

Sage Specialty Rods

If fast action’s not your thing, don’t worry! Sage has plenty more to offer, too. The trout angler will love the Sage Trout LL, specially designed for fly fishing for trout at short-medium distances. This rod provides superior feel, amazing precision, and excellent loop control. If you prefer to wade and fish up close, the Trout LL is just what you’ve been on the search for.

Sometimes, you need to cast in tight spaces or around obstructions. And that’s what the Sage rod designers created the Dart fly rods for. When you’re fly fishing in small water and you’ve got overhanging branches to deal with, the Dart is the best rod for the job. 

It’s available from 0 weight up to 4 weight at 7.6 feet, plus a shorter 3 weight model. You’ll achieve delicate presentations with a Sage Dart, although it works best with small flies. You can search out any trout lurking in awkward spots with this specially designed rod.

The Sage Payload has been designed for the angler who sets their sights on those lunkers lurking in the water. You’ll want to throw big flies to tempt these monsters, and that’s what the Payload does best.

Sage Payload Fly Rod
  • KonneticHD Technology
  • Tangle free Fuji ceramic...
  • Oversized hard chromed...
  • Heavy-duty aluminum...
  • Super Plus full-wells...

If the fast action Sage fly rods aren’t enough for you, that’s where the Igniter comes in. For jaw-dropping ultra-fast action, long lines, and heavy flies, you need the Igniter. It’s not the easiest to use, but it performs in the trickiest conditions. This sort of rod is perfect for fishing big waters. Wanna see how this unique rod performs? Check out this video to see for yourself! You can also get free shipping when you order from the Sage online shop.

Sage ESN for Euro Nymphing

Sage Fly Fishing - ESN Fly Rod
  • Model Line Length Weight...
  • 3100-4 3 10' 2 9/16 4
  • 3106-4 3 10'6" 2 11/16 4
  • 4100-4 4 10' 2 5/8 4

Euro nymphing has rapidly been growing in popularity among fly fishers, and the Sage ESN is an awesome nymphing rod. The ESN range has been completely redesigned with significant improvements to the earlier model. Now powered by the latest KonneticHD technology, this lightweight fly rod is a joy to use.

The delicate action on this rod is perfect for nymphing at short range. At the same time, you get a quick blank recovery and pinpoint accuracy. You’ll be able to feel every twitch at the end of your lines, but it has enough power to reel in decent-sized fish, too. Check out the full review for more details.

Spey & Switch Rods

Sage Trout Spey HD Fly Rod
  • KonneticHD Technology
  • Tangle-free Fuji ceramic...
  • Hard chromed snake guides...
  • Vera wood insert with...
  • Dijon primary thread...

Sage has also adapted some of their rods into spey and switch rods for effective two-handed casting. Both the X and the Pulse are available in switch and spey variations, ideal if you want to search out those whopping salmon and steelhead. You can also buy a specialized Trout Spey HD model, or go for the Igniter Spey rod for ultra-fast action out on the water.

With these sort of rods, it’ll be a breeze to achieve those extra-long casts smoothly and quickly. The spey and switch rods have the power to throw your longest lines and biggest flies out across the water and land them on target. If you’re a spey angler, you’ll appreciate the strength in the butt section and neat tip stop. Of course, these rods also have the high-quality construction and the smart KonneticHD technology we expect from Sage.

Sage Saltwater Rods

So you’re all about fly fishing for bonefish, tarpon, and permit? Then, you’ll be pleased to hear that Sage has two saltwater specific rods: the Motive and the Salt HD.

The Motive comes in at less than half the price of the Salt HD, making it a great mid-range option. You get plenty of strength, accuracy, and feel from these fly rods, and they’re strong enough for the meatiest saltwater fish.

If you have a bit more money to spend, consider investing in one of the Salt HD fly rods. It provides everything that the Motive offers, and then some. I challenge any angler to be disappointed by the incredible loop control, precision, and power of the Salt HD fly rods.

Our Discounted Price at Bass Pro

The Wrap Up

So there you have a rundown on all the Sage fly rods. If any particular sort of rod catches your interest, make sure you click through and read the full, detailed review. At Fly Fisher Pro, we’re massive Sage rods fans. These high-quality, high-performance rods don’t disappoint. On your search for the best fly rod, don’t miss the wide range Sage has to offer.

The fast action rods provide all the power you need for big flies, long casts, and windy conditions. But if you prefer to slow it down, check out their specialty fly rods too. From saltwater fishing to throwing dry flies in freshwater, Sage has it covered. Plus, you get a generous lifetime warranty for your rod, and free shipping from the online Sage shop is an added bonus.

Let us know which is your favorite fly rod from the Sage range in the comments or send us an email! We’d love to know what you think!


[1] https://www.sageflyfish.com/

[2] nytimes.com/1989/03/01/sports/outdoors-a-choice-for-the-fly-fisherman.html

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