When it comes to fly rods, Sage has been creating exciting new rod designs for over 30 years. Sage has harnessed all those decades of fishing expertise to come up with the Sage X fly rod, which they first released in 2016 to an incredible hype. So we couldn’t wait to get out hands on this premium, fast action fly rod to test it out and see if stands up to the hype. Here’s our complete review of the Sage X!
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The X fly rod is a beauty of a rod, appearing black with a dark green tint that shines out on the river. However, more important than the appearance is how the rod performs, and the X is no disappointment. This is a fast action rod with plenty of power behind it, all without giving up any of the feel or flexibility.
The X is available in weights from 3wt right up to 11wt, and various lengths from 7 ft 6 right up to longer Spey models at 13, 14, or 15 ft.
It’s a winning combination which makes it a premium all-rounder rod. You’ll get just as good results at any distance and with wide ranges of casting styles. Whether you’re heading out to a smaller stream or big water, you’ll want to take the X with you.
Features & Benefits
Let’s get stuck in and explore just what the X has to offer for you!
One of the amazing advantages of the X fly rods is that incredibly light swing weight. You’ve got Sage’s unique KonneticHD technology to thank for this, as the high-density fiber composite blanks make for a rod that is lighter than ever. These rods weigh less than the Sage ONE, and the models are accurate to the line weight. These rods feel feather-light in hand and is a breeze to cast, creating tighter, more efficient loops.
The only minor issue is that a lot of the weight Sage has stripped back came from the handle. If you choose to use a lighter reel with the Sage X, your set-up might feel slightly unbalanced – but this wasn’t enough to put us off!
The X is attractive and constructed with faultless craftsmanship. At first, it appears almost black, but in the bright sunlight you’ll see a darker green tint, officially named Black Spruce. These rods look sleek and stunning with black wraps, silver detailing on the ferrules and butt, and hard chrome snake guides.
Sage has updated the reel seat design, and the new stealth black anodized reel seat looks great. We also liked the fact that the line weight is laser-etched onto the X, so you can grab your desired model much quicker with just a glance.
The snub-nosed half wells handle has a smaller diameter than most rods, making it more comfortable and gentle on the hands. This handle design works exceptionally well, giving you more control over your casts and presentation.
The Sage X are fast action rods, but don’t be tricked into thinking that they’re stiff rods with little sensitivity. The flex on these rods are incredible, which gives you a better connection with the softer rod tip and delivers greater blank recovery. Again, the KonneticHD comes into play, resulting in a crisper tip stop, creating the tightest loops you might have ever seen.
The Sage X also packs a lot of power and super-fast line speed, so you can get your fly out to those long-range distances with minimal effort. And what you gain in power and reach, you don’t lose out in accuracy: The X loads and tracks well for impressive precision, so you can get your fly to the exact spot you were aiming for.
This rare combination of power and strength with sensitivity and accuracy makes it an ideal choice for any avid fly angler.
The Sage X is perfect on any water, from little creeks to big rivers and lakes. Anyone from a beginner to a pro will enjoy fishing with this rod – it’s ideal for newbies who are still getting the hang of casting.
When it comes to the range of casting, these rods are surprisingly effective at both short and long distances. In the 30 foot range, it performs much better than the Sage ONE does, but you can also get a killer presentation and precise cast at 60 foot. The long-distance casting relies very little effort compared to other similar rods, making it less work on your arms, shoulders, and back. You can cast out to any distance easily and achieve a great, natural presentation.
You can also use a lot of different flies effectively with these rods. You’ll be wowed by the natural presentation when you tie on a dry fly, but these rods will also perform well with nymphs and smaller streamers.
All Sage fly rods come with a lifetime warranty for the original owner. If any damage occurs to your rod, reel, or blank due to the manufacturer’s defect, Sage will either repair or replace your rod for you. This generous warranty offers superb protection to your fly rods, making the X rods an excellent investment.
If you damage your rod yourself and the terms conditions of the warranty do not cover it, you can also pay a nominal fee and Sage will fix up your rod. It’s great to know that you have this kind of protection for your rod. The Sage repair service is much more affordable than shelling out for an entire new fly rod.
What People Are Saying About the Sage X
We’re not the only fans of the Sage X! We scoured the internet to see what other anglers thought of this rod, and here are some rave reviews we found:
Steveid had to say: “I have an X 590 and I love it… there are times when one rod needs to be able to do everything well, and I believe the X 590 can do that… The feeling on the X is simply better than everything else I have tried.”
Sweetandsalt is another fan: “I had to have it and now, after two full seasons with it, I like it even better than I initially did. It is my go to medium size river rod but has the touch for smaller creeks too and the guts for a big river.”
Pros & Cons
Looking for a quick summary of the Sage X rod to see if it’s right for you? Here are the pros and cons:
- Incredible flexibility
- Loads of feel and a great connection to the rod tip
- A lighter rod that is a joy to cast
- All-purpose rod that you can take anywhere with you
- Tight loops throughout all ranges
- Some find that the tip is slightly too stiff
- Not even sensitivity at closer distances of 30 feet or less
- The X creates even tighter loops than the ONE
- Some models have too much epoxy on the guides
- Reel seat and cork are not as high quality as you would expect for the price
- A bit of a learning curve to get the hang
The Wrap Up
If you’re looking for a high-quality, all-rounder rod, you can’t go wrong with the Sage X. It performs well at a range of distances and on all types of water, with buttery smooth, effortless casting and loads of feel. Sage has raised the bar with the X, a truly impressive rod. Even if you’re not a pro fly fisher, you’ll have tons of success with this rod. It will take your casting to the next level, and you won’t regret your investment!
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