Sage ESN Review in 2023 – Fly Rods

If you’re a European style nymphing fan, you’ll probably know that Sage recently reinvented their ESN rod series. With some significant improvements, the new Sage ESN fly rod is an excellent choice for any tight line nymphing angler. Here’s our complete review of the Sage ESN so you can see if it’s the rod you’ve been looking for!

Sage ESN Fly Rod Review

Sage ESN Specs:

Line Weight: 2 – 4Length: 10ft
Action: MediumHandle: Snub-nose Half-Wells
Rod Weight: –Rod Tube: Powder Coated Aluminum Rod Tube
Color: Stealth Black / ChipotleSections: 4
Warranty: Sage Lifetime WarrantyCountry Of Manufacture: USA

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Key Features

  • Fuji Ceramic Stripping Guides
  • KonneticHD Technology
  • Powder Coated Aluminum Rod Tube
  • Downlocking w/Anodized Aluminum
  • The Sage Lifetime Warranty


Sage has specially designed their ESN to be a perfect nymphing rod. It’s ideal for a wide range of tight line or European style nymphing techniques, including both short line and long line techniques. If you’re new to euro nymphing, this is an excellent rod to start out with, but it will also last you for years to come.

By packing more fibers into the blank with their iconic KonneticHD technology, Sage has created an amazingly lightweight rod. Tight line nymphing is all about your connection with the fly, and you won’t beat the exceptional connection you’ll get from the ESN fly rods by Sage.

You can check our Sage Fly Rods Reviews here for more fly rods from Sage.

Responsive and sensitive, this rod has superior shock absorption and amazing blank recovery, for a better nymph fishing experience out on the water. This winning combination means you’ll see more success and catch more fish!

Features & Benefits

Let’s explore the features of the Sage ESN more thoroughly now!

Weight & Lengths

The Sage ESN is available in a range of outfits ranging from 2 – 4 weights in 10-foot lengths, plus a 3 weight 10’6 rod. 

While many rods measure 11 foot or more, 10 foot is actually an ideal length for tight line nymphing. You’ll have greater control over your fly, for better overall performance. You also won’t risk getting tangled up in any overhanging undergrowth on the river bank as you might do with a longer rod.

The ESN is a very lightweight rod thanks to that KonneticHD technology, which is gentle on your hands and arms, and a joy to use.

Build Quality

Build Quality

Sage has worked hard to improve their ESN rods, and we think they’ve done a fantastic job. The new ESN rods look striking and eye-catching.

The Black Ice blank color sets off the dark garnet wraps, the metallic charcoal trim wraps, fuji ceramic stripper guides for an all-round cool design. The hard chrome single foot plated guides allow for greater flexibility and feel. 

Sage has updated the reel seat to the all-new anodized aluminum down-locking model. The down locking reel seat has been shifted further down towards the butt, which balances out your whole fishing set-up perfectly, no matter which of your reels you use. 


Sage describes the ESN as a refined medium action rod, which has been specifically chosen to allow for both long and short line nymphing. This rod is exceptional in that the action is very delicate, but at the same time, you don’t lose anything when it comes to speed or blank recovery. It stands out in a class of its own!

You can check out our Sage Accel fly rod review here if you’re looking for a great medium fast action fly rod from Sage.



The ESN fly rods are great for European style nymphing on any water, from tiny creeks to fast-flowing rivers. With enough power and superior shock absorption, this rod has enough fight to haul in some big fish. But it also has enough sensitivity to feel every movement on the end of the line – you won’t miss any strikes with this beauty.

You can use smaller flies effectively with the ESN fly rods, but they also perform well with bigger stones and heavier Euro patterns, too.

It’s suited to a wide range of techniques, flies, and locations. This rod will serve you well, no matter whether you’re just getting started with euro nymphing or you’ve got plenty of experience


As with all Sage rods, you get a lifetime warranty with the ESN rods. Should your rod, blank, or reel become damaged or unusable as a result of a manufacturer’s defect, Sage will replace or repair it for you.

Take note that this only covers the original owner, so if you bought your rod secondhand, you lose this protection. There are also very specific terms and conditions in the warranty, and it doesn’t cover fire, theft, customization, or damage from use.

However, if your rod does break and the lifetime warranty doesn’t cover you, Sage also offers a repair service for a nominal fee. Depending on the age and category of your rod or reel. Accidents can happen, so it’s great to know that you can get your rod repaired for a lower price than buying a whole new rod.

About the Sage ESN

What People Are Saying About the Sage ESN

We’re not the only ones who have been impressed by the Sage ESN. There are some very positive reviews over on

Fffl would happily recommend this rod to other anglers: “I have the 10′ 2weight & 10′ 3weight ESN HD, you won’t be disappointed with either rod, they are very light in the hand, cast well & are very sensitive.”

Osseous is also a fan: “This is a VERY impressive rod, and one that I enjoy fishing very much. Sensitivity is improved- and the Gen1 was no slouch. I’ve landed fish to 24″ with it. It’s so light in the hand. I’m extremely pleased that I made the change.”

Sage ESN Review: Pros & Cons

So what are the real selling points of the ESN fly rods by Sage, and are there any drawbacks? Let’s take a look!


  • Cool design
  • Phenomenal performance on all types of water
  • Sensitive, and super-responsive: You’ll feel every movement of your fly
  • Incredibly lightweight and great fun to fish
  • Suitable for beginners and advanced euro nymphing fishermen


  • These rods are quite an investment
  • Lacking some backbone and power in the midsection

The Wrap Up

In conclusion, the Sage ESN is an excellent, tactical rod for Euro nymphing. With amazing sensitivity, impressive accuracy, the latest technology, and an eye-catching, updated design, you’ll love this rod. It looks great and you’ll have loads of fun fishing with it! In our opinion, it’s the perfect all-rounder for European style nymphing.

If you found this review helpful, make sure you share it with your fishing buddies over on Facebook. And as always, leave us any comments or questions below, we love chatting with you guys!

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Ben Kepka

Hey, I'm Ben, a fly fisherman for over 20 years and also an aspiring blogger. I've been into fly fishing since my graduation from spin fishing when I was 12 years old. I started to help introduce as many people into this amazing sport. Tight lines everyone! You can read more on our about page here.

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