IFTD 2016: Sage Rods and Reels
X Rods: With the departure of the respected ONE series comes the new X fly rods from Sage. Made on Bainbridge Island, WA, these fast-action rods use Konnetic HD technology and boast optimized graphite-to-resin ratios for a higher-density blanks which results in higher overall performance. Sage also says that the new taper decreases lateral and medial vibrations while allowing anglers to "dig deeper" to access power lower down in the blank closer to the angler. Blanks are colored in a black spruce tone with dark green thread wraps and metallic grey trim. Other features include Fuji ceramic stripping guides, hard chrome snake guides/tip tops, flor-grade cork grips (two-handed rods have super-plus fore and rear grips), and laser-etched line weight on the slide bands.
Freshwater reel seats are stealth black anodized-aluminum with vera wood inserts, while saltwater and two-handed rods sport stealth black anodized-aluminum reel seats. All reel seats are up-locking with the exception of spey models which are down-locking. Each rod includes a black rod bag and evergreen powder-coated aluminum tube to round out a premium package.
The X lineup includes freshwater rods from 3–6 weight and saltwater rods from 5–10 weight. Switch rods are 11-feet long and range from 6 to 8 weight, while spey rods come in 6–10 weights in varied lengths. Prices for single-hand rods are $895, switch rods are $995, and spey rods are set at $1,095.
6200 Reels: These top-tier big game/saltwater reels have been tested by Sage to withstand the most demanding conditions. These beauties are fully machined from cold-forged, tempered 6061-T6 aluminum and have a rigid frame-to-spool connection for supreme durability. Sage also designed them with a large, concave arbor along with a sealed carbon drag system adjustable via a one-revolution knob with 40 detents. Arriving in silver, stealth, and cobalt finishes, you can take your pick of models from a trout-taming 5/6 up to a tarpon-turning 11/12. Expect an MSRP of $439 up to $499.
ESN Rods: The new ESN series is geared towards european-style nymphing. These long rods are designed with Konnetic HD backbones for increased performance and are built wearing hard-chrome snake guides and tip tops, super-plus grade snub-nosed cork grips, stealth black anodized aluminum down-locking reel seats, and laser-etched line weights on the slide bands. Models include 10-foot 2, 3, and 4 weights, and a 10-foot 6-inch 3-weight. Every ESN rod comes equipped with a black rod bag and black powder-coated aluminum rod tube. $895
Expect all of these new products to hit the market in August 2016.