You may remember that over a month ago, Sage announced the release of their new family of fly rods for 2016. Well our Sage and Redington rep stopped by a few days ago with a couple of new rods for us to cast.
You can read more on what Sage has to say about their new rods here.
We were able to cast a few select models from these rod families and they were as such: Sage MOD 490-4 and 590-4, Sage BOLT 590-4, Sage PULSE 590-4, Sage (Little) ONE 382-4, and the Redington Hydrogen 490-4. Our first impressions were as such:
Tom – I felt the 5 weight was a really nice rod and felt like a 5 weight. I did get the feeling that the 4 weight felt like a 5 weight rod though. It is a lot faster than the Circa and is a very nice rod for sure.
John – Sage built a rod with some feel again. A very nice feeling rod. It seems like this is a nice throw back to the Sage SP. I do wish they made this rod in a 7’6″ 3 wt. The difference between the 5 and the 4 weights was immense. You could certainly feel the difference with the action as the 4 weight had more of a cane-rod feel.
Kyle – Super lightweight, I liked the 490 better than the 590. Not really my cup of tea, but a great rod none the less. I like fast rods (but there are a few slow rods that I really enjoy). I like slow rods, and fast rods…but medium action rods I am not totally sold on.
Andy – The 490 and the 590 seemed to be two completely different rods to me. While the 590 was ok, I fell in love with the 490. A fantastic all around 4 weight with some punch and delicacy. I would love to get the 4 weight out on the water to see how it compares to one of my favorite rods, the Sage Circa. In the meantime, we were allowed to borrow the Sage Mod 590-4 for a few weeks. More to come on that soon…
Jake – I think this would be a great midsize river, technical dry fly rod.
Tom – Casts just fine. A great opportunity for someone to get a very fast action Sage rod on a budget.
John – The inexpensive Method. I liked it because I like rods with this action. Certainly a performance rod.
Kyle – More my cup of tea. Fast action and high line speed at a better price point than the Sage Method.
Andy – I know some people will love this rod. I did not love it all that much. It is a very fast action built with Gen 5 Graphite Technology. It reminded me of the older model Sage TCX, which I was not a fan of either in the 5 weight. I will say I would love to test out the 8 weight BOLT though. If they made a BOLT family of spey rods…well then it would probably be as close to the “Death Star” as you could get.
Jake – I would use this rod for throwing heavy sink tips or dry flies into 50 mph winds.
Tom – I really liked this rod. A very nice upgrade from the Response.
John – A way better feeling rod than the Response.
Kyle – A 690 in this family would be a bomb rod. This rod is lightyears ahead of it’s predecessor, the Sage Response. Better technology, better design, better graphite (Graphie IIIe), and a great color.
Andy – As already stated, the PULSE is leagues above the Response. This rod feels a lot like my old Sage Z-Axis 5 weight (which I still love and fish constantly). Rumor around the shop that these rods will fill out our fly rod rental fleet in the coming months. We may have more to say about this rod in the future…
Tom – I think this should have been in it’s own family, it is actually just an expansion of the Sage ONE family. Seems like a nice fast action small creek rod. Goes down to a 0 weight.
John – I love the ONE, but not in the light line weights
Kyle – I have always liked the 3 weight Sage ONEs ever since I fished the 376 Sage ONE. The 376 is still a little bit more my style, but the 382 is still really awesome. Super lightweight with laser beam accuracy. This rod will make getting into tight quarters and undercut banks a breeze.
Andy – If you are going to hand me a Sage ONE, I want it to be a 6 weight or larger. The (Little) ONE follows the tradition of the ONE and Sage TXL-F as a fast action creek rod. I personally like my creek rods a little softer, but that is my preference. I know Jake is planning on getting one of these in a 2 or 3 weight. I would say that this rod would make a pretty stellar small stream nymph stick…but I don’t usually nymph on small streams.
Jake – This will become my new small water, big fish rod. You can cast 50 feet on a dime and still be able to handle big fish when they hit the riffles.
Tom – Seemed like a really nice rod for $300.
John – For the money, the Hydrogen is a very nice rod. Has a great feel and casts great.
Kyle – Surprisingly awesome. Really great medium trout rod. The 490 was really nice and I would consider picking one of these up myself.
Jake – I think this rod was a little heavy in the hand, but for the price threw very tight loops.
Andy – I have always had a special place in my heart for Redington gear. Redington tends to fill out my gear list when the budget gets tight. Redington rods for me have always functioned very well, while still being a little heavy and clunky. My pike rod to this day remains the old Redington RS4 8 weight. Heavier swing weight, but I still think it casts sink tips and heavy line like a dream….but I digress… The Redington Hydrogen totally shatters all these preconceptions of Redington rods that I have held on to (in a very good way). The Hydrogen 4 weight was very lightweight and threw down a very nice and delicate presentation. I think we were all pretty blow away with how nice this rod is for the money. Not only that, but it still has some reserve power when you want to pull off and huck 60+ feet of line.
While we didn’t get to test out the Sage CLICK Fly Reel, we still got to fondle a few. Sage improved the drag, built a larger arbor, set it at a cheaper price point, and lightened it up quite a bit from it’s predecessor. You can also palm this reel really well. We were all pretty impressed. The large arbor picks up a lot of line and this reel comes in 0-6 weight options.