Sage Accel and Sage Salt Review
This past Friday, our Sage sales rep was in the shop showing us many new offerings for the 2015 season. Among those offerings was the Sage Accel and Sage Salt family of rods. If you remember back in June, we gave a few first impressions of the Sage Salt after John was able to use an 11wt Sage Salt on some tarpon in the Florida Keys. Safe to say, since we are all gear dorks, the rest of us at the shop were anxious to get our hands on these rods…
The Sage Salt
Strung up for our casting pleasure was the Sage Salt 6wt, 7wt, and 9wt. The first thing we all noticed is the lightness in hand of the Sage Salt compared with other saltwater rods. Using Konnetic Technology (the same technology of the Method, ONE, and Circa), Sage updated their premium saltwater offering and made it lighter. Lighter rods usually (not always, but usually) mean less fatigue when casting a larger weight rod for an entire day.
Once casting, the next thing we noticed is that the Salt is very easy for anyone to cast. It seems that Sage toned the speed back a bit from the XI3. In this, we all agreed made for an excellent saltwater rod for ALL anglers. All weights we tried had enough backbone to punch out 80 feet of line with ease, yet we would all feel very comfortable putting a Salt in the hands of a beginner saltwater fly fisher. While speed is absolutely necessary for the saltwater, none of the Salt weights felt like a broom handle and we were easily able to feel the rod load. This is not to say that Sage did not maintain power in this rod; they did. With little effort on our part again, we were able to push 70 to 90 foot casts.
One thing of note is that Sage has been building their saltwater offerings down to a 5wt for a while. This is because of smaller inshore species that many anglers target these days. Because these smaller weight rods are still built on beefier blanks; many have realized that they would be great big fly chuckers for freshwater fish. The Salt 6wt would make an absolutely amazing streamer rod while the Salt 8wt might just become our new favorite pike rod.
The Sage Accel
Alongside the Salt was the new Sage Accel. Now, while many companies may be striving forward to the next greatest technology; I personally appreciate Sage’s commitment to perfecting their current and previous technologies. This fully shows in the Sage Accel built on Sage’s Generation 5 technology. Previous rods of the Generation 5 technology included the Sage ZXL and Z-Axis as well as the current line up of TXL-F creek rods. Many (including us) absolutely loved the ZXL as well as the Z-Axis. After casting the Accel, I will put it this way; if the ZXL and the Z-Axis had a love child, it would be the Accel. Not as slow as the ZXL, but not as fast paced as the Z-Axis. Really a great balance of two fantastic rods.
It seems Sage really looked at the way the fly rod industry was going, and realized “wow there are a lot of super fast fly rods out there, and we have a whole bunch ourselves; maybe we should tone it back a bit”. Now maybe that wasn’t the conversation had at Sage; regardless, the Accel is a outstanding fly rod. This rod casts very smooth and accurate and still holds enough power to deliver casts at distances of 40 to 70 feet. We would describe the action as medium fast and is a perfect trout rod in weights 3 to 7. Seeing as this rod family goes up to 9 wt, the higher weights are perfect for Northwest and Alaska steelhead and salmon.
The Sage Accel is really a great addition to the Sage rod family and many will be pleased to see the resurgence of rods developed with Generation 5 technology. If one was looking for a good all around rod; this could be it. The Accel will handle small dry flies, nymph rigs, and large streamer set ups. Beginning anglers as well as expert fly casters may be able to find a new favorite rod in the Accel.
The Sage Salt and Sage Accel will be available soon in our Durango store as well as on our online store. Please feel free to stop in and give either rod a cast once we have them available.