The ‘best’ salt water rod. Does such a thing exist? If you were ask 100 saltwater anglers, you would get 100 different answers. It is a subjective discussion.
Tom took off last week to the Caribbean to chase bonefish with a friend. Actually, to say he went fishing for bonefish is sort of an understatement. This trip will not be a numbers trip for Tom; they are searching for big bonefish. Big as in, “if it looks like it is under 10 pounds, we won’t cast at it” kind of bonefish trip. For big bones, Tom needed a big rod. Fortunately Tom was able to acquire a Sage Salt and a Sage Method. Both 9 foot 9 weight configurations.
With Tom’s new rods in the shop, we figured there was no better way to kill a lunch break than to take these bad boys to the park for some casting action. So how did these rods compare to one another? Read on my friends…
The Sage Salt is classified as a “fast action” fly rod while the Method is classified as a “very fast”…or some adjective denoting the extreme speed of the Method. It’s fast. The Salt was obviously created as a saltwater specific fly rod while the Method is an “all water” rod.
Why does the “saltwater” or “all water” denotation matter?
We would use either rod in either salt water or freshwater because we do what we want. It should be noted that many of us think the 6 wt Sage Salt is an incredible streamer rod for trout and bass.
(All casts were made using the same reel and line set up: Tibor Everglades lined with a Rio Bonefish 9wt)
Jake: “The Salt is more forgiving and easier to make 30 to 50 foot casts with. The Salt also picks up a good amount of line very well. The Method is a more advanced rod, but great for advanced casters. If I were to take one musky fishing, it would be the Salt for sure.”
Kyle: “Both are great rods, but they are just different. The Salt is easier to cast for novice casters. However, I personally would choose the Sage Method over the Sage Salt because the Method fits my casting style better. I feel like I can tell the Method what to do, and it does it. The Salt seems like it flexes more into the butt section than the Method does.”
It should be noted that Kyle fished the Method at Christmas Island for bonefish this past year where he fell in love with it. The rod easily threw tight and accurate loops into the wind and handled fast running bones easily.
Andy: “While there is no doubt that the Method is an absolute cannon as proven by my ease at throwing the entire fly line…I did not prefer it over the Salt. The Salt has a stiff backbone to throw big casts; but it was easier for me to feel the rod load. If I had one to choose, it would be the Sage Salt hands down.
However, I later began to think of different saltwater applications and I came to the conclusion that both rods have their place in my saltwater fly fishing. If I were to be chasing bonefish with typical bonefish flies: I would choose the Sage Method. The Method’s ability to generate high line speeds and throw tight loops would be ideal for windy flats where fly size rarely exceeds a size 2 bonefish or crab pattern. If I were after a larger predator species where big flies are required; the Salt would be my choice. The backbone of the Salt coupled with it’s slightly more forgiving tip would be better when casting big baitfish patterns, poppers, or sink tips.”
John: While John didn’t participate in this little rod shootout, you should still check out his write up of the Sage Salt.
Tom: Tom’s preference was evident at the end of the casting session. The Sage Method won Tom over and we expect this will be his go-to rod this week on the flats of location X bonefish land. We will have more from Tom upon his return…
Unfortunately, we did not have a Sage ONE on hand to try out alongside the Method and Salt. Heck, we didn’t have a bunch of great rods such as the new Scott Radian 9wt, Sage Motive, Redington Vapen, or Scott Tidal to try out. This was more of a subjective side by side tryout rather than a fully objective testing scenario though. Hopefully we will be able to get back to you with some info on how these rods compare to one another.
Until then, we will probably be heading to the saltwater with either the Method or Salt.