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Thread: Sage X

  1. #1

    Default Sage X

    I had the opportunity to cast a Sage 890-4 X for about an hour last weekend. Gotta say it's the first Sage that's impressed me in quite a while. It was parking lot casting with an unknown WF8 "shop" line that had suffered from previous asphalt adventures, but the rod simply didn't care. It easily picked up 40-45' of line off the ground, and with a single back cast threw an unbelievably smooth loop forward to reach 80'-85' almost without effort. Best of all, it was superbly accurate all the way out there. Both the shop owner and I were landing our casts within inches of called targets at close- and mid-range, and yes, equally well at long range. Shorten the line up to 30', and the rod still registered "true" to line weight. Seems like a really versatile and forgiving rod that will be useful for all sorts of things.

    I have never been a 100% fan of the Sage One, in spite of casting and fishing lots of them. I just never could bring myself to reach into my wallet, mostly because the last couple of feet of the tip always seemed too soft for the blank. Lay a little extra on it for distance or to hook a cast at longer range, and the soft tip would collapse. Fine rod for moderate ranges, but problematic at longer ranges where I need extra performance.

    Not so the X. We never really stretched it out to see just how far it would cast, but I'm confident that with the right line not chewed up by a parking lot, it would be pretty easy for me to threaten or surpass 100'. Can't make that claim about the One with any line I've tried, and the One is certainly no competitor with the X for accuracy, even at closer ranges. Nice to note that the X seems at least as light and easy on the arm as the One.

    The 8-weight feels lighter than a lot of 7WTs and even 6WTs in the hand, but it's perfect with a standard 8-weight line (as compared to those half a line size bigger such as the Outbounds). Kind of a neat sensation to have one that's smooth as bamboo, yet light and powerful.

    Today I quit dithering and bought the thing! My wife got tired of my pondering and ORDERED me to do it. Now all I have to do is keep it out of her hands. Seems like she ends up claiming about every other fly rod that comes through the door. I sense a pattern, here.

    Okay, I'll shudup, but you can tell I'm jazzed. Lotta money for a rod, but for me anyway, the premium price of Sage is worth it this time around. Been a looong time since I felt that way about a Sage. Fishing reports to come. It's prime time for silvers, and they're running big this year. Been stormy and windy 5 days out of 7 each week so far, so the X is going to get a thorough workout. Perfect.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  2. #2
    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Thanks for penning this review on the X. It is the first I've read on this rod.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

  3. #3
    Member cod's Avatar
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    Good review BB. I remember way back when Sage came out with their RPL+ to take over for ( in my opinion) the way too soft RPL. I thought it a change in the right direction. Maybe they finally got there?
    I'm still mostly a Loomis guy. Although my go to 8 wt is an ancient Fischer Rod. Been with me for about 30 years.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  4. #4
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    Nice to see some equipment reviewed on this forum I personally love it when sage releases a new rod series and closes out the old. I'm fine casting rods that were top of the line just a few years ago. Brand new Sage One rods can be found at half price right now.

  5. #5
    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Good review. I've been a Sage guy, building on their blanks since the 90's and they've always been good to me. Haven't cast an X yet, but I like a fast rod that'll reach, so it's intriguing.

  6. #6

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    I feel like I've already spouted enough, but I gave it a serious workout this evening. No chance to fish it yet, but on the lawn it continues to impress.

    With less effort (and less wear and tear on an old body), it was throwing a Rio Grand fly line further than I've been able to do lately with my beloved TFO TiCRX 8-weight paired with the Rio Outbound. I'm talking the WHOLE Rio Grand out through the guides plus about a rod length of backing.

    It weighs about half what the TiCRX weighs too, so light as a feather while being easy to cast well, too. Meanwhile the loops are so tight and smooth it's incredibly accurate, while the Outbound on the TiCRX has always been kinda dicey for fine accuracy. Looking forward to introducing this one to fish way back up under Florida mangroves this winter, but meanwhile it's going to get a workout on silvers.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  7. #7
    Member Col. F Rodder's Avatar
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    Nice review of the casting, hope it is not as brittle as the One was. There were a lot of complaints about it breaking under minimal pressure.
    What reel to pair with? I recently bought a Nautilus CCFX2 and have been pleased with it fishing Reds. Will put it to the Kodiak silver challange next week

  8. #8

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    Huh.... Hadn't run across the brittleness in One's, so I'll watch for it. Thanks. That thin wall could be achieved at a cost.

    My original intent was to put my ancient Sage 3400 on it, but hefted it next to one of the TFO BVK III's that I've been using in Saltwater. While once upon a time the 3400 seemed incredibly light, it's about twice the weight of the BVK III. I've got the BVK on it now and like the balance with the lighter weight, so light weight is the direction I'm headed. News at nine.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

  9. #9
    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    They are brittle. I've had to send my 6100 ONE back to Sage 4 times. Its currently got noticeable wear from riding in boats, trucks and beating brush so I expect it to be heading back again soon.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

  10. #10
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    I love the sage one for trout and other smaller game. I utilize the Sage Salt for all my salmon fishing and other bigger game and truly has been my favorite for a long time. I was fortunate to see and cast the X a few months prior to its release and had to keep a tight lip on it. at first feel I was not impressed, but after casting it, my mind changed quickly.

    The Sage one had a learning curve I felt. The rod is deadly accurate. But it took me some time to get used to that accuracy. My prior rod was a Sage SLT. The X bridges the gap for needing practice / tune up too just pick up and go. I think they hit the mark with it. Its even more accurate than the one.

    Well done on the purchase. Hopefully see you here in a few weeks.

    -Matt

  11. #11

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    That's good to know. I'm pretty religious about using cases, the fabric ones designed to let you keep reels mounted, so that kind of wear is pretty minimal in our house (still using fly rods bought more than 50 years ago), but there's always the inadvertent bump and bruise from fishing. It will be interesting to see and compare. Thanks!
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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