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Fly Preview

Fly goes hi-tech with new S.A. Sharkskin lines and Sage Targets Bassers (continued)

Sage: We were surprised to see Tier 1 fly rod and reel manufacturer Sage launching new bass series setups at the show. Sage believes that there are plenty of bass anglers out there that would be interested in fishing for both smallmouth and largemouth bass recreationally and in tournament situations with fly gear. They helped form a "Bass-N-Fly" promotions team which includes Ken Hanley, Kevin Doran, John Sherman, Keith Kaneko, and Jerry Siem. Many of these experts are residents of the bay area and call the Delta home water.

John Sherman a member of the Bass-N-Fly promotions team explains the benefits of fishing for bass with a fly rod

After working with this small tight-lipped group of serious bass anglers, Sage developed two new rods that can drop a hair frog or an air-light diver with pinpoint accuracy and hardly a ripple on the water. From a fly fishing perspective they are talking about effortlessly pushing big, wind-resistant bugs into tight quarters. Available in two models, Smallmouth and Largemouth, both rods measure 7'11", which slides them just under the strict bass tournament rules for rod length. Additionally, both rods are sold with custom bass taper fly lines and a travel case for protection.

The fly rods will come with perfectly matched line for either smallmouth or largemouth fishing

When used outside the bass fishing world, Sage recommends them for probing the mangroves or throwing huge flies for pike and muskies. The rods will come with 290 grain line for smallmouth, and 330 grain line for targeting largemouth.

A look at the 4 piece bass fly rods

These rods will retail for 350 dollars each, and are available now from any Sage dealer. We will check back with the company later in the year to see how the adoption of these new solutions have been, but from what we have seen we love the idea of dedicated fly rod offerings specifically for bass fishing.

An example of a wind resistant fly the rods are designed to toss

The Bass-N-Fly team will be getting the message out at a number of expos where they talk about premier bass fisheries, teach casting techniques for warm water species, and demo the new Sage Bass fly rod series. 

John shows us the two new Sage fly rods specifically designed for bass anglers

In addition to the new bass fly rods we had a chance to look at the casting and spinning lineup. These rods are designed to be premium ocean and river rods for steelhead and all species of salmon. They feature a unique look and feel and make use of high-grade Portuguese cork, top quality guides and components, and a rod bag and tube are standard on all "Sage Gear" rods.

Few know that Sage also designs and manufacturers conventional casting and spinning rods

The design of these rods is meticulous. All handles are topped off with an attractive and durable neoprene impregnated burl cork ring. The guide spacings have all been strategically developed to obtain optimum performance while at the same time allow for simple convenience, such as being able to carry the two separated section together evenly when your rod is rigged but transportation is necessary. 

These handsome rods feature olive blanks

The casting models were our personal favorites in the lineup. Dubbed the CT series these rods feature olive green blanks and utilize Fuji graphite trigger reel seats and anodized aluminum butt caps. The shorter fast action rods are good for drift fishing, casting lures or pulling plugs. These rods felt solid and are designed for longer casts and the ability to control more line, making these an ideal choice for serious salmon and steelhead anglers in the Pacific Northwest. 

The anodized aluminum butt caps look clean

The Sage SP spinning series are designed with a balance of lightness and sensitivity, yet are powerful enough to battle large salmon and steelhead. They feature a ergonomically designed "comfort" reel seat. Solid titanium framed guides with super strong "NanoLite" ceramic rings.

The SP spinning rods feature an ergonomically designed "comfort" seat

These are premium rods in every sense and retail from $475 for the SP spinning series to $500 for some of the rods in the CT lineup. All rods are inspected at various stages during the manufacturing process and each and every rod feature factory registered serial numbers for positive identification.

A final look at the Sage "comfort" seat

All Sage gear rods are manufactured here in the United States at Sage's own plant on Bainbridge Island, WA and are backed by the company's original owner lifetime guarantee. At the show Sage surprised us with their offerings outside of what they are primarily known for... premium fly rods designed for traditional fly fishing.

Stay tuned for more coverage as our ISE Show coverage continues









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