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product review: sage le series fly rods by neil grose
Dated: 7 November, 2002
SAGE LE 6/9’0”

Reviewed by Neil Grose

In a world of fly-fishing clichés, the only one that rings true time after time is ‘value for money’. It is hard to think of better representation of value for money than the latest SAGE fly rod series, the LE series. Available from four weight to eight weight, there is a rod in the range to suit everything from timid brown trout in small streams to brawling barramundi and pelagic powerhouses.
SAGE LE 9 foot six weight

SAGE performance is now within the reach of all fly-fishers as the LE series retails for 370.00 for the two-piece, and 399.00 for the four piece. The four piece is only available in five and eight weights at this stage

SAGE has designed these rods from scratch to give anglers the highest performing entry point fly rods on the market. The LE series are a medium fast action taper that gives beginning fly-fishers a helping hand with timing, and delivers excellent casting performance for those who’ve been around for a while.

SAGE have a concept called ‘fishability’, which basically means rods that can perform short casts and long casts, can mend well on a river, have plenty of power for lifting line off the water, and soft enough in the tip to cushion plunging fish, but firm enough to give sensitivity and style. The LE series has bucket loads of ‘fishability’.

The rod reviewed came from Ross Pullin at The Essential Fly Fisher in Launceston, (03 6331 8944), and is the six-weight two-piece, nine feet in length. The blanks are an attractive gunmetal grey colour, which is neither matt nor gloss- a happy medium. The reel seat and line guides are of the quality you would expect from SAGE, and are perfectly bound and finished. Before talking about how this rod performs, it is worth noting that it is a perfect match for the line rating, which in the past was the exception rather than the rule.

Short casting with this rod is excellent, the slower action allows the angler to lay out a very short cast, indeed two or three feet of line is no drama at all. It excels in the middle distance. From fifteen to forty feet the line just about pulls you through the stripping guide! This rod was reviewed while casting to brown trout feeding in shallow water, and it delivered crisp casts that were accurate, and importantly, needed no excessive false casting to achieve. In most cases the line could be extended from 20 feet to 45 feet with out the need to false cast.

Long casts are possible, indeed it will put out a full line in two or three false casts, however line control, accuracy and presentation are compromised, as they are with most rods less than seven weight. It plays fish excellently as well, nice and firm, without too much brutality, but enough to quickly subdue fish for either the table or release.

Perhaps the greatest feature of this rod, apart from the life time guarantee, the wood finish reel seat, the impeccable quality line guides and cloth covered tube, and its ‘fishability’, is the way you can forget all about casting, and think only of fishing.

The best technology is invariably transparent. For fly-fishers that want to concentrate on fishing and not casting, or a looking for a rod that will take them from their first fish to their last, then this rod is it!
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