FFR 2006: Sage

Sage had a ton of new items to talk about at the show, but the one that seemed to be getting the most attention from retailers (Sage was directly adjacent to the first casting pond at the show) was their new Z-Axis series fo rods. Without getting too technical, the Z-Axis concept replaces glass hoop fibers with graphite and reduces the amount of material required. The big news with Sage this year, if you haven’t already heard, is the dropping of their XP line of rods, so it will be interesting to see how Sage fans judge this replacement to what has been one of the most popular line of rods in the past 20 years. The Z-Axis series includes rods from 4-weight ($585) to 10-weight ($825).
Marketing manager Paul Johnson was also sure to point out the elegant little 2500 and 3000 Series of reels, which I was lucky enough to see fished on the Eagle River after the show. “Our field tester” (Jonathan Ain) had very nice things to say about these light-weight, large-arbor reels, which have an offset, sealed graphite disk drag and are quite smart-looking in shiny silver and black surfaces.
In “techical” outerwear, Sage has a new Skagit River Softshell Jacket that combines four-way stretch, waterproof fabric with an adjustable hood and a bunch of other features into an all-around fishing jacket that clearly has cold, rainy weather in mind. In Dark Charcoal, this is one of the more edgy and attractive jackets we saw.
And like one or two other vendors, Sage was also highlighting a new fly rod, reel and line outfit that includes a Fli series rod, an 1800 series reel, and a Rio line with backing, all in an attractive zippered rod/reel case.

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