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Fly Rod Review: the Sage “Method”

by Robert Morselli
Sage Method fly rod review

The new Sage “Method” fly rod

Make it ultra-fast.

Make it ultra-light.

Pay meticulous attention to detail—and paint it red.

We’re not talking sports car here,  we’re talking fly rod, and I suspect those were the phrases uttered during initial design discussions for Sage’s latest speedster, the Method.

First things first.  In recent years the fly rod industry has taken to classifying fly rods in a very creative way (to put it nicely). Of the fly rods I’ve tested in the 18 months, many “slow-” to “medium-action” rods were not that at all.  So credit Sage for designating this rod as “ultra-fast.” It is exactly that.

Sage Method fly rod reviewBut back to our sports car analogy.  If you’ve never driven one, there will be an adjustment period, and this applies to the Method as well. This low-flex rod will amplify your fly line’s characteristics: pair it with a low-stretch line (RIO’s Perception, for instance) and you’ll be hard pressed to obtain a more direct connection to your quarry. That said, you’ll also be sacrificing some tippet protection. So a little fishing experience will go a long way in appreciating what this rod offers, which is a lot.

I fished the 5-weight, 9-foot configuration and happily discovered that the Method is an all-around rod as opposed to merely a casting implement.

Sage Method fly rod tube

The Method’s powder-coated aluminum tube

We often read about the butt section of a rod being responsible for power, something I fully intended to address in this review, but my expectations were modified after a few initial casts: the Method’s “power core,” if you will, extends well beyond the lower third of the rod. My estimate is that Jerry Siem (the fellow who designed this rod along with most other rods in the Sage stable) imbued the Method with muscle for 66% of the distance to the rod tip. If your casting basics are in order, expect a huge improvement in distance—even with your biggest and bulkiest flies.

The flex is pleasingly progressive, but minimal, so if quick-loading is a requirement, this rod delivers.  That same restricted arc is also responsible for making quick, neat mends very easy work.

My overall impression of the Method is that it was designed to overcome common obstacles such as propelling flies through wind, but the rod does reveal more sophisticated attributes, like fine accuracy and responsiveness.  Provided you have some casting experience and your timing is sharp, the Method can be a precision caster’s dream.

Fast action fly rods: every manufacturer makes them, and they’re so widely available that it has gotten to the point where we now take them for granted, but we shouldn’t. Some manufacturers are still taking pains to design and produce rods that will be referenced and revered years down the line. In my opinion, the Sage Method will be one of those rods.

I don’t generally care for fast-action rods, but the Method modified my expectations considerably. If you’re looking for the latest in rod design and technology, this candidate is hard to beat.

Highlights

Ultra-fast action

Konnetic technology

Fuji ceramic stripping guides

Robust guide set

Powder coated aluminum rod tube

Freshwater 4 – 6 weights feature a snub-nose, half-wells grip

Saltwater 6 – 10 weights feature full-wells handle with fighting butt

MSRP: $800

MidCurrent Fly Fishing
 
Robert Morselli is the research director for the internationally syndicated television show "How It's Made." He can be reached at: 3weight@gmail.com.
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  • JR

    Just finished fishing with a Method 690-4 on the South Fork in Idaho. The description is, to the letter, on target. The only thing I would add is that the rod is a bit more forgiving than many fast rods……ironically enough, because of it near perfect responsiveness. Great rod!!!