Fly Rod Review: Sage “PULSE”

Sage Pulse Fly Rod

Sage’s new PULSE series 590 fly rod

Mid-priced fly rods occupy a strange place these days. Some are just a half-notch away, in terms of overall quality, from their upscale brethren, while others truly belong in the mid-priced category. The Sage PULSE belongs in the former category. The blank/hardware package isn’t far from what the manufacturer offers in their top-shelf lines.

Sage states in their promotional literature that the new PULSE fly rod is “designed to be your workhorse rod.” I’m always wary of promotional literature, but I can, in this one instance, say that they’ve hit the nail on the head.

For those in the habit of over-lining their fly rods, this is one to do that with. The swing weight alone allows for the rod to load very well with one size heavier (making it a perfect candidate for the plethora of half-size heavier lines available these days) so if a big portion of your fishing time involves large flies and lengthy casts…

Sage PULSE fly rod

As mentioned earlier, the swing weight is pronounced, so the PULSE is a little clunky if you’re casting short much of the day. Other than that, the PULSE is a highly versatile rod.

Sage has employed their graphite IIIe technology (glass scrims within layers of graphite), ensuring that all the power you need is readily available. What the IIIe tech also offers—and what I liked most about this rod—is that it offers a very connected feel, not a key attribute of most fast-action rods out there.

The PULSE easily supports Sage’s marketing claims: it will be your workhorse, from freshwater to saltwater, single-hand, switch, or Spey. This is a also rod whose robust spine will tempt you to search out corresponding quarry. Chunky smallmouth, you’ve been warned.