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.
But 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.
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.
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