Sage's ground-breaking new saltwater fly rod range features Revolution 8 technology for increased strength, and feel.
The 6-year renewal cycle from Sage came around again with the 2021 release of the freshwater flagship R8 series, so a new saltwater series was never far behind. Every time it comes around, we say: “Surely there’s no more room for improvement”… and every time we’re surprised. This time, with a new rod designer, Peter Knox, there’s been a noticeable shift in fly rod design philosophy.
Surprises in the fly rod world come in small doses. Sage has always been a relatively conservative company, which for many years has kept its fly rod range within a certain style and, outside of the blank technology development, has changed slowly. A move to Fuji stripping guides was a big deal at Sage. It happened a few years ago now, but the move into Fuji Titanium K guides as stripping guides has only appeared in the last few years. These guides are designed to eliminate – or at least drastically reduce – tangles, and it’s great to see them on this new series of rods.
The R8 technology is 25% stronger and the walls of these blanks are thicker, but the rods are lighter. You might ask how that is possible. According to Sage: “A salt rod requires strength for the pure pulling power of getting high-stakes fish to the boat quicker and, due to our more advanced graphite, a simple material swap increased our strength by 25 percent per weight. The key is that this increase in strength did not require adding more material or reinforcement; it was a natural extension of the aerospace material advance in fibre and composition.”
However, the big change has been in the slightly-slower bend profiles which have given these rods tremendous feel. They are a significant change from earlier Sage saltwater rods.
The reel seats are solid with excellent well-knurled double locking rings, deep threads and prominent slots on the top of the reel seats for holding flies when travelling.
All round, this is another very classy offering from the makers of the world’s finest fly rods – Sage.
Sage’s Nominated R8 Saltwater Specific Highlights
· 25% greater strength per rod: greater pulling power equals more fight for faster landing
and less stress.
· Enhanced durability and toughness to withstand more rugged situations and demands
of remote travel.
· More intuitive sweet spot: prioritises touch and speed for shorter shots and on-demand
· Saltwater-specific guide set: best in class saltwater-specific titanium Fuji K-Series
stripping guides resist corrosion, trim rod weight, and offer minimal line friction in
· Heavy-duty reel seat: built for enhanced contact and confidence, heavy-duty reel seat
and oversized locking rings keep reel tight to the rod for greater contact, rigidity, and a
more direct connection when fighting powerful high-stakes fish.