The Sage 4200 series of fly reels is the latest contribution to its growing range of premium fly reels from rocket scientist and ace reel designer Kurt van Wyck. These follow on from the 6000 series that were released the year before and utilise a similar stacked carbon fibre washer drag system. While the 6000 series is a robust saltwater series with three reels in the range — 8, 10, and 12 — the 4200 range has four reels: two freshwater reels and two saltwater. However, they are all built to the same design and specifications so the 4 or the 6 could equally be used in the salt. The range starts with a 4 weight, then a 6, 8 and 10 weight. Of course, these can be mixed around. I use the 8 weight on a 10 weight rod and a 7 weight rod and would be happy to use the 10 on a 12 weight.

Apart from the capacity, the superb drag and the great styling, the huge advantage of these reels is that they are so light. These are reels for those situations where you’re casting all day, and that is mostly what barra fishing is about. Although lightweight, I have caught some stonker fish on them with locked down drags so they aren’t just reels for the hand-to-hand stuff; they are more than capable of handling most inshore bluewater species. The drag knob is numbered 1-10 with a half click adjustment so you always know where you’ve set it.

And there’s even better news: they are all sub $350.