Fly Rod Review: The Sage Motive Series is Superb for Saltwater


One of the rod releases from Sage this year is the Motive Series. A reasonably-priced, high-end saltwater rod, the news of the release peaked interest a few months ago, but when (not literally) running up and down the isles of ICAST/IFTD in July to absorb as much as possible in the brief 24-hours I was there, I didn’t get a chance to cast this rod. I missed out.

A lower price tag for the Motive should not suggest to anglers that this rod is anything less than a gem.

At first cast (of the nine-foot, eight weight (990-4)), it was immediately clear that the promise of a “smooth fast action that loads quickly” is fulfilled. It took no time to cast this rod with ease and joy, and the rod performed extraordinarily well in a range of conditions (such as wind/no wind) and with several different lines (two different floating lines and a heavy shooting head).

Several days later, I dropped by a local Sage dealer that had not yet cast the rod, and they were also impressed with the rod, finding that the Motive loaded with more feel than some higher-priced rods. In addition, when Florida tarpon guide, Capt. Shafter Johnston, passed through the Pacific Coast recently, he also found a place in his rod quiver for this fine saltwater tool.

Capt. Shafter Johnston of Florida gives the Motive some action as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean.
Capt. Shafter Johnston of Florida gives the Motive some action as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean.

The Sage Motive is a fine-casting rod with fine look. The blue blank and fat fighting butt give the rod the physical characteristics anglers generally seek in the salt. These physical characteristics are not just a pretty face — these components remain high-quality Sage parts, including their high-end graphite that have delivered fast, strong rods with feel for decades.

To check out more on the Sage Motive Series, please click here.

– Tim Harden

Disclosure: Sage is in a professional relationship with the Fly Fishing Guide Directory, LLC and the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.

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