Review: The Sage MOD Fly Rod

Sage MOD fly rod

Sage has a long history and a wide range of rod offerings. However, despite a diversity of rods, their reputation might be most connected to their fast-action rods. Many conversations about Sage rods often still include the XP – an iconic rod that made an incredible mark on the fly fishing industry and possibly triggered a fast-action revolution. However, despite this reputation, Sage offers far more diversity in their rod line-ups, and with the introduction of the MOD, we may now have a game-changer when it comes to Sage’s rod reputation.

When I took the MOD to the casting ponds prior to its availability to the public, I asked a local rod-junkie if he wanted to cast it. “Sage? Nope … Too fast,” he immediately and proudly proclaimed. Au contraire mon frère. 

The new Sage MOD stands out. The rod stands out aesthetically with its “jade” blank color that will likely be appearing soon in many-a-fish photo. In addition, the MOD stands out among the Sage line-up. That is not to say that this is the first Sage rod with a slower (than fast) action, but like the XP, (medium-fast) SLT, and other highly regarded rods in their history, the MOD will likely soon claim such prestige.

Like anything else, fly fishing experiences trends. I love fast-action rods as much as anyone else, and I even frequently fish the “ultra-fast” METHOD in the surf, but the pendulum swing from fast action rods for trout seems to be swinging back, and anglers are now considering more (and often old) options for their trout needs. Fiberglass is back in fashion more than anyone expected it would be again (post-birth of graphite), and now slower action graphite is becoming the go-to for many dry fly trout anglers. Personally, all but two of my trout rods are fast action. I like fast. However, there’s often nothing more enjoyable (and sometimes practical) than slowing it down for trout on dries, especially on smaller waters and in the high country. When fishing the MOD, all of these uses and possibilities come to mind.

The MOD is a perfect dry fly rod. The moderate action (its namesake) is described by Sage as one that falls between the CIRCA and the ONE. For me, this action gives just enough punch for larger waters and wind, but is smooth enough to aid me in delivering the most delicate of presentations. The MOD features Sage’s esteemed Konnetic Technology® that gives the rod a slimmer profile, and lighter feel with superior strength among the Sage technologies. What this also means for the MOD is that it feels lighter, thus giving more feel of what the rod is doing, and a delightful experience when a trout has the line tight. In addition, this makes the MOD slightly lighter than numerous rods from comparable rival brands.

The Sage MOD is comprised of all of the finest components Sage uses, and comes in a black aluminum rod tube. The handle is a half-wells cork design with an uplocking reel seat, and current models include 9-foot rods from 2 – 6 weight for a price of $850. There are also two 13-foot Spey models for 6 and 7 line weights. (Review of the 7 weight to come soon).

To check out more on the Sage MOD family of fly rods, 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.

One thought

  1. They might be known for the XP, among other, but the best rod they ever made was the LL, light line. Look at what a used one sells for today, some 20+ years later, and you’ll recognize how sought after and popular it still is. The LL is far more MODerate than most of what they ever built. Just saying.

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