Last winter I purchased a 7-weight Sage ONE Switch rod. From surf perch on the California coast to the rivers and creeks of the Tongass National Forest to Trinity River steelhead, this was going to be a go-to rod for a number of trips. Fast-forward to last week, I found myself on the phone with someone at Sage headquarters asking, “What do I do now?!” in response to my new love affair with the new Sage X family of rods. I do feel a sense of betrayal for my ONEs, but, damn Sage … way to make it happen.
As visitors to the Venturing Angler know, I am fortunate to review a lot of gear — often before or as soon as it hits the shelves. And some of you may have wondered why the Sage X seemed to be noticeably absent from the site. While I don’t know for certain why I opted to review other rods first and put off the X, I wonder if in part it was a subconscious fear that fishing the rod would trigger an obsession with the rod similar to what happened when I first fished a Sage SALT. (I now own six SALT rods. Seriously.)
As expected, the Sage X is the real deal, and as I feared, I’m already making an X wish list that includes single-handed and double-handed rods. And in fact, I will be getting rods that are the same length and weight as ONEs that I currently own. Is there really that much of a difference? Yes.
Let’s start with KonneticHD Technology. When Sage unveils a new era of graphite technology, it marks an advancement for the company and their rods. KonneticHD Technology is indeed a game-changer for Sage. HD stands for higher density for the fiber composite, and the result is a lighter and stronger rod — obviously a highly appealing starting point for looking at they “why” for how the X is a a game-changer. Furthermore, and this has been the consensus among many anglers who’ve had the privilege of casting and fishing this rod, the new technology cuts out vibrations and other movement that from the rod that generally make the worst of minimal casting flaws. In short, the rod tracks well and therefore helps with better casting.
On the casting pond and in the river, the X lives up to the hype. I fished the 11-foot 7-weight Sage X with a RIO Switch Chucker line, and this great pairing made for a dream combo. If you fish Switch rods, you are likely making gear decisions with the most utilitarian considerations. On the water function and specific angling needs are what’s on your mind. And with this, the 7110-4 X is primed to satisfy what you’re looking for. It’s easy to cast this rod in a range of styles, and the fact that it’s six inches shorter than the ONE it replaces makes it easier to cast single-handed style, and it is thereby a better switch rod. Powerful as all get out, double-handed techniques come with ease, and added accuracy isn’t a bad thing at all. And for the beach, my initial concerns about losing six inches with overhand casting sink tips with big flies were eliminated right away. You’ll find the X provides maximal line control.
The Sage X Switch rods are all 11-feet and come in weights 6-8. This fast action rod comes with a “Black Spruce” blank that looks pretty sexy, and comes in a hard rod tube. The Sage X Switch rods retail for $995.
To check out more on the Sage X Switch fly rod, please click here.
– Tim Harden
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