Fly Fishing Gear Review: The Sage SONIC Rod

There’s been no shortage of very nice rods created over the last couple of decades, and most fly anglers who’ve been on the water that long can probably recall too many well-loved rods to keep track of. That said, many anglers now have the luxury of choosing from a nice selection of rods when putting together a few to take with them on the water, and after spending time with the Sage SONIC, it’s hard to imagine this rod not always making the list of what comes in the car and on the boat.

Sage announced their new SONIC earlier this spring. This fast action mid-priced rod is designed to be used for a variety of conditions and applications. The Sage SONIC comes in 16 models, with rods ranging from a 7’6″ 3-weight to a 9’6″ 8-weight, and these rods are built with Sage’s well-regarded Konnetic Technology. Depending on model, these rods have a snub-nose half-wells cork handle or a full-wells cork handle with a cork/EVA fighting butt. And accordingly, the SONIC rods will have either a wood or aluminum matte reel seat. Finally, when looking at the cosmetics, the Sage SONIC rods have a pleasant-looking juniper colored blank that seems to suit the look many trout anglers might want on the water.

Beyond the models, materials, and design, the Sage SONIC was a delight to fish and performed perfectly. The first day on the water with the SONIC was supposed to also involve testing other rods, but we just kept going back to the SONIC (and not fishing the other rods). The SONIC feels great in hand, picks up line with little effort and maximum control, and tracks well for great accuracy. If anything about this stood out the most, it was the absolute line control that impacted nearly every other aspect of fishing with this rod. We fished the 590-4 (9-foot 5-weight), and we couldn’t find a flaw that would deter us from highly recommending this rod to any trout angler. Mending came with ease, including with weighted double nymph rigs that had an indicator. And when fishing clear, calm, and nearly still pools with dries, we couldn’t have been more pleased with our casts and delivery. This rod just does it all, and it does it all well.

The Sage SONIC 590-4 is made in the U.S.A., comes with a hard rod tube, has a lifetime warranty, and retails for $550. To learn more about the Sage SONIC, please click here.

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