THERE was a time I used to say it would take 10 years before you saw real change in a rod series, that the leap from one rod to its replacement generally wasn’t a leap. The leap came in 2 rod cycles, or 8 to 10 years, given the average lifespan of a top shelf rod.
But at Sage Jerry Siem and the design team, which includes materials and manufacturing specialists, continue to excel. Sage’s frontline rods for the last 15 years have been the XP, the Z-Axis, the One: all pushed boundaries, some where a little confrontational, none were as expected..
I distinctly recall the late Mel Krieger unloading on Jerry at the Fly Tackle Show in Denver the year the Z-Axis was released summing up the feeling of a bunch of XP addicts gathered around him basically saying what the hell have you done to our XP. The XP, though somewhat “woody” in close, was a cannon and for a while was the 5wt distance casting rod, before more specialist sticks (Sage’s TCR) came onto the market.
The Z-Axis would prove itself on the water not the casting pond, being ridiculously fishable, taking all sorts of abuse with aplomb. If the Z was deceptively powerful, the One brought back more obvious grunt.
The X rod takes the best of all of them, rolls them into a superlight, small wall design that is probably the best tight loop, fast rod going. The X is going to rewrite a lot of superlatives in rod design, and the applause is not just coming from dealers like me, there’s a lot more kudos out on the blogosphere for the X compared to the One for instance.
Our first sticks arrive this weeks, in our biggest sellers: 9′ 5wts, 6wts and 8wts. Come along with a little time up your sleeve to cast these sticks: our guide team will be loading them into their boats as well as rods become available this year.
You will notice the difference