Sage X Rod Review and Introduction

June 16, 2016

Over the past several weeks I have put the new Sage X Rod to the test in a large variety of scenarios.  I have fished it A LOT, and I have many customers on guided trips fish it as well. I have the 9' 5 weight but have also cast the 8 weight.  At the moment, these rods are available to pre-order.

Summary of the New Sage X Rod

The rod design process at Sage doesn't entail guys sitting around using the same parts trying to build a different action with a fresh paint job.  I want you to understand that their design process starts with exploring new materials and when they discover a new material or construction process with higher levels of performance, only then do they start building proto-types and begin testing.  That is where KonneticHD technology comes in.  The long of the short is that it has and even higher strength to weight ratio than previous models.

Dry Fly Testing on the Sage X Rod

Sage X Rod with dry flies.  This rod is very light in hand and the 590 casts very tight loops with a good feel.  As it should for $895 of course.  We found that tucking Caddis flies or Hopper sized flies into paper plate sized pockets out of a moving boat was fairly easy. Its a fast action rod and the quick tempo of drift boat fishing is a good fit here.

Where the rod really shined was reach casting and throwing high energy hooks and mends into the cast.  The recovery of this blank is so fast that manipulating your slack line into strategic positions is easy.  Its a great rod for technical casters.

Streamer Testing on the Sage X Rod 590-4

While the X Rod does have a backbone, be careful what you ask the 5 weight to do. Its still a 5 weight and the line itself needs enough mass to turn over heavy water logged fly and/or a sinking leader.  Because of the amazing line speed and tight loops I think you'll expect too much from it.  I fished it yesterday with a 10' 7.0 ips sinking leader and a sculpin pattern (pictured above) and got some nice trout. 60+ foot casts while wading thigh deep with that gear was a bit much.  Once I reminded myself that a 7 weight would be more appropriate and was glad to have a 5 weight that did complain, because that just means it will provide light touch while fishing "5 weight type tackle".  So in short, it will do everything and then some that any other 5 weight will do.  I really maxxed it out and was still able to get what I needed out of it.  If you really need big distance with big flies out of your #5 rod consider a shooting head line.  The RIO Perception with a 10' sinking leader and big Sculpzilla is an oversized load.

Sage X Rod Tested with Nymphs

You'll really like this rod if you want one that will fish dry flies with light touch in the evenings, and pitch double nymph setups all morning. The quick action allows you to "tuck" or "dump" casts nymphs aggressively.  That is the type of cast that your flies hit first and the indicator parachutes down directly on top of the flies allowing the flies to sink on a slack line. Other rods are certainly capable of this as well, but like the dry fly comments the recovery of this rod (which allows you to make aggressive reach casts and aerial mends) provides the angler with an edge in technical situations.  This rod is a great mending rod, roll casts a load, and the recovery rate throws weighted flies and reach casts like a champ. 

We have had a tough time keeping this a secret!  The all new X Rod is finally public and is very exciting.  The big story on this new rod is the implementation of new materials, which is what ultimately drives the innovation process at Sage.  The higher density carbon fiber positioning within the blank provides an amplified strength to weight ratio which translates into energy, strength, and vibration free casting.  We have tested the 9' 5 weight on the water a lot already and it casts both tiny dry flies and large streamers with equal accuracy, delicacy, and power when asked.  These rods will do it all with tight loops, straight casts, and vibration free casts.

The name Sage "X" Rod represents for the Roman Numeral, as it is the 10th major rod introduction in Sage fly rod history.  It features KonneticHD technology resulting in tighter loops, greater retained energy, and dampened vibration. KonneticHD Technology is the next era in performance graphite rods. Optimizing our graphite-to-resin ratio, we have created a higher density (HD) fiber composite, resulting in lighter, stronger blanks which deliver unmatched recovery, energy transfer, and line/loop control. Building upon proprietary construction techniques developed for Konnetic Technology, KonneticHD gives us an elevated platform to achieve new levels in rod design. 

Tighter Loops is What the Sage X Rod Specializes In


The X rod’s all-new fast action taper built with our KonneticHD Technology delivers
synergy between angler, rod, line, and fly. greater blank recovery and a crisper tip stop - creating tighter, more efficient loops throughout all ranges of casting styles. This taper allows you to dig deeper into the rod and access the lower sections, shifting power closer to the angler. Decreased lateral and medial movement and vibrations in the blank result in a more accurate and efficient presentation, resulting in a performance driven, forgiving fast action blank - refining the

Tighter loops. It’s what we all strive for. A tight loop is accurate, efficient, easily controlled, and a way to command the water in front of you. Ushering in a new era of performance fast action fly rods, the X will
dramatically enhance the way you fish through superior loop control. With our innovative KonneticHD Technology came new inspiration and opportunities in rod design. 

• KonneticHD Technology®
• Black Spruce blank color
• Dark Green thread wraps with Metallic Grey trim wraps
• Fuji ceramic stripper guides
• Hard chromed snake guides and tip-top
• Freshwater 3 - 6 weights:
• Vera wood insert with Stealth Black anodized aluminum up-locking reel seat
• Flor grade snub nosed half-wells cork handle
• Saltwater 5-10 weights:
• Stealth Black anodized aluminum up-locking reel seat
• Integrated hidden hook keeper in reel seat
• Flor quality full-wells cork handle with EVA fighting butt
• Laser etched line weight on slide band
• Black rod bag with Titanium logo and Black Spruce model tag
• Evergreen powder coated aluminum rod tube with Sage medallion
• Handcrafted on Bainbridge Island, USA

sage x spey and switch rods
The new Two-Handed X rods let you experience the remarkable benefits of KonneticHD Technology through access to the more powerful lower sections of the rod, allowing for easier and more efficient load carry through the casting stroke. The shaft’s significantly enhanced recovery and crisper tip stop optimize line speed to deliver long, smooth casts. The decreased vertical movement and vibrations in the blank result in a more accurate and efficient presentation.

• KonneticHD Technology®
• Black Spruce blank color
• Dark Green thread wraps with Metallic Grey trim wraps
• Fuji ceramic stripper guides
• Hard chromed snake guides and tip-top
• Stealth Black anodized aluminum reel seat, down-locking on
Spey models, up-locking on Switch models.
• Integrated hidden hook keeper in reel seat on Switch models.
• Laser etched line weight on slide band
• Super Plus fore grip and rear grip
• Black rod bag with Titanium logo and Black Spruce model tag
• Evergreen powder coated aluminum rod tube with
Sage medallion
• Handcrafted on Bainbridge Island, USA
  1. Is this rod intended to replace The One?
  2. This is the replacement for the Sage One Tim, Yes. Two have sold in the first hour of this post. they will be hard to get for a while so get in line first come first serve.
  3. Curious if you have any thoughts on performance compared to the Sage Method.
  4. I think it has more fishable range than the METHOD with maybe just as much line speed. I haven't had the two side by side at this point but the X is better at touch casts up close and little mends etc. It definitely competes for distance but am not convinced it has more potential energy.
  5. Hard to tell by the pictures but is the blank thinner in diameter than the One and/or feel lighter? What reels/lines did you guys pitch on this?
  6. comparing the sage X to the sage one its replacing. In your opinion what does the sage X offer that the sage one didn't?
  7. That #1 would trout switch, will be equal to what weight single hand rod?
  8. I'm mostly a wader with a 4 wt Sage One 9.6. What advantage would I have with theX? I also fish salt water for salmon with my one 6wt.
  9. Any thoughts on how it compares to the method in two handed rods? Maybe in the 7 wt 13 ft range.
  10. Dos the tip crack off as easy on the x rod as it do on the one rod .had a one for three years now and can't get through one fishing season and the tip cracks off.
  11. leichi china?
  12. If you were choosing a Sage X for dry fly fishing-- say an 8 1/2 or 9' 4 or 5wt., which specific Rio or Sci Anglers lines would work best on the rods? Thanks much!
  13. Hi Guys have the sage X 13 footer in an 8. Outstanding. Light weight loads of power for all types of double handed casts. Used where I live on the west coast of Ireland.