Sage X Two Handed Rod Review and Line Recommendations
October 27, 2016
I was fortunate enough to do a BUNCH of spey fishing last week. A few long time guests and I went and spey fished on the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers in southeast Washington State. It was great fun and a chance for me to do a lot of casting on both a large river, the Snake, and a smaller river the Grande Ronde. We faced a variety of conditions and fished two different rods. One of which was the new Sage X 13' 7 weight.
Overall I was very impressed by this rod. As I should be it is $1100, so Sage isn't getting off easy with me on this one. Needless to say this rod isn't for everyone. Both the price and the fast action are going to isolate this rod to a select number of folks.
The materials that it is built with are pretty incredible. You really see in the single handed rods, because they are lighter its a bit easier to identify the strength to weight ratio. Learn a bit more about the Konnetic HD Technology on the rod page itself. I won't distract you with a science lesson, but if you are serious about acquiring a potent two-hander it might behoove you to read up!
Lines for the 7130-4 - 13' 7 weight Sage X Rod
I tried a couple of different heads and it (and me) handled them all well simply by changing casting tempos. The fishing I did for a couple of days had a mix of very long casts with lightweight flies using both floating lines and lightly weighted polyleaders. The other casting we did was shorter casting on a small river using a Skagit Intermediate head, the RIO Skagit iFlight at 525 Grains. We used the Skagit due to both the bright sun when the fish were holding deep under heavy currents, and again later when the water got dirty and we wanted a slower swing.
On the long casting with light flies, we chose the RIO Scandinavian Style Shooting Head at 510 Grains. Chasing these heads I used a 40# OPST Lazar Line.
I found these two heads to offer optimal performance for this rod and were easy to cast without fatigue. I had not actually looked at the RIO Spey Line Chart to see what they recommended until after I got back from the trip. It turns out RIO had these pretty much dead on with what I discovered. This tells me that their chart is probably right on for all the Sage X Two Handed Spey and Switch Rods.
Line Recommendation Chart for Sage X Rods
This is the chart that RIO put out based on their findings. I concur as far as the 7130-4 goes, if you like to feel this rod bend then definitely choose a slightly heavier line from the "B" column. The X Rod is quite powerful and doesn't provide a deep flex. If you have trouble reading the chart below, here is a link to view it larger. RIO Spey Line Recommendations
Overall Review of the Sage X Two Handed Rods
If you like to watch your spey cast shoot far and fast with the flick of a rod tip then this rod is for you. If you need to feel the rod bend deep and slowly rebound forward magically propelling the line when you swear it wouldn't, then this isn't the rod for you. Try the Sage MOD Spey Rods. The "X" is almost without doubt the highest energy rod I have ever cast. Its hard to compare apples to oranges, but the energy you get from this rod is incredible. The line just jumps out of the rod. I found it to be a fairly tip oriented cast with a short stroke that lended itself well to quick Scandi style strokes that shot one hell of a Snake Roll. This doesn't mean you can make patient Skagit casts, but that isn't where it excels. IMO.
Anyone shopping for a premium level rod should buy or consider this rod. Its definitely an heirloom piece and you'll have it forever. The process and materials they use involving their Konnetic HD is really quite amazing. Not everyone loves a fast action rod, but for those who do look no further. Buy a quality reel for it and you'll never look back.