Sage MOD Spey Rods
Article by Joe Rotter @ Red's Fly Shop
It seems like we all get really excited when a new rod comes out, but at Red's we tend to wait until we can get some extensive time on the water before we draw too many opinions. We have to use it on the river, feel it in action, and face some real world challenges before we give it the full endorsement.
I tested this rod a bit before I took the plunge, and wasn't sure I would ever replace the old 6126-4 Sage European Style rod that I have been using as my "light spey" for the last 13 years. I got the 6130-4 this fall and haven't looked back. I use it as the lighter of my two spey setups and have cast everything from dry lines and dry flies to Skagit Intermediate Heads and T-11 and this rod doesn't complain. I have personally never cast such a fine spey rod. Yes, this is my opinion but we sell a large variety of brands at Red's and I'm still not bashful about giving it the appropriate credit.
Yes I realize this is a raving endorsement but at $1050 I expect A LOT out of a spey rod. That is what surprised me! I didn't think it would exceed my expectations. This is an investment, not just a little purchase. I anticipate using this rod for the next 15+ years. I got 13 good years out of my last 6 weight spey rod and it was top of the line when I bought it many years ago. What I really like about the MOD is that despite it being incredibly lightweight, having a moderate action, and being a 6 weight is that it will throw anything without complaint. It is shocking how much energy is transferred through this blank.
I have also found that despite being a moderate action, the loops I can throw are incredibly tight which translates into big distance, less wind drift, and I can punch it under trees on the opposite shoreline. I personally prefer softer action spey rods because when I am spey fishing the game is usually about making A LOT of good consistent casts for hours if not days on end. Moderate actions, like the Sage MOD, do that for me. I equate it to spending 8 hours straight at the golf driving range. I need a rod (or club) that will allow me to cast consistently for hundreds of strokes. This helps me find the fish and have fun doing it.
Line Recommendations for the Sage MOD Spey Rods 6130-4 and 7130-4
6130-4 - 13' 6 Weight Sage MOD:
The 6 weight is great for all around Steelheading. If you plan to fish Chinook or go to the Olympic Penninsula/BC for Steelhead it might be best to get the 7 weight. I have handled 12 pound fish on this rod, no problem. 20 pound Kings? Better get more lumber. This rod is super fun to cast and at the end of the day you'll still be throwing great casts. No fatigue. 4
- 50 Grain RIO Skagit MAX - Good for general fishing and utility work.
- 425 Grain RIO Skagit Intermediate iFlight - GREAT for winter steelhead, Chinook, or rivers with swift surface currents
- 400 Grain RIO Scandi Shooting Head - Great for wide rivers, smaller flies, smoother currents, and summer run steelhead
7130-4 - 13' 7 Weight Sage MOD
- 525 Grain RIO Skagit MAX - Good for general fishing and utility work.
- 500 Grain RIO Skagit Intermediate iFlight - GREAT for winter steelhead, Chinook, or rivers with swift surface currents
460 Grain RIO Scandi Shooting Head - Great for wide rivers, smaller flies, smoother currents, and summer run steelhead
The team working in the design pod on Bainbridge Island, WA nailed it on this rod. Did we say "design pod"? What we meant was the RIVER! The combination of smooth/power is ever present in this rod. We have found it easy to cast, smooth, no fatigue, and most important NO FRUSTRATION. The rod unloads when it is supposed to unload.The Sage MOD is offered in both 6 and 7 weights in the 13' length. These spey rods have some character and a progressive action. We really like the Sage ACCEL myself, but this is definately a cut above. If budget is not an issue, buy the right rod and get the Sage MOD. It is a rod that a novice spey caster can buy, cast, effectively fish, and never want another rod again so long as they live.
The moderate action of the MOD Spey rods will provide easy and deep loading for winter steelheaders casting heavy flies and sink-tips on Skagit-style lines. Summer steelheaders will appreciate the soft presentation capabilities when paired with a Scandinavian or long-belly line. The uniquely sized Spey models feature weights and lengths not available in existing Sage two-handed families .