Just in time for EFFTEX, Europe's largest fly fishing trade show, Sage has announced three all-new rod models for 2019. Two of these new models are specifically trout-focused rods, with the third aimed at anglers who fish large flies and heavy rigs for larger freshwater species (think bass, pike and musky).
The new TROUT LL is Sage's newest presentation-focused trout rod and will replace the MOD in Sage's lineup. Available in weights 3 to 6 and lengths ranging from 7’9” to 9’, the TROUT LL features a moderate action aimed at anglers who fish mostly smaller flies on light tippets and at close distances. According to Sage, the TROUT LL's design allows it to "maximize tippet protection yet have a smooth, easy-loading mid-section to increase feel and feedback throughout the casting stroke," giving the rod a “delicate touch and medium action" that make it "a dry fly anglers dream.”
Retail pricing on the TROUT LL is $800.
Despite the continuing increase in popularity of what has most commonly these days become known as "trout spey" (two-hand rods in smaller lengths and weights than traditional spey rods), Sage's offering in that arena hasn't been updated since the days of the Sage ONE. And so it's likely the new TROUT SPEY HD will raise a lot of eyebrows for trout spey enthusiasts. The new series features five models ranging in length from 10’3” to 11’3”, designed for use with Skagit and Scandi-style trout spey lines in the 200-350 grain size range. Sage boasts that the new TROUT SPEY HD makes trout spey casts "effortless," thanks to "a more stable tip and smooth power transfer [that] better handles trout spey-specific lines."
Retail pricing on the TROUT SPEY HD is $900.
Rounding out the new additions to Sage's lineup and continuing the brand's focus on producing activity-specific tools is the new PAYLOAD series, designed for large flies, heavy rigs and hard-fighting species. Available in weights 6 to 11, the PAYLOAD series, according to Sage, "features a powerful tip to help pick up heavy lines and strong mid-section transitions to a more forgiving butt to allow a slower and more relaxed casting stroke ... the softer butt allows for impressive leverage when fighting fish, and the slightly shorter rod lengths create an ideal lever for more effortless casts.” The series also includes specialized features, such as an extended 3-inch rear grip on the 11-weight PAYLOAD which is intended to offer increased control when figure-eighting. If you don't know what figure-eighting is, don't worry—it's something obsessive musky fishermen and women do (sometimes on every cast) to keep a close-following musky's interest piqued in-case a boatside grab is in the cards.
Retail pricing on the PAYLOAD is $550.
All three Sage's new 2019 models will be available as of August 2019. Learn more about the TROUT LL, TROUT SPEY HD and PAYLOAD at Sage Fly Fishing.