Last week, with trout season kicking into high gear, Sage introduced two new products aimed squarely at those anglers. The Bainbridge Island, Washington company's latest rod offering, the Sage SONIC, is a multi-application rod that slots into its lineup just below its acclaimed, flagship X rod. Sage also debuted its new ESN reel, which is the first reel of its kind dedicated specifically to Euro and other tight-line nymphing styles.
As noted, the new SONIC fits into Sage's existing freshwater, trout-focused rod lineup, rather than replacing any of the current models Sage is offering. The SONIC is a multi-application rod, designed primarily for versatility, able to be a do-it-all performer for trout anglers, whether the day calls for dries, nymphs, streamers, floating lines or sinking lines.
On one hand, it might be fair to think of the SONIC as a reinvented, re-tuned ONE—given that the SONIC is built on the brand's Konnetic™ technology, just like its beloved, former flagship rod. Unlike the ONE, however, which debuted in Sage's lineup at almost $900, the SONIC is a mid-tier price point rod, retailing for $550. And so, you might think of it as next-generation, upgraded ACCEL.
Whatever you call it, the SONIC is finished in an attractive, "juniper" green with black thread wraps, is built with premium components, and its lineup spans weights from 3 to 6—leaving anglers with SONIC models able to handle anything from creek trout to steelhead to bonefish or striped bass.
Sage's new reel, the ESN (European Style Nymphing) reel, which borrows the family namesake of Sage's ESN rod, is an innovative new offering designed specifically for tight-line nymphing. The ESN reel features a number of features designed to solve Euro-nymphing challenges, the most notable of which is a one-of-a-kind weight system—which includes 0.5 oz, 1 oz and 1.5 oz weights—that allows anglers to fine-tune the balance of almost any rod and reel combo.
Also featured on the ESN reel is a full frame, designed to prevent the thin lines and leaders of the Euro-nymph world from slipping through the reel—a common, hair-pulling occurrence with Euro rigs. Also on board is a large-arbor design for fast pickups, a thinner spool that's more in tune with the smaller diameters of Euro lines, Sage's excellent fully-sealed carbon disc drag system and one-revolution drag knob.
Retail price of the ESN reel is $425. Spare spools will run you $212.
The Sage SONIC fly rod and ESN reel are available immediately from Sage and Sage dealers.