May 28, 2020
By Ross Purnell
This gear review appeared in the Fly Fisherman 2019 Gear Guide.
The full-frame Trout reel from Sage has a totally enclosed cage, so your line can never slip from between the frame and the spool. The ported, classic look is built with modern performance ideals with a heavily knurled drag knob, and a one-revolution, sealed carbon drag system with detents numbered 1 through 20, so you can return to your favorite settings over and over again. The designers did this one right—on the 4/5/6 version, settings 1 through 10 give you a wide range of light drag for the most common trout-fishing situations, 10 through 15 are reserved for heavier tasks like streamer fishing with 0X tippet, and the drag doesn’t get “accidental paddlefish” crazy until you hit the top end. Unlike some other reels, most of this drag range is completely usable. The reel is also available in a 2/3/4 version perfect for dry-fly fishing with light tippets and small flies, and a beefy 6/7/8 that is probably better suited to steelhead or bonefish than it is to trout. $375-$400 | sageflyfish.com