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Sage Evoke Fly Reel Review

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Sage, a company long known for churning out some of the world’s best fly rods , has also been producing high-performance fly reels for well over a decade and the Evoke fly reel is Sage’s answer to anglers looking for more control when fighting large, powerful fish. From big permit and bonefish screaming across saltwater flats to sea-run brown trout and steelhead running fast, deep rivers, the Evoke is engineered to put anglers in the driver’s seat during brawls with tough fish. A rugged design with intricate details make the Sage Evoke a great choice when your fly reel is a crucial piece of fly fishing gear that you have to rely on in remote destinations. The Evoke is truly a new and unique fly reel design that Sage developed based on angler input.

Sage Evoke Design Features


At first glance, the Evoke stands out as different. It just looks burly and tough and it is.  The fully machined aerospace grade 6061-T6 frame is cold forged and tempered for superior strength and durability yet is light enough to cast all day. Stainless steel pins add strength and rigidity to the reel’s frame while an anodized surface provides abrasion and corrosion resistance. The modern large-arbor spool is concave for more strength and line capacity and picks up line in a hurry with the large ergonomic handle.
Fighting big, powerful fish often requires a bit of finesse on the part of the angler and this where the Evoke’s modified full-frame design comes into play. Sage opened up the frame to allow anglers more access for palming with a dual exposed palming rim. This in turn adds more control and pressure over without taking your eyes off the opponent. When that ten-pound bonefish or twenty pound steelhead buck decides to head for the horizon at light speed, the stainless steel pins double as a full frame line guard that prevents mishaps.

Palming alone isn’t enough to stop a trophy fish so the Evoke features a high-performance drag system that is smooth and tough. The SCS carbon drag has finely tuned adjustments that are easily set with a large single-revolution drag knob numbered 1-39 with detented settings.


Sage Evoke Details

There are a couple of details that anglers need to be aware of before purchasing a new Evoke reel. Most importantly, the reel is not convertible from right to left hand retrieve. Be sure to choose the correct retrieve for your personal needs. Sage builds two configurations with right or left hand specific frames.

The Evoke does allow for quick spool changes. Anglers can carry extra spools and change from a floating to a sinking fly line in a snap. This adds to the Evoke’s versatility while swinging flies for anadramous fish or switching from poppers to deep running baitfish patterns.

Anglers can choose from three different attractive color schemes and the Evoke also comes in two different sizes covering line weights from 7 through ten. Backing capacity starts at 200 yards and goes up in a reel that weighs 9.9 to 11 ounces with a diameter of 3.9-4.3 inches.  For spey anglers, striper fanatics, or permit junkies the Evoke is high-performance fly reel that Sage put a lot of thought and creativity into building. The $575 price tag is worth the investment when your fly reel is much more than just a line storage area and landing the fish of lifetime comes down to whether your reel performs the way it should.

Brody Henderson, Guide and Content Writer