The X Fly Rod:
Utilizing the latest high tech materials and advanced technologies along with intense on the water testing, Sage has long been the fly fishing industry’s most trusted source for high quality fly rod development and the new X Fly Rod is no exception. The X Rod has some incredibly large shoes to fill as it replaces Sage’s most popular series of the fly rods, the One. Fans of the One need not be disappointed however, the Rod is a worthy successor and Sage pulled out all the stops in developing the new X Rod.
Early indications are proving the Sage X Fly Rod to be a lightweight cannon with more power, control and sensitivity than the One. On a recent float trip down the upper Eagle River with high, fast water conditions, a 9 foot 5 weight X Rod performed impressively. The X has a powerful fast action but what stood out right away was how smooth and accurate the X Rod was. Although it has a fast action it did not feel overly stiff and loaded deep into the lower half, allowing anglers to harness more energy and which made quick, accurate casts easier.
With the high water, productive holding water was located in tight, small areas near the banks where flooded willows threatened to snag flies on every cast. In a fast moving boat hitting these spots with speed and accuracy was the only way to catch trout and the X Rod delivered. The X rod also produces tight loops and drives flies towards the horizon with little effort on the part of the caster. In areas where the river was moving more slowly or more distance was required, the X Rod punched out spot-on long casts without the need for false casting.
For all-water, multiple species fly fishing versatility, there’s a four-piece X Rod for just about every fly fishing application from small stream trout, to coastal steelhead to the strongest bull redfish. The X is available in single-handed fresh and saltwater rods in three through ten weights with lengths varying from seven and a half to 10 feet long. All saltwater rods feature a full wells grip with a fighting butt while freshwater models utilize a half wells grip. Stepping up from the single-handed rods are the X Switch Rods.
These versatile two-handers bridge the gap between single-handers and spey rods and come in six through eight weight at eleven feet long, ideal for large trout on big rivers or most steelhead fishing on smaller rivers. Finally, for steelhead and salmon anglers who love to swing bulky flies on big coastal rivers, the X Rod is also available in the Spey category. The X Spey Rods come in six through ten weights in lengths of twelve to fifteen feet. Both the Switch and Spey X models feature a Super Plus Fore and Rear Grip.
Building on and enhancing their famous Konnetic Technology, Sage’s new Konnetic HD Technology featured in the X Rod results in an even lighter, more powerful fly rod designed to throw the tightest loops and most accurate casts possible. A very slim diameter rod blank reduces the overall weight of the X Rod while the high density composite fibers boost strength. Many fast action rods lack the sensitivity and touch of softer fly rods, especially in the short game that can be common when fishing for trout on smaller rivers or that is often needed when a big bonefish suddenly appears two or three rod lengths from the boat. The X Rod, however, has both the power and feel needed for fly casting at every range.
The X Rod is outfitted with high quality components that enhance the durability and performance of the rod. Fuji Ceramic stripping guides and hard chrome snake guides shoot line flawlessy. A tough, lightweight anodized aluminum uplocking reel seat anchors fly reels and functions easily. The half-wells cork grip feels just right in the hand, not too bulky and not too slim. The rod also looks great with a Black Spruce blank and green and metallic grey wraps. For storage and transport, Sage provides a cloth rod sock and sturdy powder coated aluminum rod tube for the X Rod.
There is a ton of anticipation over the release of Sage’s latest flagship Fly Rod, the X. At Vail Valley Anglers, we were fortunate enough to get our hands on one before the initial release and the field test results will released soon. For those who can’t wait, Vail Valley Anglers is taking presale orders for the X Rod. With an early August release date, anglers who preorder the X Rod won’t have to wait long to see just how impressive this fly rod casts and fishes.
-Brody Henderson, Guide and Content Writer