Sage Method Review

Good Afternoon,

I have been meaning to post this for awhile but have not been able to find the time to blog. When it's -20 degrees with wind chill you don't really have many other choices and this is one small way of keeping cabin fever at bay.

My purchasing criteria for this rod was an all water rod with the backbone to throw big articulated streamers all day and be able to cut through the wind gusts that are almost always found on tropical flats. All reviews I had read prior to purchasing the rod had the Method slated as "Too Fast" and "Lacking Feel" to name a few. I opted for the 8WT and made the purchase.


First Impressions/Aesthetics:

The rod is red. That is one of their selling points and I believe they did it to hammer home the point that the rod really is different. It is more of a magma color of red so it isn't too bright. This rod has gotten me some crap from Andy and Doc, but other than the "older" guys, it seems to be a hit with my younger friends. I personally don't care what my gear looks like, as long as it works and catches fish. 

When the rod first arrived, I did not have my reel or line yet so I threw my 7WT reel on it and casted in the yard. It handled it just fine, although it was a little fast which is to be expected as it was "underlined." The rod is a total rocket launcher and absolutely slings line.

My Set-up:

  • Sage Method 8 Wt.
  • Hatch Finatic 7 Plus Large Arbor Reel
  • Orvis HD Bonefish Line 8 WT (Salt Water Setup)
  • RIO Intouch Big Nasty Streamer Line (Freshwater Setup)

What Worked:

I took this rod pike fishing from the boat and it really excelled. I pounded the banks with big streamers on sink tip all day and didn't get so much as a sore shoulder. This rod is excellent for drift boat anglers as it allows you to pick up your line and recast 50-60 ft no problem with a single false cast. The next test was fishing King Salmon in Michigan. Casting on the Pere Marquette was difficult due to the fast action, but the rod performed well in the wider, more open stretches of the river. This is not a roll casting rod. It worked well, however, the Kings usually whoop you no matter what rod you have. Finally, I took it on a flats trip in the Caymans and was glad I had this rod in my quiver. We fished the Northwest portion of the island, which is subject to constant tradewinds. This rod sliced through the wind and even did well with crossing winds. It offers precise loop control and if you are an experienced caster, you will really enjoy the faster action. This rod also allows you to put the wood to fish. We fished juvenile tarpon in the canals and this rod kept them from running into the mangroves for the most part. The bigger tarpon pretty much do whatever they want, so once again you're kinda damned if you do, damned if you don't in that situation.

Most reviews said this rod should only be used by advanced casters. I agree, but it is not exclusive to advanced casters. I let a few novice clients try it and they didn't notice much of a difference. With that being said, this rod will really highlight the flaws in your casting stroke, so I'd recommend picking it up if you're looking improve your casting.

What Did Not Work:

This rod is considered an ultra fast rod, thus it is not a do it all rod. I would compare it to a driver in your golf bag. You wouldn't hit your driver on a 150 yard par 3, so why would you throw an ultra fast rod on a small stream or use it in close range? I had trouble loading the rod with under 30 feet of floating line out. There were times when I was bone fishing that I had to remain much farther out just so my rod would load correctly and allow me to properly present my fly. This could remedied by overweighting the rod by using a 9 or 10wt line on the 8wt rod. Another thing, this rod also made it difficult to cast to tailing bonefish as it is not very delicate. It really slaps the fly on the water so you must lead them by a lot on your cast or adjust your casting stroke to compensate for this. The Method also did not have much tippet protection as it is a tip flex rod. This doesn't usually come into play unless you are nymphing for steelhead and have to use light tippet or bone fishing with long leaders & light tippet as well. 


Bottom Line:

I am completely satisfied with my purchase. This rod is a great streamer and flats rod for species in bigger rivers and ocean flats. It definitely has a specific job and it does its job well. If you want a snazzy rod that will save your shoulder and allow you to cover tons of water, this is the rod for you. It will give you all the distance you could ever want, while sacrificing only a little bit of feel. If you practice with it, it will serve you well. It is quite pricey as most things are from Sage. Included in the price is a lifetime warranty, which you will be glad you have if you are privileged to fish as much as you would like. I have not tried the lower weights of this rod series (5-7WT), but I would imagine they would make excellent streamer rods as well for smaller species like smallmouth bass and trout. I would not recommend this rod if you are looking for a delicate dry fly rod. If you are looking for a cannon, are comfortable with your manhood and don't let colors affect your judgement, this is the rod for you!