The rumors are over. Sage has unveiled it's 2013 line-up with 4 new rods and a few new reels. We'll have another post on the new reels, but here's a first look at some of the new rods. An interesting note: Sage has completely done away with their 2-piece rods for 2013. Photos will be posted shortly.
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Sage Approach - $295
Replacing the Vantage, the new Approach is Sage's "Entry Level" fly rod. It will feature a dark grey blank (which looks a little like the Hardy Zenith).
The 9-foot 5-weight (590-4) weighs in at 3 3/8 oz., and the 790-4 at 3 3/4 oz. Both are just a hair heavier than the Vantage, which seems to contradict the direction the industry is taking for lighter = better. Given this new weighting, I'd expect the Approach to be a little faster than the Vantage, but we'll have to wait and see.
The Approach will be available in a 4-piece models from a 7' 3-weight to 9' 9-weight.
Get it here.
Sage Response - $395
The Response replaces the ever popular Flight as Sage's mid-range, fast action fly rod. It looks like Sage has kept the signature Orange/Brown blank for this series. I thought the Flight lacked feel, but hopefully the Response will improve on that.
In terms of weight, the Response 590-4 tops the scale at 3 5/16 oz. - about 1/8 oz lighter than the Flight.
The Response will range from a 7' 3-weight to 9' 12-weight. There are a few 9'6" and 10' models available as well.
Buy it here.
Sage Circa - $770
Sage is largely know for its fast action rods, but the Circa is designed for the caster with a slower stroke. It replaces the ZXL (one of my favorites), but based on the press I've seen so far, it's going to be even slower - Sage calls it "Advanced Slow Action". I think Sage has the Scott F2 in their sights with this release.
The Circa features a snub-nosed Half-Wells grip, olive blank and a gold rod tube (which screams fiberglass). The Circa 589-4 (a throwback to the SP?) weighs 2 1/2 oz. It will be initially available in models from a 7' 9" 2-weight to 8'9" 5-weight.
Buy it here.
Sage ONE Elite - $1,295 (really?)
After many complaints from the fly fishing community (or at least from me) about the components and build on the ONE, Sage has decided to release the ONE Elite. The new ONE Elite will have all titanium guides, a titanium reel seat, and two tip sections. It's really a thing of beauty, and it adds the excellent casting ability of the ONE. Still missing alignment dots though...
To start, the ONE Elite will only be available in a 9-foot 5-weight. This rod weighs a whopping 3 7/16 oz. Over an ounce more than the standard ONE. Ouch.