This is the review you’ve all been waiting for. The Trident staff finally got a chance to cast the new Sage Circa at IFTD, and we were definitely impressed. But we weren’t the only ones, apparently, because the Circa won the award for Best New Fly Rod!
This review is based on the 589-4, but the 4-weights should be fairly similar. What’s missing from this review? Since we were casting in an indoor pool, we didn’t get a chance to test it on the water, with nymphs, or trying to hit targets for accuracy.
The rod we cast was paired with Rio Gold line, and I would guess that your favorite trout taper (not a GPX or other half-size heavier line) would work just as well.
For those of you who haven’t been following the press, the Circa is Sage’s newest high performance rod. It features:
- ‘Modern’ slow action
- Konnetic Technology (just like the Sage One)
It’s available now in a 7'9" 2-weight through 8'9" 5-weight.
What is ‘modern’ slow action?
When I first read about the Sage Circa, I (incorrectly) assumed that Sage was attempting to make a fiberglass rod out of graphite. I guess I can’t be right all the time. The Circa is no noodle. We’re seeing a great trend in rod-building where manufacturers are seeking to create rods that are very accurate and cast far with a lot of feel. Which is exactly how I would describe the Circa’s action: a lot of flex combined with fast and accurate recovery. I did have to slow down my casting stroke a bit, but only slightly, and most won’t have to at all.
Look and Feel
The Circa is very much a Sage. It features a green blank that is a little reminiscent of the Z-axis and a snub-nosed half-wells handle – just like the TXL-F. What really shocked me is how slim the shaft is – much slimmer than any other rod on the market. Still no alignment dots… A guy can dream...
The Circa is also very light, the 5-weight tips the scales at 2.5 oz., but feels much lighter in hand.
Distance & Accuracy
I was really surprised here. I had no trouble casting the Circa out to 60 feet or so, and probably could have gone farther! Certainly this couldn’t be done with a glass rod. It holds up well even with a strong double haul.
I was also able to deliver flies very accurately time after time – I guess Sage’s Konnetic technology might not be a marketing ploy after all!
Clearly the Sage Circa was designed for the technical presentation of dry flies – and it does so marvelously. Not as well as my TXL-F 000 (but nothing is), but definitely better than the Hardy Zenith or Sage One. There’s a ripple, but not much of one.
The Circa replaced the ZXL in the Sage lineup, but when I picked it up, I immediately thought of the TXL-F, so naturally, I cast them back to back. There’s a lot of overlap here. While Sage has no plans to make the Circa in ‘micro’ light weights (000-1), I could easily see them discontinuing the TXL in the 2-4 weights.
For the dry fly aficionado, it’s the best Sage rod to date. If you like the feel of the ZXL, TXL-F, you’ll love the Sage Circa. It’s still a limited purpose rod, however, so if you’re looking for a one trick pony, check out the Hardy Zenith or the Sage One. Choose the Circa for spring creeks, mountain streams and other small waters.
- Buttery smooth action
- Terrific dry fly presentation
- Solid distance
- Sage price tag
- Hardcore Sage fans will probably miss the fast action
Check out all of our Sage Fly Rods!