When we tallied the results to our recent 8-weight Challenge, no one expected that Sage's entry-level reel would out perform ever other reel by Sage.  We were shocked when a reel that costs a mere $139 tied for 4th place! Thus, the Sage 1800 Fly Reel earns our coveted "Best Buy".


8-Weight Challenge Full Results


7.4 ounces.  About average, but great for a value priced reel.


At a little more than 6 lbs, the 1880 was below the test average, but not by much.  Surprisingly, it had more drag strength than all of the other Sage reels.  It's also sealed, although this is one reel we definitely wish we had thrown in the freezer to test.



The reel sounds good, but definitely not in the same league as the top reels.  It definitely sounds more like a trout reel than we'd like.


At 9.36 inches per turn, the Sage 1880 one of the fastest retrieves in our test.  It was also truly sized for an 8-weight at 6.6 cubic inches.


No, you won't be impressing anyone when you catch a big redfish on this reel.  That said, when you do reel in a lunker, you'll have the peace of mind that your wallet is heavier as well.


My biggest gripe with this reel, isn't how it looks, but rather that the drag can be changed accidentally.  The knob just doesn't stay in place as well as it should.



Lifetime to the original owner + $50 fee.  That's steep for a reel that costs $139 new.


Price: $139


Building a budget bonefishing outfit?  Pair the Sage 1880 with the TFO BVK, and you've got a great outfit, at a tiny price.


Want more awesome gear reviews? Buy it here.


  • Great Price
  • Solid drag strength
  • Top-notch retrieval speed


  • Drag knob is too easy to dislodge
  • Looks like a value reel