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The Enforcer is Sage’s brand-new reel that replaces the Spectrum Max in its midpriced saltwater and big game lineup. We’re stretching the term ‘midpriced’ a bit since the 8wt Enforcer is nearly $600. Still, if the Enforcer can deliver on performance, it could represent a solid buy considering 2023’s sky-high saltwater reel prices. The big issue is that Sage has struggled to make a saltwater reel that has caught fire with consumers in the past. The Spectrum Max was decent-enough but hardly dented the 8wt reel market.

However, the Enforcer has taken design cues from the Sage Thermo, a reel designed for really big game, and performed well in our 2023 Big Game 11wt Reel Shootout. If Sage can incorporate the Thermo’s strengths into the Enforcer, like excellent ergonomics, large backing capacity, and powerful drag, they could have a winner. Read on to see if Sage has built a worthy match for that new Salt R8 8wt you plan to take on your next bonefish destination trip.


The Enforcer tips the scales at hefty for an 8wt, 9.6 ounces. This is interesting, considering one of the R8 Salt’s big selling points is greater strength/durability without increasing weight/material. Unfortunately, Sage couldn’t duplicate this on the reel side of things, and the Enforcer is actually heavier than the Spectrum Max.


The Enforcer features Sage’s One Revolution drag knob. While we typically don’t prefer single-turn drags for not offering enough adjustability, it’s probably one of the better ones out there. As far as the Enforcer’s fish-stopping ability goes, Sage claims its max drag has increased by 50% from the Spectrum Max! While we haven’t yet tested this claim, considering the Enforcer’s drag is based on the Thermo, we don’t doubt it’s enough to stop light-salt gamefish like bones, redfish, and even permit in its tracks. 


Like the Thermo, the Enforcer hardly produces the most audible clicking on either the outcoming or incoming. However, there are worse offenders out there.

Spool & Retrieval Rate

The Enforcer is more of a mid-arbory than many new-school reels, like the Lamson Litespeed M. The good news is that despite only having a 2.5-inch diameter arbor, the 1-inch width helps quickly retrieve 9.3 inches of line per turn. While Sage rates the Enforcer for 200 yards of 20lb backing for an eight-weight line, we were able to rig a whopping 350 yards of 20lb Dacron with a Scientific Anglers Amplitude Bonefish line!

Looks & Ergonomics

Concerning overall aesthetics, the Enforcer is certainly not the sharpest and sleekest reel out there. As you might expect, it looks like a mix between the old Spectrum Max and Thermo. If you are a fan of burlier saltwater reels or old Sage reels, you probably won't mind the Enforcer's looks too much.

From a functional standpoint, The Enforcer is pretty solid! The drag knob is huge and easy to adjust. While the handle is on the smaller side for a salt reel, it’s relatively comfortable and works just fine.


Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original owner

Price: $575


The Enforcer does everything you’d ask and expect from an 8wt saltwater reel. It’s not the lightest, sleekest, or fastest, but it’s fine for popular species like bonefish, redfish, and striper. The reel has excellent ergonomics, ample stopping power, and a sealed drag that looks bombproof. We just weren’t blown away by one particular thing, and the Enforcer seems to lack the ‘wow’ factor of other reels in its class. Still, it’s a solid buy, especially for Sage fans. 

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  • Great Ergonomics
  • Solid Drag


  • HEAVY!