introduced a plethora of new rods this year. We’ve had a chance to cast most of them at this point, so check back for more reviews, but we decided to start out with the new Sage Pulse Fly Rod. At first glance, the Sage Pulse isn’t that exciting – you might assume (like I did) that the Pulse is just a continuation of the long line of not-very-exciting Sage mid-priced rods: Response, Flight, FLi, etc. But, you would be wrong. Read on to find out why…
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Fit and Finish
Fit and finish has pretty much standardized on all Sage rods. Pulse Rods don’t come with aluminum rod tubes, but other than that you’re getting the same build quality and components on every rod. I think it’s a good thing. “A Sage,” remains a Sage.
The Sage Pulse fly rod weighs in at 3.25 oz. It’s a little heavier than the top rods, but not in a way that was all that noticeable. Swing weight felt fine, but not super light.
Unlike the earlier rods in the series, the new Sage Pulse rod is not an incredibly fast or stiff rod. That means that it’s not winning any casting competitions. Still, I felt the Pulse held its own against similarly priced rods.
The Sage Pulse is definitely a lot more accurate in close than its predecessors. At 30 feet, I felt that it was soft enough to make the cast accurately and with feel, but it’s much better at mid-to-longer distances. It was excellent at 45’ and still really good at 60’.
Flex & Feel
The Pulse has a great progressive action – soft in the tip and progressing to a firm butt section (for a trout rod). Sage calls the action fast, but I’d say it’s more of a Medium-Fast leaning toward Fast. It’s forgiving enough for any angler to enjoy and provides tons of useful feedback. It’s actually my favorite action of any Sage “All-water” rod.
We didn’t get to nymph this rod, but because it’s so forgiving, you’ll be able to open up your loop without any issues.
Still a lifetime warranty…
I really wish that I had tested the Sage Pulse
head-to-head with the Orvis Recon and Winston Nexus. It would have made a really interesting mid-priced shootout. Sage nailed the action on this rod and, while it lacks some of the high-tech materials of the more expensive rods, it’s going to please a lot of anglers. It's not a tuned down ONE or Accel, but a totally new action that's one of the best I've seen.
We cast this rod with Rio Perception, but I think it would do well with a lighter line like Rio Gold as well.
- Great Action
- Reasonable accuracy across the board
- Forgiving enough for any angler
- A little heavier than the Recon