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Mid-priced fly rods have almost become an afterthought in the fly fishing industry. Fly rod manufacturers prioritize promoting their premium flagship series or are eager to tap into the beginner market with affordable combos. Sage is looking to reverse this trend. The Bainbridge Island, Washington-based manufacturer is known for producing high-end, premium fly rods; however, in the past few years, they have proven committed to delivering high-quality rods at the mid-price point. The saltwater-specific Maverick and big fly-oriented Payload were both greeted with near-universal praise. Now Sage is back at it with the Sonic, designed with performance and affordability in mind and marketed to the modern trout angler. Read on to see if Sage can deliver another hit with the Sonic.

Outfit

Sage Sonic 9' 5wt Fly Rod

Scientific Anglers Amplitude MPX Fly Line

Fit & Finish

The Sonic features componentry expected from a built-in-the-US Sage. The snub-nose half-wells grip features solid cork similar to ones found on the brand's premium models, such as the X. The burled wood insert and anodized uplocking reel seat are both durable and functional. The blank's juniper finish helps give the Sonic a distinct and bold look. Regardless of price, it is tough to find any significant flaws with the Sonic's build quality; it has that classic old-school Sage look that many anglers will love.

Weight

The 9' 5wt Sonic weighs in at 2.82 ounces and has a swing weight of 61.6 gm2. This makes the Sonic one of the lightest 5 weights on the market!

Distance

Sage is known for designing powerful fly rods, and the Sonic falls under this category. The rod's ability to generate high-line speeds means the experienced angler will have few issues casting to the periphery of trout fishing distances. The Sonic would make a great western dry fly rod, where longer casts are often needed to reach rising fish.

Accuracy

  • 30-feet: The Sonic is one of the more accurate, faster action rods at short range. While maybe not quite as precise as some of the softer, dry fly-specific rods on the market, it is tough to find any faults with the Sonic's close-range game. 
  • 45-feet: The Sonic gets a near-perfect score for mid-range accuracy. The rod flat-out performs where it matters most. It does have a narrow timing window, but once the caster gets their timing right, it is game on!
  • 60-feet: The rod loses a few points for accuracy at longer distances. The Sonic might not be able to drop a dime into a teacup at 60 feet, but there is no genuine concern here.

Flex & Feel

The Sonic's blank is pretty stiff, which helps give the rod its slightly faster than “fast” action. Sage fans who loved the power of the One, but found the X too soft, will love the Sonic's taper. You should have no problems turning over bulky indicator rigs or casting streamers. The rod possesses enough touch to deliver a dry fly at close range, but a stiffer tip means it is probably not the rod to pick when fishing 7X tippet.

Warranty

Lifetime

Conclusion

The Sonic fits nicely in the Sage catalog between the moderately fast action X and the ultra-fast Igniter. With that said, there’s an almost universal trend of rods getting softer, more moderate actions that fit most trout anglers better than ultra-fast rods - and it’s for good reason. The Sonic definitely bucks this trend, for better or worse. Sage has the mid-priced market covered with the Maverick and the Payload. With the Sonic, they have made significant strides in creating a mid-priced rod that not only performs like a high-end trout rod but looks and feels like one too. At $575, the Sonic has few rivals, and we can confidently recommend it to anyone in the market for a new fast-action trout rod.

Watch Our Review

Pros

  • Old-school Sage feel and performance
  • Built-in the U.S. with quality components
  • Price

Cons

  • Some anglers will find the rod to be on the faster side

Questions?

Give us a call here at the shop at (888) 413-5211 or email us anytime at [email protected].