Hi Dave

I agree with the other Dave also. However I would NEVER buy a rod without casting it. Also, use a line that you like. I have fish a Sage Smallmouth many many times. That rod uses a 290 grain line. I tried the rod with 8 & 9 Wt lines, and never liked it, but with the speciality line, it sings. Sage has done really well with th shorter 7'10" rods. Its not supprising that other companies are trying to break into the maket that Sage has recently found. The reviews online all said that the rods were very fast. One might find that overlineing or using a very aggressive taper on your line makes a difference. Good luck and tell us how it goes.