Product Reviews

Sage TCR Fly Rod
Sage TCR Fly Rod

by James Castwell

It's not often I can bring you a review of a fly rod not yet on the market, I got lucky. If you are going to attend big Fly Tackle Retailers show in Denver this week be sure to stop at Sage and cast this rod. It stands out from any yet designed. Caution, it may not be for everybody, and not all fly-fishers will have a need for the TCR series rods. This rod is not for the average or casual fly-flinger, certainly not for the new caster.

To try to give you some perspective on the rod let me say this. For some time now, when asked about an eight weight fly rod, which did I prefer for casting for salmon and bone fish, I would say something like this: "For my style of casting I like the Gatti 9 foot, eight weight, 3piece, Progressive Action (PA) series. Next, the Sage XP, and then the G. Loomis GLX or the top T&T rod, in that order. In other words, I could be very happy fishing any of them, but for me, the Gatti suited best.

Sage TCR 5 wt. About a year ago we went to Sage, they are only nine miles from us, and asked why couldn't they make a different type of fly rod, a rod for the 'Casters.' Or a tournament-type rod. I am sure this was not a new idea but they listened patiently. I won't begin to take any credit for this new rod, but certainly am pleased to bring it to you now. Sage definitely has done just that. This rod is indeed new. It is very strong, yet will present a line at all distances with control and authority. I have never, let me repeat that, never cast a fly rod which casts with a feeling like these have. The rods have been designed (not re-designed or modified) without vibrations; they did not need to be dampened. This becomes instantly obvious during their casting. Vibrations cause the fly line to bump into the guides costing distance and requiring more effort at any distance. The power transfers as is required for any desired line length.

To make a long cast it is necessary to get the line out in stages. The intermediate casts must be easily developed and controlled without compensation by the caster. The whole series must be smooth and require no manipulation during the process. This rod meets that high standard as no rod I have ever cast. I tested this rod on land and during fishing, under a calm test and into a strong breeze. The rod delivered the tight loops needed at all distances and conditions. It is perfectly balanced and feels very light in hand because of this.

There was no indication of incorrect weight placement at any point, not tip-heavy, no bounce during the cast and no manipulation needed while extending line. It was not tiring to cast as are most other performance rods, many of which are simply stiff rods, with or without some modification to the tip for shorter casts. This rod was designed by Jerry Siem to be exactly what it is, the strongest, most powerful, full-performance rod made. You will see these rods (bright 'Chili-Pepper Red') soon in the hands of the top casters. They will be taking home the trophies and reaching out for the salmon, steelhead, bonefish, permit and tarpon which have been just out of range.

Sage can be proud of what they have produced. The fly-fisher who has been looking for 'The' top performance rod now can find them in two sizes, all four piece, nine-foot, 'Chili-Pepper Red.' The five weight lists at $700.00 and the eight is $725.00

Just a fly-rod? No, all the others are. ~ JC

Sage Manufacturing Corporation
8500 Northeast Day Road
Bainbridge Island, Washington 98110
Phone: 800/533-3004
Fax: 206/842-6830
E-mail SAGE:

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