Sage X 6wt - length?

major

New Member
Hi folks, I've been looking at the Sage X 6wt in 9' and 9'6", both with the fighting butt. I like how they feel in hand in the shop, and I plan on trying to get more experience with both sizes before selecting. Even so, I'm interested in opinions on here.

I own a 4wt, and I'd like this 6wt to be my daily driver on the Sound, as well as a capable trout rod. I don't nymph much, and I'll be asking the rod to cast streamers (in salt, rivers and lakes) as well as dries (rivers). A ton of feedback (and I've read volumes of it) online references nymph rigs, and it's just not something I do often. My weekday fishing involves stripping baitfish patterns from the beach.

I typically think of the 9'6" when I think of a beach rod, but I'll need this purchase to handle freshwater adventures and dry flies, and I'm wondering if I should consider the 9' as a better all around size.

Thanks!
 

Jakob B

Washington Native and college age angler
The X is an excellent rod. Your main thing you should think about is what are you going to do with this most. It sounds to me like it will be primarily beach fishing. In that case I would recommend the 9’6. Extra six inches can get you a little more distance but most importantly keep your line a little higher and off the beach/water should you be wading in. I wouldn’t however recommend the 9’6 if you plan on throwing any dry flies with it. I would say keep the 4 weight as your dry fly rod and then throw streamers and nymph rigs with the 9’6 which it would excel at as well.


Jakob
 

Thrasybulus

The new fly fisherman
Cast a 9'6" Scott Radian versus the Sage X before you buy. If you are open to buying a 9'0" six weight then test cast the newer models like Scott Sector, Meridian, Loomis NRX+, Asquith, Sage Ignitor, etc. Bring your own reel spooled with your preferred fly line for the best comparison.
 

major

New Member
9'6" sounds like the ticket. How big a deal are the smaller stripping guides on the X? What would you notice when using them compared to a rod with larger guides?
 

Thrasybulus

The new fly fisherman
Bigger guides help a bit for longer distance casts when your intermediate sinking saltwater fly line develops memory coils during cold weather.
0037-34.jpg
 

major

New Member
Welp, let's hope I can avoid that. Really have been liking the X's. I used to use a 9'6" 7wt clearwater, and I wasn't running into too much trouble. Wonder how the guides compare.
 

David Loy

Senior Moment
9’6” rods have advantages on a sloping beach, wading deeper than you should, or casting from a float tube or pontoon. You could also include nymphing and mending a long line. Other than those scenarios I’ll pick a 9’ rod because they are much more fun to cast IMO. 8’6” rods are great casting rods too, but now you’re compromising some of the above.
2 scents
 
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major

New Member
9’6” rods have advantages on a sloping beach, wading deeper than you should, or casting from a float tube or pontoon. You could also include nymphing and mending a long line. Other than those scenarios I’ll pick a 9’ rod because they are much more fun to cast IMO. 8’6” rods are great casting rods too, but now you’re compromising some of the above.
2 scents
Do you run your 9' for SRCs? I'm curious about those who do, and whether they find a noticeable difference/disadvantage compared to longer rods.
 

RLMadison

Member
I had gone through the same question several years ago with the X (i.e., 691 or 697) for primary use on the local beaches. I had experience with other 9' 6" rods, but in the end came down in favor of the 691. I just recall it cast better for me. (As I said, it's been several years so I can't detail the differences I felt).
 

David Loy

Senior Moment
To answer: I’ve had a 697-4 XP for nearly 20 years, and I do like it well enough. I really prefer casting with 9’ rods though, and feel with decent technique, it’s long enough for most applications including the beach. So I’ve wandered. I bought a 9’ Sage Xi3 6wt a few years back when they went on sale. Hate is too strong a word but I sold it pretty quick. Some folks really like that rod but it was a dead 2x4 to me, but YMMV. Next, I fell for an Echo S3 6wt. That is an incredible rod for the money, seriously, but I sold it. I am too picky probably, but I really enjoy casting and am still in search of perfect, for me. I did stumble on the perfect (enough) 7wt, but still looking for the 6. I am convinced though that it’s a 9 footer.
But hey, that’s my quest. I could be wrong :) .

Add on because someone may have interest: Several years back now I “rediscovered” fiberglass rods, and there are some fantastic rods being produced now. One of the favorites (globally) is the Epic 686, an 8’6” 6wt produced in New Zealand. I had one built saltwater safe with a fighting butt, so I could fish it off the beach, as well as anywhere else. It is my favorite “all around” rod of any in the stable, but it is limited off the beach. Even though it’s faster than most fiberglass rods, conditions on the Sound need to be right. And again, you start limiting yourself under 9’, depending on the beach. Great rod, but no substitute for graphite when the wind is up.
Hope some of that is useful.
 
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Scudley Do Right

Active Member
I fish both 9' and 9'6" off the beach. I don't think the advantage of the rod being 6" is that great. In other words if someone is hitting the beach with a 9' rod I don't think switching it with a 9'6" is going to fix it. I would just cast both and go with the one you like the action of more.
 

major

New Member
I fish both 9' and 9'6" off the beach. I don't think the advantage of the rod being 6" is that great. In other words if someone is hitting the beach with a 9' rod I don't think switching it with a 9'6" is going to fix it. I would just cast both and go with the one you like the action of more.
Think I'm going to do exactly that. It would be great if the 697 felt equal or better than the 691, but I'm not exactly banking on it
 

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