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Sage Smallmouth

2661 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Chad Lewis
Hey all, been doing a lot of lurking the site the past year and appreciate the info/ banter on this site very much.
I was thinking of purchasing the Sage Smallmouth as I'm really getting into the bassin' as of late, especially the Smallies.
Anyone out there own one of these? What do you think of the rod?
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I bought one. I have not tried it out yet. I am looking foward to learning how to catch some bucket mouths soon!
I hope someone can enlighten me about these rods. I don't understand why, unless you were going to compete in a bass tournament, why you'd buy one of these rods. Bass competition rods can only be to a certain length which these rods meet, but it seems for the rest of us, a 9 foot 6 weight would be a better rod than one of these shorties.

Maybe I'm missing something?
I just got one of the largemouth models a few weeks ago and it is pretty awesome. I can really launch huge deer hair bugs and leech type flies with minimal backcast. The shorter length really seems to make it more accurate and lets you get the flies under overhanging branches and other objects easier.
That's good to know Jonny. I was a little worried that it would be too heavy. The heaviest rod I own at this point is a 5wt so this is a big step up in stick size for me.
Another couple of sticks you might want to consider are the Redington Predator and Loomis ShoreStalker.
These rods also have some salt applications, like fishing in tight to mangroves.
Vern,Look at ross(yes the reel guy's) as they have a very nice bass rod for $170 ,that will leave you a lot of money in the old pocket ..........Good Luck,Alan
I posted this awhile back:

few notes on the BASS rods. It's not really a bass specific rod, more like a rod that excels at particular fishing strategies. In its own way, it's as task specific as a spey rod. Sage did a lot more than just build a weird length rod. There are three in the series, imaginitively called Largemouth, Smallmouth and Bluegill. I bought the middle one. The rod doesn't feel heavy in the hand, but the "wiggle test" reveals that it's stupid stiff for its weight. I mean, you think that it couldn't possibly cast well. That's why the rod comes with its own WF floating line, developed for the rod. Word is the line's made by Rio. It's basically a 290 grain, extreme weight forward taper (the Largemouth is 330 grain!). That's about a 10 weight line, but despite its stiffness the rod doesn't feel anything like heavy enough to be lined like that. In practice its perfectly matched. Stick a big deer hair bug on the end of it and it'll toss it sixty feet, no problem. A better caster than I threw one to the end of the casting pool at the Bellevue show (with the bass bug). The biggest suprise to me was the way it loads at short range; it'll do a twenty foot cast, and I'm not talking about a lob. Shows how well the rod and line are matched. A review I read speculated the rod might be a parabolic design to get that kind of performance. I wouldn't know a parabolic if it bit me in the ass, so I can't say.

Add all that together and you have a rod that easily throws the biggest flies, does short to medium distance casts with those flies and has enough backbone to manhandle big fish out of whatever they wanna get into. Like Stonefish said, this makes them perfect for saltwater mangroves and such, targeting baby tarpon, snook, and whatever else hangs out in those kind of places. Of course, they're also perfect for targeting bass. The short rod length helps here too. In the right situation it could be a great tool for salmon and steelhead.

For minuses, I'd have to say that it takes some effort to cast. Not that you have to work hard to make it load (just the opposite), but it is a really heavy line to throw around and a stiff rod. Maybe not good to try 80' casts all day, unless you're in good "casting shape". I hesitate to call it a fast action rod, because the casting stroke isn't exactly rushed. Instead you get the feeling that there's a lot of mass being moved around. And you're not gonna make presentations that are anything like "delicate" with all that weight on the tip of the line. The rod quality is typical Sage, and the price is pretty good if you factor in the line it comes with. The reel seat looks a little cheap though. I'd like something better there, but it'll get the job done. I think Sage may have built a rod that answers a question no one asked, but judging by the way lots of others have come out with similiar rods, well....
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