Product Spotlight - Sage SALT Fly Rod
Trouts: Sage has always been known as an industry leader in fly rod design and fabrication, what makes the SALT series fly rod stand out from the competition?
Sage: Our Konnetic Technology® is what really separates this from other rods (combined with Jerry’s unparalleled rod design skills) – it’s a giant step forward in blank design. Every fly rod family built by SAGE using Konnetic Technology has achieved awards of best in class and/or best of show. The other key difference with the SALT family of rods is that we went into the design process looking to build a rod optimized for salt. This is a different approach than what we’ve done in the past when we build an all water rods like the ONE or METHOD because we could emphasis the key attributes that make it unique to the saltwater experience.
Trouts: What was Jerry Siem wanting to accomplish when he started designing this new rod model?
Sage: Jerry’s goal is always to provide improvements in fly tackle that aid the angler through performance enhancements in material and design. His underlying design theme for the SALT fly rod series was to use Konnetic Technology as a gateway to access deeper strengths of the rod’s power regardless of the fishing distance. To quote Jerry “While I cannot promise that every angler will be able to reduce their presentation of the fly by one false cast, this is what the SALT rod has done for me!”
With so many flats/big game specific fly rods already offered by Sage (ONE, Method, Motive), what makes the SALT so different?
Trouts: The Sage SALT series is designed tip to butt to be a saltwater fly rod using our Konnetic Technology. Other rod series, while salt capable, have been adapted and adopted, bought and sold as fly rods for salt water, but none were designed solely for this purpose. In the case of the Motive (or the Xi3), the difference is Konnetic Technology. It provides strength, responsiveness, and accuracy that no other current rod material can.
Sage: Many people are starting to over-line their big game fly rods, would Sage recommend anglers over-line the SALT series fly rods?
From Jerry: In my opinion, fly sizes dictate the line choice more than the rod. I would not suggest up lining the line size on Sage SALT fly rods as this deters the performance of the fly rod in terms of the unloading of the blank. Sage SALT series fly rods are designed to load easily using the correct fly line size as stated on the rod. That said, if an angler is fishing oversized or over-weighted flies and those flies are handled better with a heavier fly line, while my advice is to use a heavier rod with this line and fly, using a 9, for example on an 8 weight, will not harm the rod. The heavier fly line will not provide accuracy and high line speed, negating key fly presentation advantages of proper line matching as designed.
Trouts: One-piece fly rods are seeming to be all the rage these days, will the SALT ever come out in a one-piece design?
Sage: This may be my favorite from Jerry: I don't know one angler who travels with a one piece fly rod, nor who buys them. Sage has made a commitment to building the highest performance fly rods available. Multi-piece rod blanks allow for optimum placement of performance materials, using tapers specifically created to build multi-piece rods with superior casting and fishing characteristics which we can travel with. Who doesn't like to take their own fly rods with them when they go fishing?
Trouts: During the 2014 IFTD Show, Sage won both Best Saltwater Fly Rod and Best of Show awards for the SALT 890-4 fly rod. What does winning these awards mean to Sage?
Sage: Being judged by one's peers is always a validation of integrity. That the Sage SALT also won best new fly rod at the European EFFTEX show as well as Best New Fly Rod in the Australian Fly Tackle Show further tells us that this is a serious fly rod that any angler will be adding to their fishing arsenal. Ultimately, our goal is to continue to make the best rods and reels available and we will continue to perfect performance as we advance our materials and processes. Winning awards is always gratifying, and it reminds us that we need to constantly push ourselves so we can continue to provide better on-water experiences for the fly fishing community.