Rod Review - Sage ACCEL Fly Rod
Over the course of the last decade, fly rod manufacturers have seemed to be solely dedicated to designing fast action fly rods. Sure these rods are have been light, powerful and amazingly accurate, but not every fishing situation dictates that one needs this action of fly rod. Think about it, when was the last time you had to cast 70 feet, into a 30 mph headwind, to catch a trout? So when Sage announced the debut of the ACCEL fly rod series in July, I was curiously optimistic about what this fly rod was going to entail.
It is important to understand how the ACCEL was developed. The ACCEL is made using Sage’s patented Generation 5 Technology, which was the foundation of their ever-popular Z-Axis and ZXL series. So what’s so special about using old technology to make a new fly rod you may ask? Simply put, Sage implemented lessons learned through the creation of their new Konetic Technology (used to make the ONE, Circa, Method and Salt series) to enhance the utilization of their Generation 5 Technology in making the ACCEL. To my knowledge no other fly rod maker utilizes previously used rod manufacturing techniques on new rods, which is a testament to Sage’s overall rod development strategy.
Since the rods debut to market, I have had the opportunity to cast almost all of the different rod weights and lengths currently available, in addition to spending a day with the 490-4 ACCEL on one of our local front range streams. For this outing, I paired the rod with a WF4F Rio Trout LT fly line, which seemed ideal for this particular rod given it’s medium-fast action. After fishing the rod with this line, I would be hesitant to put a heavier tapered line on the rod as I feel it would very easily over power the rod and ultimately take away from it’s intended performance.
On the water, I was very impressed with this rods swing weight, as it was able to cast various amounts of line with ease, in addition to loading perfectly no matter how short or long of a cast you were making. Additionally, the flex of the rod provided a surprising amount of power considering it’s slower action. This allowed me to fish a variety of rigs, from small dry flies, to larger hopper/dropper rigs, and even heavy multi fly nymph rigs. As for line management, the ACCEL roll casted and mended better than most other rods at similar price points.
As for overall value, I have to say I think Sage has found a great price point for this new rod offering. Coming in at $595 places this rod in the “premium” category, but at $200 less then other rods I think anglers will get a lot for their money; especially considering that previous rods made with Generation 5 Technology were priced at least $100 more than the ACCEL.
In the end I think that rod’s like the ACCEL are often overlooked, and I am thrilled to see an industry leading manufacturer putting some attention and onus on this type of fly rod. The ACCEL was a phenomenal fishing and casting rod, and I would highly encourage anyone to stop by your local fly shop and test cast one of these new rods. Not only will it open your eyes to an important rod action, but it will be a rod that ultimately enhances your time on the water.
To shop the ACCEL online click here!