Brand new to Sage’s 2016 line, the Mod presents anglers with a very lightweight, moderate action fly rod perfectly suited for fishing dries in small- to medium-sized streams. The MOD uses the same Konnetic graphite technology found in the popular ONE and CIRCA models, but the taper places this rod comfortably in between the two. Deeper loading with a more delicate presentation than the ONE and more backbone than the CIRCA.
“So where should we fish this?” Rick Mikesell and I asked ourselves. We had a few hours the next morning before we needed to be in the shop and were chomping at the bit to get the MOD into some fish. After tossing around a few close-to-home small stream options, we settled on a quick run up I-70W to Clear Creek for an hour or two of throwing hoppers. Rick and I both agreed that laying out 30-50ft casts with big hoppers would be a great fit for the medium action of the MOD.
The next morning arrived and after a mug of coffee, a short drive and sliding into our wet-wading gear, Rick and I were doing what most trout fisherman dream of - getting a few hours of dry fly action in before work. We rigged the Sage MOD 390 up with a 9ft 4X leader, a size 12 Purple Chubby Chernobyl and began picking apart the creek, dropping our fly in every boulder pocket, back eddy and along every seam line. And the fish didn’t hesitate to belly up to the breakfast buffet.
Right off the bat I found myself loving the light-in-hand feel of the MOD and the accuracy of the casts. After adjusting to the moderate action of the MOD by slowing my casting stroke down, making casts upstream and across the medium-sized Clear Creek became easier and easier. While the rod clearly didn’t have the cannon-like power of a Sage ONE, I really appreciated the step up from the CIRCA when throwing the larger hopper patterns. It was just enough backbone to make the longer casts without compromising a delicate presentation. Another plus that stood out to me was the rod’s ability to gently mend line without affecting the drift of the hopper. And the medium flex of the MOD certainly made fighting those small stream fish more fun!
All too soon it was time for Rick and I to head back to Denver for a day working in the shop. On the ride down the mountain we talked over the fishability of the MOD and agreed that it was perfect for applications similar to what we experienced that morning. In small to medium sized rivers, throwing dry flies and terrestrial patterns, for fish that require delicate presentations, the MOD is an ideal fit. While it won’t replace the Sage ONE 5 weight for everyday nymphing and larger rivers, or the Sage CIRCA for those tiny tricos or high country small streams, I’ll definitely be adding this rod to my quiver for those “in-between”days.