Whether you're throwing big articulated streamers at the bank for big brown trout, you're hucking big poppers for bass, or you're tossing heavy sinking line for stripers, a rod that makes casting big flies and heavy sinking lines easy, comfortable, and effortless is certainly a welcome addition to your quiver. Arriving in August, the new SAGE Payload was designed for the sole purpose of throwing large, wind-resistant flies.
The SAGE Payload will be available in 8 foot 9-inch lengths for 6 through 9 weights, as well as a 9 foot 10 weight and a 9 foot 3 inch 11 weight. A fast-action fly rod, the Payload has a fast, powerful tip and mid-section that allows for helps pick up heavy lines off the water. The stiff mid-section transitions into a softer, more forgiving butt section. This allows for a slower, more relaxed casting stroke.
I was able to get my hands on a demo of the 689-4 Payload and in my short time with it, I've been super impressed with how easily it casts big flies on heavy sinking lines. It's not designed to throw the tightest loop, instead that softer butt section slowed my cast down and opened up the loops. I fished it out of a boat and walk/wading throwing a Rio Intouch Big Nasty 4D Sink Tip F/I/S3/S5 fly line. Here's my takeaway from my time with PAYLOAD, it's actually fun to cast a streamer. There are certainly quite a few quality, high performing fly rods on the market that could make the same cast that I made with PAYLOAD, but there are very few that are easier to cast big flies and heavy fly lines. It was accurate, powerful enough to cut through Colorado wind, fought fish well, and was actually fun to cast. It's a worthy addition to your quiver if you like throwing big streamers in the Rockies!