Sage Pulse     9’ 5-weight        $450.00

Sage Pulse

Sage Pulse

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George's Notes:

This rod just didn’t do much for me in performance.   I didn’t like the slower action than what we found in the Sage X and I didn’t like the heavy swing weight.  The overall weight of the Pulse was fine, but the more important swing weight of 9.9 oz. was one of the heaviest in our Shootout.  Only three rods were worse.  The Sage X, with its faster action and softer tip was far better at all distances.  Slower action rods that are heavy in swing weight never do well in our comparisons, and you’ll see this same comment in other rods we have reviewed farther up the Shootout, like the Scott Flex and Echo Base. 

I did like the cosmetics, and the craftsmanship was pretty good too.  This rod has a bright light olive blank with dark olive wraps.  The handle is much like the Sage X and one that felt really comfortable in my hand.  It has a small flare at either end but only a very slight swell through the middle.  And the swell tapers forward slightly so that it is slightly smaller near the top of the grip.  Standard, but very high quality cork rings are used and this is what we come to except from Sage.  The reel seat is a single uplocking black anodized aluminum skeleton seat with a nice rosewood colored, laminated wood spacer. Simple but elegant.  The guide set up starts with one SiC stripper and the rest are hard chrome snake guides.  Like the X, the epoxy coatings over the guides are a little sloppy and heavy compared to the best rods. But as we’ve seen, this is a factor that lots of rod companies face using one-coat epoxy. 


The perfect line: S.A. Amplitude MPX in WF-5-F.

Performance at 25 feet:  17.5 points out of 20.

With the stiff tip the accuracy wasn’t too good and the heavy swing weight didn’t give us much feel either.  All the other rods other than the BVK were better.

Performance at 45 feet:  18.4 points out of 20

Much better at this range with more line in the air but still not great.   About as good as the Winston’s and the Echo Base.  

Performance at 70 feet: 7.9 points out of 10

I couldn’t get any consistent accuracy out long and loop control was a problem.  The X was far, far better.



Sage Pulse

Sage Pulse

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James' Notes:

I was kind of hoping the Sage Pulse was the Z-Axis in a neon green sheep’s clothing.  But the Z-Axis was much sweeter and a better all around rod.  If anything, the Sage X is closer to the old Z-Axis

The Pulse wasn’t bad though, especially at mid to long range.  In close, however, the Pulse’s stiffer tip made it much harder to produce tight loops at 25 feet, or turn over a 12-foot leader without having to blast it in with extra effort and power.

At mid-distance the performance was just average, but the Pulse was still pleasing to cast.  At long range, the stiffness of the Pulse helped it score well above average and now it felt quite good.

If you are looking for an inexpensive Sage rod, the Pulse is a great option. We think it is more versatile than the Bolt ($650), which is more powerful but has even less feel in close. 

The lime green candy “pear” paint job looked nice. While this color may turn some anglers off, it was actually one of my favorites to photograph. 


Performance at 25 feet:  18.6 points out of 20

The stiffer tip made it harder to turn over a 12-foot leader than the top rods.  Like the X, the swing weight was pretty heavy in my hand. 

Performance at 45 feet: 19 points out of 20

Very good and on par with the Orvis Recon, Beulah Guide Series II, Winston BIIIx, St. Croix Legend Elite, and Loop Cross SX.  I thought the Fenwick Aetos felt a little lighter and was more accurate.

Performance at 70 feet: 9.6 points out of 10

Heavier in hand for sure, but good, solid, punch-able power.  This rod didn’t produce very many tailing loops, even into the wind.  I think this rod was nearly as accurate as some of the best but I had to work harder dealing with the heavy swing weight. 





Sage Pulse

Sage Pulse

Buy Now 

Logan's Pulse:

The Sage Pulse is a nice mid-priced rod from Sage.  I actually really liked the color of the Pulse.  I know some people are turned off by the bright colors that Sage uses but I have grown to enjoy them.  You know exactly what stick someone is throwing when you see some those colors “pop” in the sunlight.


Logan’s Casting Notes:

Performance at 25 feet:  17 out of 20

The Pulse is a stiff rod, which hurt its performance at 25 feet.

Performance at 45 feet:  17.5 out of 20

At 45 feet the Sage Pulse was better, and felt nice and smooth.  It tracked well, and felt like it would be a great all around 5-weight.

Performance at 70 feet:  7 out of 10

The Pulse was able to make casts up to 70 feet, but I felt the Sage X was much better long.



Sage Pulse

Sage Pulse

 Buy Now

JG's Notes:

The Pulse is a really good-looking rod from Sage that has a comfortable grip and produces a lot of power.  The green blank really makes it stand out in the crowd.

25 Feet – 16 points out of 20
The Pulse wasn’t a top performer in close.  If felt really heavy with a stiff tip.  That combination doesn’t do well for me for casting in close.  I found that it was hard getting any delicacy or accuracy.  

45 Feet – 17 points out of 20
I liked the Pulse a lot better at this distance, but it still wasn’t great.  It’s still a heavy rod, but now the accuracy wasn’t bad, and it has good power if you like to fish heavy rigs.

70 Feet – 18 points out of 20 
Again, having plenty of power to hit the mark, this rod would be a good choice for someone who finds themselves casting more at long distances, or casting heavy rigs.