Sage X       9’ 5-weight         $895.00

Sage X

Sage X

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George's Notes:

I like this new Sage X, and this is one rod that the more I cast it, the more I liked it.  I had to go back and revise the performance score upward, especially at 45 and 70 feet.  

This was a new rod for Sage in 2016, but came out too late for us to get it into our 2016 5-weight Shootout.

The action is slightly faster than what we have seen from Sage in the past, but I feel that the tip was still a little too stiff and this hurt the short distance performance.  I’d like to see it bend more like the NRX LP.  If Sage can do this, they will really have a winner. 

The overall weight is a very light 2.8 oz. but the swing weight is quite heavy 9.7 oz. and this surprised us. 

The X is a great looking rod. At first glance it looks like it has a jet black finish and black wraps, but if you hold it at the right angle in the sun it is actually a very dark olive color.   I loved the cork handle shape too – it has a small flare at either end but only a very slight swell through the middle.  The grip feels great in my hand and was very pleasant to cast.  Sage uses a black anodized single uplocking seat with a walnut insert.  I especially liked seeing the line size listed on the bottom side of the sliding hood.  The guide set up is one SiC stripper and the rest hard chrome snake guides. 

We have a gripe about the epoxy coatings on the guides though – they are sloppy and many were slightly too heavy.  So we downgraded the overall excellent craftsmanship by a tenth of a point.  Other Sage X rods in stock had similar sloppy coatings.  


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

Performance at 25 feet:  19 points out of 20

Pretty good, but the heavy swing weight didn’t allow much feel and the stiffer tip hurt the accuracy.  The Asquith and Avantt were slightly better and the LP and Radian far better. 

Performance at 45 feet:  19.7 points out of 20

At first I rated this much lower but after doing more casting I was impressed at what beautiful tight loops I was throwing with great accuracy.  Only the LP and Radian were better. 

Performance at 70 feet: 9.3 points out of 10

Lots of power and very good performance at long range.  Better than the LP but not as good as the Avantt or Wraith.  Another score I upgraded with more casting.



Sage X


Sage X

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James' Notes:

I liked the Sage X 9’ 5-weight significantly better than I liked the 6-weight.  Where I felt that the Sage ONE was a better 6-weight than the Sage X, I feel the Sage X is the best 5-weight Sage has made since the Z-Axis. 

Have no fear, you XP and ONE lovers – you will like this new X.  Take a glance at the deflection board, the X has a lot of backbone, and plenty of power like the XP.  The new X has a slightly softer tip and a slightly faster action than what Sage has offered in the past.  But they could do even better.   I think if the Sage X had a tip and second section just a touch lighter and quicker; they would have pinned down a podium finish.  Still, as is, the X is a great rod and well rounded aside from being not the most delicate for spring creek style fishing.  If you are fishing a tail-water or freestone river out of the boat, the X will be a great rod for you. 

The main difference between the X and my podium winners is the X required a little more effort to get going, and it suffered at short distances, which I think has to do with the stiffer tip.  The good part about it is once the train has left the station, the line tracks well and the X really zings them in there.  It just takes a little more energy to get it all in motion.  If Sage is able to come up with an “X-LP” I think they’d really be cooking with gas.


Performance at 25 feet:  18.4 points out of 20

The tip feels a little heavy and stiff compared to the other best rods, all of which had a lot more feel in close.   Comparable to the Hardy Wraith but only a little more accurate, and required more effort than with the softer tipped rods.

Performance at 45 feet:  19.6 points out of 20

Wow.  Now I’m getting some great performance.  Accuracy was good although the stiffer tip makes me work a bit harder.   But I can punch it hard, with little or no risk of a tailing loop.  This rod means business, like the T&T Avantt.   Once you get it going there is no stopping it.  I liked the Sage ONE better in a 6-weight, but I like the Sage X better in the 5-weight as an all around rod. 

Performance at 70 feet:  9.7 points out of 10

I was impressed by this rod’s power versus weight, and its excellent performance at longer distances.    On occasion I would throw a tailing loop, but only when pushing the limits of what this rod can and can’t do.  I think for many anglers, this will be one of their best rods for throwing long or into the wind.



Sage X

Sage X

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Logan's Notes:

The Sage X is hot off the press from Sage.  This rod has classic Sage craftsmanship and its blank reminds me of the ONE.  Its softer tip and faster action are, however, an improvement from the ONE.  The X performed well at all distances but was noticeably better at short distances than the older ONE.


Logan’s Casting Notes:

Performance at 25 feet: 18 out of 20

The Sage X performed much better than the Sage ONE at 25 feet.  The softer tip really helped the feel of this rod and I was able to make delicate and accurate presentations.

Performance at 45 feet: 18 out of 20

The Sage X felt just as good at 45 feet as it did at 25 feet.  It tracked well and was extremely smooth. 

Performance at 70 feet: 7.5 out of 10

I made several casts with the Sage X that were close to the 70-foot plate.  At these long distances I preferred the older Sage ONE, but overall I think the X is a better rod.  



Sage X

Sage X

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JG's Notes:

I was really hoping that I would like the 5-weight X more than I did the 6.  There’s just so much hype around the rod that it has to be good right?  Unfortunately, for me this was not the case.  At short distance it felt lifeless and stiff, and not a whole lot better at the other distances.


25 Feet -16 points out of 20
The stiff tip overpowered my shorter casts, making accuracy and presentation tough, and giving me very little feel. 


45 Feet -18.1 points out of 20 
Accuracy was better for me at mid-range, but the feel of the rod was still not quite right.  At mid-distance it did feel a lot better than in close, and became a rod I could hit the mark with.   


70 Feet – 17.9 points out of 20
The X has enough power to go the distance for long shots.  Accuracy was still a little low, due to the lack of feel and feedback from the rod.