#4-tie Sage Motive 9 foot #8 $450.00
If you were a fan of the XP or Xi2, you are going to love this rod. In fact, all of us liked it better than Sage’s Salt, their dedicated Salt Water rod that replaced the Xi3. The Motive has very nice usable power and really surprised me with its ability to track well, and with its accuracy. This rod also seems to have a slightly faster action than the Salt, which is good, but it was also a little heavier in swing weight.
We all loved the color – a striking hot blue with complimentary blue wraps. I have to give it to Sage, they sure come up with some snazzy colors. And their craftsmanship is typically Sage –simply excellent. They use a very comfortable full wells grip with a black anodized double uplocking aluminum seat. A nice big fighting butt is used with a big rounded off rubber butt cap. Comfort city when you are cranking on big fish with this butt cap in your gut. The guides are two SiC stripping guides, with the rest big, heavy-duty hard chrome snake guides that don’t look like they would bend if you ran over them with your F-150. If you are a dyed in the wool Sage guy, take a hard look at this rod – it’s a good one!
George’s casting notes:
Performance at 35 feet: 19 points out of 20
A little heavier than the Orvis Recon, but with good accuracy in close.
Performance at 60 feet: 19.5 points out of 20
Nearly as good as the best rods, the Motive was impressive at mid-range. Tracks well and feels great.
Performance at 80 feet: 19.5 points out of 20
Well-balanced and good accuracy but now I’m beginning to feel the swing weight when compared to the Orvis Recon.
Performance at 100 feet: 19 points out of 20
Sure, no problem at all, but not with the authority of the G. Loomis rods.
#4 Sage Motive 9’#8 $450 77/80
The Sage Motive was another pleasant surprise. I really wanted to see Sage do well in the shootout but after being disappointed by the Salt’s vague feel and overall performance, I had little hopes for the less expense Motive. It only took a few casts however to completely turn my negative outlook into a positive one. This rod really felt good in my hands and enabled me to cast with confidence. If you have cast Sage’s original Xi2 you will like the feel and accuracy of this rod. It has a ton of power and the line tracked extremely well at distance. As an added bonus, the blue candy paint job makes this rod “pop” and the fit and finish is top quality. Although it’s a little heavier (using Graphite generation III rather than Konnetic Technology, the simple fact that this rod costs less and casts better makes it a winner.
Performance at 35 feet: 19 points out of 20 Boy, it sure is accurate! I’m able to hit the plate just about 8 out of 10 times. Although the deflection board shows both Sage tips are slower than most, it surprisingly doesn’t feel that bad in close.
Performance at 60 feet: 19.5 points out of 20 Impressive performance again! I’m really quite surprised how well this rod casts in comparison to our “shakeout / wiggle” test first impressions. The line tracks really well, even in the wind. If it were not for the slightly heavier feel this would be an easy 20, along with the best of them.
Performance at 80 feet: 19.5 points out of 20 Wow. This rod really deserves no bad scores at any distance. As long as you don’t mind the extra weight (similar to the CrossCurrent GLX and Orvis Recon) this is a great rod with ample power and superb accuracy.
Hit the Hun? 19 points out of 20 Like a bullet train…
Capt. Jamie Allen:
#8 (tie) Sage Motive
Both these rods (Sage Motive and Beulah Opal) are cosmetically pleasing, with the edge going to Beulah. They are both more of a mid flex rod. But neither struggles with distance. They might have some trouble with casting on the windiest days.
Capt. Skip Zink:
#5 (tie) Sage Motive 57/60
Responsive with good power, mid flex action but fast enough. Cool color. Sage quality.
#3 Sage Motive $450 77/80 points
A solid performer at all ranges.