The R8 Core Salt is here. This fits into their high-end high category and incorporates their new R8 Core technology.
A premium rod in Sage’s offerings that feels like a fishing tool.
Who is this rod for?
To me, this rod is meant for someone who has a moderate action cast with a good understanding of timing in their cast. This rod is not the fastest out there (Igniter/SaltHD) but with a good timmed cast, this rod comes alive with power and feel.
The extremely lightweight swing weight of this rod when paired up with a reel like the Tibor Everglades or Hatch Iconic feels completely in- sync when casting.
How This Rod Feels
Sage in recent years has been on the faster stiffer side of the rod market. This R8 Salt actually dialed it back to a “normal” casting stroke that I believe will fit more people. This rod really gives you more feel and a slightly deeper load than previous models. Comparing it to a Scott Sector, the Sector still loads a little easier and is a little softer when talking about high winds – but the R8 is not too far behind the Sector in ease of loading and still offers a good amount of power in the peak of your cast. This rod has incredible recoil control and transfers feel to your casting hand very well. This extra recoil control gives you a better loop and better instant feedback from your cast.
When it comes to the components on this rod. I love how they did 100% full titanium guides on the snake and stripping guides. Titanium provides one of the best corrosion-resistant metals as well as some of the most durable. The rod blank is a beautiful deep blue color with high contrast writing that really pops off the rod. The cork is Sage’s premium full wells grip that feels great in the hand with great durability.
What Line Pairs Well?
The best line that we have paired this rod with is the Airflo 2.0 Flats Tactical Taper. A slightly heavier line but not too heavy (225 grain) with a longer 51-foot head allows you to load this rod nicely at most distances. The longer more even taper allows you to control more line in the air without overloading the rod. The head shape also provides a great presentation.
Love Is The Important Thing
Love is the only important metric in owning a fly rod. Especially high-end saltwater rods. Some load slightly deeper, some are a little stiffer, and some recoil slightly differently, but in the end, if you pick it up and love it that’s all that matters. A good angler can get it done with any rod.
I also believe that self-confidence is an important thing. The old saying “look good, feel good, perform good” plays a huge role in some anglers and the ability to get the job done… You don’t give yourself a reason to blame the rod if you have high-end gear – you simply take that out of the equation and get better rather than dwelling on it was not the best gear