Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. It’s been a while since I had written a blog but after playing with the new Sonic the last few days, I felt like I had to put out a review. I wanted to start by saying that even though I am a really big Sage fan, I had decided many years ago that my integrity is way more important to me than just selling rods, so anything I write will be my true thoughts. The rod I am reviewing is the 590 and it is set up with a Sage Spectrum LT and lined with a Rio Grand fly line. Now, on to my review the new Sage Sonic.
The introduction of the Sonic this year was really strange. We were right smack in the middle of the shutdown so we were really limited in the rods were able to get in. The shops first order in was a couple of 5 wts and one 6. I was working the day they came in and got to do the unboxing. Now I want to backtrack just a little, I know it may be sacrilege in the fly rod world, but to me, I am less interested in how a rod casts and more into how it feels in your hand and how it fights fish. That being said, I threw on a line and took it out front. My initial impression was that I was surprised how light it felt in my hand and even though it really makes no real difference, I liked the color. I stripped out some line and picked it up and the line just shot out. I felt a little smile appear and I started picking spots around the lot and basically hit every spot. Short cast, long cast, it didn’t matter, the rod was deadly accurate. I wanted one but unfortunately, with Sage having limited production, I had to wait.
Earlier this week I was finally able to get in my 5wt and I brought it on yesterdays trip to see what it could do. Johns first few casts were a little quick and choppy but after rounding out and slowing down his roll cast, his casts were right on. Our first fish hooked was one of our 13-inch tanks. During the battle, I paid close attention to how the rod reacted. I could watch the tip bounce with every head shake but the rod never looked out of control. After a short back and forth, we put the wood to him and the rod had plenty of power. A little while later, I looked down and John had another fish on. I hustled down and could see the rod had quite a bend. Even though the battle took an extra minute or so, John and the Sonic were flawless and we got the fish landed. We snapped a quick pic, and after releasing the fish, he smiled and told me that now he needed to go home and figure out what gun to sell so he could buy his own Sonic. At the end of the day, I asked these guys if they minded me giving it a few throws. I wanted to take a few shots at fish that I knew would be tucked under a tree. The Sonic is a little softer than the Igniter that I normally fish and my first two side arm casts skipped in a little short. My third cast was under the trees and after a really quick drift, I saw a flash and it was game on. The fish went up and then down river and tried to get me under some brush. I gave him a little tug away from the brush and the he headed for the rocks. I got him below the rock and just as I started smiling, I felt the dreaded ker-chunk and the hook slipped. I felt just enough of the rod to know that I wanted more.
Today was pretty cold but I wanted to get another shot with the Sonic. I started the day with some effortless long roll casts. I have never thought of myself as an great caster but even with the wind and ice, the rod casted like a dream. My first three fish today were a 16, 17 and 18 incher. The fish were a little less violent than last week but still had some serious punch. Wow, now here is what I absolutely loved about the rod. The perfect combination of feeling every headshake and still having plenty of power to move the fish where I needed him to go. I moved into a quicker, riffle run and hooked several. Takes were all well below me and I just really couldn’t seem to get the hook set. I’m not sure if it was the fact that the takes were so far below me or if I just needed a little more power. To finish the morning, I went into one of the more unusual spots. Due to the surroundings, this spot requires a 30-50 foot steeple cast with huge downstream mends into the wind. Now if you are reading that and all you read is gobbly-gook, don’t worry. I very rarely put clients in this situation because it is so difficult. I got in place and ripped out line until I was well into my running line. I had a target spot in mind but wasn’t sure if I could get it there. I did a quick forward cast, came straight up and let it shoot. Wow, ten feet further tan I had expected but dead on line. I rolled a huge downstream mend and after just a couple feet of drift the indicator shot down. It took me a second to get all that line under control but then it gave me an extra minute to feel the rod work.
Hopefully, this little review will help. As I have always said, the quality a rod is way more than just how it casts and the new Sonic seems to be the perfect combination of feel, power and just looks. I will finish with my own ratings on a 1-10 scale.
Feel and weight in hand….…..9
Price and value……………………10
Pics are from yesterdays guide trip and this morning. As always, Connell, Cat, Winston and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading…