Sage Rods – Pulse Review

Review Author: David Hoppe

Rod: Sage Pulse
Length: 10ft
Line rating: #7
Weight: 3.25oz

At the start of the 2016 season I was fortunate enough to have been sent Sage’s 10ft, #7 Pulse rod to play with. I had planned to write a review of the rod early in the season and I did put pen to paper, but halfway through the review I decided I didn’t know enough about the rod to write an honest review.  And so, almost 12 months later, here are my thoughts:

Weight
Let’s start with weight, at 3.25oz it’s not Sage’s lightest rod, but at just over 3oz for a 10ft rod, it’s still a seriously light bit of tackle!

Action
When I read what Sage had to say about the action of the rod I was a little put off. I personally don’t like fast action, tippy rods, which is what this rod is supposed to be.

My fear with such rods is that when you play a fish there is no give in the rod’s blank. I find this can all too often result in losing fish. This is why when I am competitively fishing I don’t tend to use fast action rods.

However, after a season of casting and playing fish, I’m happy to report that when casting to the rod, it has a fast action, but when it comes to playing fish, the blank seems to be more giving and has a progressive, almost mid flex action.

So what does this mean? I can cast tight loops and far, but also play a fish safe in the knowledge that the rod will flex through its blank, resulting in less fish lost.  The proof is in the pudding….last season I was lucky enough to win the Iain Barr World Bank Masters with this rod. As the day progressed the fish moved further out. The Pulse allowed me to reach these fish. During the competition I hooked and landed 14 fish with none lost!

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Pulling, Nymphing, Dry’s or all?
At the start of last season I spent my first month casting di7s from boats. The rod coped really well with heavy lines. The rod is happy picking up and casting heavy lines. As the season progressed I was rather relieved to be fishing with lighter lines such as floaters, midge tips and intermediates. The rod was perfect for those lines too.  I also spent a lot of time during the summer fishing drys on floaters.  The rod seemed to be equally at home flicking drys to rising fish and I was able to accurately present my flies with the rod at distance.  Then to end the season I was back to the sinkers, this time launching tubes. Again, the rod coped admirably well. It’s fair to say this rod is a great all-rounder!

Because I was happy with the rod’s all-round performance, I used the rod during the 2016 Troutmaster Final and Anglian Water International Final where I fished a range of lines and techniques.

Cosmetics
And so, onto the cosmetics; I like a little colour. Sage tell me the rod has a ‘litchen’ blank colour; for those of you who don’t really know what ‘litchen’ colour looks like (which did include me), it’s a crisp, olive colour, almost golden. The blank certainly isn’t too bright and isn’t going to scare any fish away.

Onto the rod handle; it’s quite chunky. When I started fishing with the rod the chunkiness bothered me a little, mainly as I am used to fishing with slightly thinner handles.  However, after only a few trips I got used to the handle. Funnily enough I asked a few of my team members to have a cast with the Pulse rod, they all commented on how they liked the handle, so I guess it’s all down to personal preferences (and familiarity)!

Rod Tube
Call me lazy, but I don’t like having to put my rod away into rod bags, I find it fiddly and a pain when you are in boat and it’s windy… the Pulse comes in a cleverly sectioned tube rod holder; not only does it look rather cool, it’s perfect for those like me who moan when trying to put your rod sections into tiny rod bag compartments.

Conclusion
So, after 12 months of fishing with the Pulse I am genuinely pleased with the rod. As the season progressed it became apparent that this rod was happy casting sinking lines from a boat, to floaters from a bank. I used the rod in major UK fly fishing competition finals and it helped me become 2016 World Bank Master Champion.

If you are looking for a mid-priced Sage Fly Rod, I personally recommend the Pulse.

David Hoppe

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