Product Review:Sage Vantage Fly Rods

Sage Vantage Fly Rods

I am the type of fly fisherman that thinks if one or two rods will do, then you better own 37 of them. Actually my own personal quiver numbers somewhere around a dozen but there is always room to expand. If you hang around Rosy long enough, he can assist you with whatever excuse you need to buy another one. What I found this year was a need for another 6 weight fly rod. I have a great six weight, but it broke during some violent streamer ripping last fall and I was in need in a bad way. I also needed a 9 for six that I could hand to a client in the boat and not worry too much if they strip that 16 inch whitefish all the way to the top guide and then lift the fish out of the water. I was looking for a forgiving medium action rod that a client could easily cast. I was also looking for a rod that I would enjoy fishing myself until my other one was repaired. If you pull into Sweetwater fly shop on a slow day, chances are you will find Rosey, Andrew, or myself out on the lawn either perfecting that line shooting double haul or trying out the sweetest new rods to hit the market. We have cast every rod in that shop and have defiantly formed our opinions.

I have cast the old launch rods, which was the Vantage’s predecessor. I was never very happy casing one of these and wondered even more how difficult it would be for a newbie to cast one. Sage did their homework in redesigning their entry-level rods. The Vantage has a sweet taper that is delicate enough for the smooth and easy strokes but with plenty enough backbone to turn over a double nymph or dry attractor rig in the wind. This is a go to stick for the hopper dropper rigs that we fish on the Yellowstone, especially for clients who need a little extra help with their cast. The 9 for 6 weighs only 3 and 5/16 oz. and feels good in the hand. It is probably a bit heavy for delicate dry fishing but the 4 or 5 weight would do the trick just fine, at least that’s what I thought casting them on the lawn out back. I have been fishing this rod for 6 months now, still have not sent my other six weight in for repair and have not really missed it. I have a buddy of mine who purchased the 9’ 7 weight as a streamer rod that I did get a chance to fish. He lost his Z Axis overboard in the stone and found himself in need for a backup, quick and on the cheap. Per my suggestion, he went for the Vantage and has been
happy with it so far after fishing a rod 3 times the cost of his new rod for years. I found it to be a great stick that wouldn’t hurt my shoulder casting a sink line and articulated streamer all day.

I see a lot of Temple Fork, Echo, Cortland, and Cabellas rods out on the river and I know they do the trick just fine. I feel an entry-level rod should cost $100 to $150 but for the fisherman who really wants a fine piece of Sage craftsmanship made in the USA, it is worth the extra hundred or so dollars. You get to own a rod that will be with you for a lifetime or a backup rod that will make you forget you broke your 600 dollar stick on a rip rap snag.

The Vantage has 8 rods offered ranging from a 7 ½ 3wt up to a 9’ 9wt and offers them in combos for 5,6, and 8 weight rods. The Vantage also comes with a nylon covered PVC combo rod tube meaning you can leave your reel on your rod when you put it away. Sweetwater Fly Shop carries several of the Vantage rods and Vantage outfits as well as any rod Sage builds at

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