We had a chance to fish the production version of the new Sage Xi3 on Puget Sound this week with Captain Keith Robbins. In addition to the many other rods in our quiver, we fished the 890-4 Xi3 for a good bit of the day.
Here’s what we thought of it.
- The Xi3 is noticeably faster than the Xi2. Jerry Siem at Sage says that the midsection of the rod in particular was sped up a bit. It feels faster overall, with a more consistent bend throughout the rod than the Xi2.
- The new Fuji stripping guides are giant! We’re told that they’re lighter and more durable.
- The reel seat is great – the lock rings have a very deep pattern that makes it easy to crank ’em down.
- We buy the claim that these rods are more accurate. Cutting-edge rod building technology is a bit beyond us, but we can tell you that the fly tends to land where you want it to land.
- It hucks! Maybe it’s just the faster action, but your line sails, and the difference is more noticeable when you’re dealing with some wind.
- They look delightful. The ‘Pacific-blue’ color is pretty darned cool.
Obviously we’re sold. If you’re in the market for an all-around saltwater fly rod, we don’t know why you wouldn’t check out the Xi3. You can get one online here.