We recently spent a week at BC West fishing Sage’s new 7126-4 METHOD spey rod. We loved it, we named it, and now we’ll tell you why.
The Sage 7126-4 TCX has been one of the more popular steelhead rods around the Pacific Northwest over the past few years. Light but incredibly powerful, the 7126 TCX has done a great job blasting laser loops across rivers from the Deschutes to the Dean, so when some genius nicknamed it ‘The Death Star’, the name stuck.
Some anglers, though, didn’t love The Death Star, because they didn’t feel like it loved them back. Powerful, sure, but it really didn’t bend very much, so folks who like to really feel their rod load tended to shy away. Lots of power without a lot of love – it was clearly a tool of The Dark Side, so The Death Star name was pretty appropriate on the down side as well.
METHOD Spey Rods – With Love!
Sage has just replaced their super-fast TCX line (single- and double-handed) with a new series called the METHOD. Despite what seems to have been the trend the past decade or so, this new generation of rods…brace yourself…bends more! Yep, although METHOD spey rods are, according to Sage, “Ultra Fast” and for “Extreme Distance”, to us the most noticeable change from the TCX line is that they load easier, and even with more feeling.
Take a rod with the power of the Death Star, add a whole bunch of love, and what do you get? Not a force for evil, but a force for good! Not a tool of Darth Vader, but a tool of Yoda! When you fish the METHOD , you’re not a soldier of the Empire, you’re a Jedi, so…congratulations, you made it through our brutal chain of metaphors…we’re calling it The Lightsaber.
OK, on to the details. The 7126-4 METHOD is ‘Magma Red’, which we think looks pretty cool but takes a little getting used to. It’s got a downlocking reel seat. It’s 12’6″ long and it’s for a 7-weight line, whatever that means these days (more on line match below).
It weighs 6 1/2 ounces. That’s almost an ounce less than the Death Star, and it feels really light.
Tons of power, and a whole lotta love. It bends nice and easy on short and/or lazy casts, but if you give a nice strong pull with your bottom hand, you better hope you stripped off a whole bunch of running line because that loop is headed for orbit. You can cast it short and you can cast it far, and that’s pretty cool. If you’re a decent spey caster and have it lined basically right, you’ll quickly be casting much further than you can effectively fish, most of the time.
One other nice benefit of the ‘easy load with lots of power’ combination is that you can make a bunch of different kinds of casts work with the same head. Those of us who like to do the Perry Poke know that for that cast to work, your rod needs to be pretty heavily lined – in lots of cases, lined too heavily to perform well on a more ‘standard’ cast like the Snap T. Once we got it lined right, every type of (Skagit) cast we tried felt great.
Speaking of which, we’ll take the Rio Skagit Max 550, please. We started off with the 525 and thought it was OK, but with the 550 it felt smoother, more forgiving and somehow more ‘alive’. As noted, it Poked and Snap-T / double speyed great with the 550.
Oh, you haven’t heard much about the Skagit Max? That’s because it just came out. Don’t worry, we’ll follow up with more on the Skagit Max in the next week or two. Teaser: huge upgrade to the Skagit Flight. Mega.
We fished it with Medium MOW Tips in all configurations, and with 10 feet of T-14 too. Flies were weighted and unweighted. All good.
The Sage 6080 balanced it well and had plenty of capacity given our preference for mono running lines.
It’s The Lightsaber, and it’ll turn you into a Jedi Knight! Seriously, it’s a fabulous rod, with a rare combination of quickness, power and feel. It’ll cover as much water as you want it to, with a variety of different casts, and most importantly, with a whole lot of feel throughout. Love it!
You can pick one up at your local Sage dealer, or online right here.
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