Sage introduces the new range of R8 CORE fly rods | Hatch magazine


You’ve probably heard us quote our good friend, frequent contributor and trout school “headmaster” Todd Tanner when stating that the true mark of a great fly rod is one that “disappears in your hand”, a rod which is so intuitive and attuned to your fishing, you hardly notice it’s there. It looks like iconic rod maker Sage, who this week introduced their latest flagship rod, the R8 CORE, agrees. The R8 CORE, born from Sage’s new R8 technology, is the one the Bainbridge Island rod maker says is most focused on helping anglers enjoy “an idyllic day on the water. …not when we are thinking more, but when we are thinking less.Finding that state of fishing in the moment, where instinct and experience bring us to an almost Zen-like awareness of every movement and subtle movement.

As Sage fly rod designer Paul Schmierer says, “You shouldn’t be on a beautiful river focused on the technology that’s in your rod. You shouldn’t fight with your cane. You have to focus on catching a fish or having a good time or where you are – that’s what R8 CORE is. It’s not a race or a competition, but a state that we all aim to achieve on the water.

The driving force behind Sage’s latest flagship rod is its new R8 Technology – the graphite and resin matrix from which the new R8 CORE is constructed. What’s particularly remarkable about R8 is that it includes, for the first time in nearly 20 years, new graphite. Over the years, Sage has developed and released a host of iterations of materials technology – G5, Konnetic and KonneticHD to name a few – but these new technologies were exclusively the result of advancements in resins and composites.

It’s the first time in two decades, since the days of Sage’s Graphite IIIe and its beloved XP series of fly rods, that Sage has introduced an entirely new graphite fiber technology, one that combines these new fibers with resin and advanced composites from previous generations.

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Image credit: Sage Fly Fishing

According to Sage, when designing the R8 CORE, the rod manufacturer focused on feel and pace, “rather than dialing in distance from the parking lot”, a statement that will no doubt intrigue many anglers. According to Sage, the CORE’s all-new graphite fibers dramatically improve responsiveness and sensitivity and move “energy further into the blank and into the shaft.”


sage r8 core fly rod

Image credit: Sage Fly Fishing

In their message about the new rod family, Sage points out that the R8 CORE range is designed to be versatile. In a teaser video about the new CORE released last week, viewers visit Sage Ambassadors and other anglers who have tested the R8 CORE in a wide variety of angling challenges – from tricky fly presentations dry to “junk rigs” of heavy nymph. to hucking heavy streamers on heavy lines – which suggests the new R8 CORE excels at all of these tasks.

Sage’s new R8 CORE flagship debuts in 19 different models ranging from 3-weight to 9-weight, at an MSRP of $1,050. To learn more about the R8 CORE, visit Sage Fly Fishing.

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