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Author Topic: Sage ESN 2100-4 Review  (Read 5366 times)

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Alain C. Barthelemy

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Sage ESN 2100-4 Review
« on: February 15, 2012, 06:34:27 PM »
I am late to the game, but I thought you might like to hear a review about this rod.  I tried to include the pictures I would like to have seen before spending $699 on this one.  I am probably overly critical, but I can definitely see a dip in the overall Sage build quality.  This is certainly due to the reduction in their workforce and the need to introduce entire new rod series every couple years.  The Z-Axis rod I have possesses much better build quality.

First impressions appearance:
(1) Noticeably thin blank
(2) No more nickel silver (due to weight reduction and cost savings)
(3) Thinner wire in guides (I think)
(4) Thinner ferrules

First impressions action:
(1) Heavier in the tip than I would have hoped.   :(
(2) Action is probably best called "medium-fast."  If you wiggle the assembled rod, the main flexure node is about 15in down from the tip.  On a truer medium rod, I think this point should be closer to the center of the rod.
(3) The rod is basically three traditional sections (butt, 2nd, 3rd) and a really innovative tip section.  I am pretty sure you could mount this tip section to three Z-Axis sections and get something similar.
(4) When you put the hook on the hook keeper and crank down the reel a bit, the tip of the rod bends in an unusual, painful way.

To combat the slightly heavy (swing weight) feel, I added a roll of lead golfer's tape around the spool of my Litespeed 2.  That will help.  I also used the rod today with the EZ fighting butt, a real plus in my opinion.

First impressions fishing:
(1) I fished the Farmington today for 3 hours and caught 3 nice browns, up to 18in.  The last one was an obese green dye mark from last year, probably 2.5lbs.  The rod handles the fish with ease.  I could have caught more fish but I had to go.
(2) The tip is EXTREMELY sensitive.  Even a snagged leaf registers as a take.  Snags almost scare you, the rod moves so much.
(3) The rod is excellent for short and long line contact nymphing. 

Early disappointment:
(1) I don't think the rod action is as good as it could be for casting long leaders.  The action of the rod should flex a little closer to the center of the 10ft length.  You don't really feel like you are using the power of the butt section when casting.
(2) The rod casts very well close in right off the tip.

I may add more later...

Nice solid case, in a deep green color:


Thoughtful tag sewn in to rod bag:


The rod logo:


Winding check, hook keeper, gold accents:


Good quality cork, not best quality, some filler, half wells customized:


Nice shiny wood spacer, dark aluminum hardware.  Hard core competitors might want to dull down the wood gloss a bit:


Stripper guide, fair thread wrapping, can see a little chrome through the thread:


Innovative top, large size, circular:


End cap for case, with really cheap-looking sticker:

Offline Alex Argyros

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Re: Sage ESN 2100-4 Review
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 07:42:48 AM »
Thanks for the review.

Offline John Killinger

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Re: Sage ESN 2100-4 Review
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 09:02:03 AM »
Had my 4wt ESN out the other day and I was highly impressed. Casts a long leader effortlessly, fishes dries well, fishes well with a curly, and protects thin tippets(7x) on big fish. I'm very happy with it. Then again, I was used to using a 3wt streamflex as my only nymphing fly rod. 4wt seems the same weight as the 3wt also.
-JK

Offline Mark Hanes

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Re: Sage ESN 2100-4 Review
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2012, 10:46:34 AM »
I have heard some good things about the 3wt.  Once I give the BVK's a good test I can see my gear junky side wanting one of the ESN's to.  I am actually interested in checking out the 2wt myself for smaller flies and lighter tippets.
Its not about the fish.

Offline Todd Oishi

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Re: Sage ESN 2100-4 Review
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 12:04:01 PM »
I have the 3-weight Mark, and absolutely love it for my style of nymphing. The thinner blank and other refinements definitely help to reduce the overall weight of this rod...

Offline Sean Crocker

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Re: Sage ESN 2100-4 Review
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 12:20:03 PM »
I agree Todd. I also have the 3wt and it fits my style well. I would like to see that blank in an 11 footer.

Offline Steve Rudolf

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Re: Sage ESN 2100-4 Review
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2012, 03:31:01 PM »
I am new at this so bear with me.  Would you prefer a 3 or 4 wt for a river like the Farmington?  How about the Delaware?
What is the advantage of a lighter rod.  More sensitivity? 
Can you fish dries with the 3 wt?

Thanks

 

 
 
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