Are you looking for a fun rod to add to your quiver? If so look no further than the Sage Dart. Sage recently developed this fast action series of rods to meet the needs of anglers targeting fish in small, confined obstruction ridden creeks and streams. The series includes six rod models ranging from 0-4 weight and lengths 6’6-7’6.
Light & Strong with Fast Recovery
As with all other specialty rods from Sage, the Dart is constructed with Konnetic HD materials. This type of construction not only makes for an extremely light and strong blank but also results in fast recovery speeds and impeccable line control when casting. The short yet powerful nature of this rod makes for a great tool when slinging flies into thick brushy creeks. Match this rod with a Rio Creek line and you have a deadly setup for reaching those fish in areas you never thought were possible to get a fly into.
How it Handles Big Flies (& Fish)
I have had the pleasure of fishing the 7’6 4wt Dart over the past few months and am blown away by its performance. Not only does this rod perform exceptionally well on small creeks and streams but also on larger rivers like the Madison. This year we were blessed to have an exceptionally good hopper season on the Upper Madison. After catching plenty of fish on standard 9ft 5 and 6 weight rods I thought it would be fun to test out the Dart’s ability to handle both big flies and fish. To my surprise the 4wt turned out to be a hopper throwing machine.
The rod can easily throw and maintain tight loops within the 40-50 foot range even when delivering a larger hopper imitation. The rod also boasts enough back bone to work large fish in swift currents into the net quickly. One thing I learned is that even though the 4wt casts great with the Rio Creek line it casts even better with a Rio Gold! The Gold’s slightly heavier and longer head taper favors throwing larger flies more so than the Rio Creek.
Short Rod, Quicker Hook Sets
An unexpected benefit I found while fishing the Dart is that the more I fished with it the more I noticed my hook up ratio improving. Fishing a short rod means you have to be a lot quicker on the hook set as you are picking up significantly less line when raising the rod on a hook set then you would be with a standard nine footer. At first this was a little frustrating as I have had very little experience casting short rods. After a few outings I got more dialed in with the timing on hook sets and saw a noticeably better hook up ratio when fishing not only the Dart but also with longer rods. The Dart makes for a great tool for an angler who is looking for a super fun rod to improve their short game.