Sage Trout LL Fly Rod Review

Where the does the LL fit within the Sage lineup?

In Montana, we spend the entire year dreaming in anticipation of casting at heads. That time is here. The Sage LL. LL stands for Light Line. This is the legacy family within the Sage rod brand. This was one of the old school presentation dry fly rods dating back to the early '80s. We're now in generation three.

Interestingly, we have our hands on one of the gen-2 LLs (watch video above). We also have, courtesy of Jesse Robbins at Sage, a printout of one of the original catalogs. From the beginning, the Trout LL has been a purpose-built rod for presentation dry fly fishing.

Sage Trout LL OriginalOriginal Trout LL from Sage catalog (cred: Jesse Robbins, Sage).

The Trout LL is medium action with tons of feel throughout the stroke and has a soft enough tip to accommodate fishing very light tippet on long leaders. And they've got the beautiful aesthetics of the old LLs. Walnut reel seats paired with a beautiful and classic blank color.

Dating back to the original LL, the most popular rod, not by virtue of numbers of rod sold but angler passion for the individual rod, was the Sage LL 389. Spring creek aficionados flocked to this rod, and to this day continue to, to the new one.

What's the ideal application for this rod and where does it fit in my quiver?

This is a dry fly presentation rod. Starting with the LL HD 389; Think spring creeks, casting size 20 spinners, casting to heads with size 18 BWOs. This rod is built to do that. 

The LL HD 590 or 690 paired with a RIO Gold and/or Technical Trout, your preference, you can cast large terrestrials, hoppers, stoneflies, salmonflies, this rod is built to do that. Guess what it always is on the Madison? Windy. It'll turn over these larger bugs on a 9 or 12-foot leader in the wind accurately. It's going to put that fly where you want it to go.

We like the 590 on the Madison, fishing large stimmies, chubbies, etc. What line would you put on for this?

RIO Gold. Particularly given the conditions we fish in on the Madison. Wind, throwing into tight cover, I would go with the Gold. The Technical Trout will do it. I believe that the Gold will do it more effectively.

Trout LL Lineup

Sage Trout LL Reel Seat

Trout LL with Salmonfly

Moose on the Madison
One of the Ennis locals paid a visit while we were filming.


1 comment


  • John

    My favorite rod is 4wt 9’. have had this rod for many years.I am sure the new technology is a lot better, however I will never replace this rod.


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