Sage 590-4 R8 Core


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SKU: sag-r8c-5904

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Product Description

Sage 590-4 R8 Core Fly Rod

9’0″ 5-wt, 4-piece rod, case and liner
Unconditional Lifetime Warranty

  • Revolution 8 Technology
  • Silver Pine blank color
  • Slate primary wrap colors with graduated white and grey trim
  • Fuji ceramic stripping guides with hard chrome snake guides and tip top
  • Black rod bag with new cord lock for quicker, easier, cleaner storage
  • Aluminum rod tube with Sage logo medallion
  • 3-6 wt:  sustainable Ziricote wood insert with anodized uplocking aluminum real seat
  • 3-6 wt:  premium flor grade snub-nosed half-Wells grip
  • 5-9 wt:  corrosion-resistant anodized aluminum reel seat
  • 5-9 wt (all models with a fighting butt):  premium Flor grade full Wells grip with EVA fighting butt


  1. A lively and playful 5-weight with the right lines, this flagship model is much more than a pure caster.  Characteristic of the series, the 590-4 has a tip that is just stiff enough to force some graphite behind even the shortest casts.  This requires a patient stroke, even more so at short distances than long, but the tip snaps back with resilience, delivering excellent line speed with little effort from the caster.  You’ll really feel that tip follow through when roll casting and mending line.  The rod does a lot of work for the angler, both before and after your fly line is on the water.  You can’t hammer this rod like an Igniter or NRX+, but the angler who is well-versed in all-water techniques will find the R8 590-4 equally capable with dry flies and nymphs, truly a rod you can appoint for a long day in ever-changing conditions.  My favorite line for this model is the Rio Perception and my least favorite is the SA Infinity Taper.  Both are approximately ½ weight heavy for their line designation, so the difference must lie in the taper.  The Rio Perception makes this model feel light, crisp and free, whereas the Infinity Taper feels like the tail is wagging the dog.  I also like the Rio Gold on this model, as well as the Airflo Universal.  Stay away from extra heavy long-headed lines, such as the Rio Grand.  For me, this is a dry fly and nymphing 5-weight, but not a streamer rod.

    John Duncan (Telluride Angler)
  2. The 9’ 5wt is a model that I was very excited about. The 590/4 X was one of the finest 9’ 5wt rods on the market for years. The new R8 Core 590/4 is another standout rod. It is arguably not as sweet of a caster as the X 590/4, but it is a great fishing tool. It is much more sensitive to line pairings than other models in the series but with the right line it is a very nice fly rod. My favorite line on here by far is the Rio Elite Perception WF5F. Other lines made me feel slightly disconnected from the rod, but the Perception is magical. The rod itself is a little heavier in the tip than the X was, but overall it is a nice light 5wt. It’s important to note that this is a powerful fishing tool, but you still can’t really put too much weight into it. Slow down your casting stroke and let the rod tell you what to do next. All rods in the R8 Core family are very intuitive, but they don’t like too much unnecessary effort from the caster.

    Parker Thompson (Telluride Angler)
  3. The Sage R8 Core 590-4 is unlike any other 9 foot 5 weight Sage that I have cast. Overall, the 590 moves away from the faster and stiffer feel of Sage’s former flagship rod lineups and steps into a space that focuses on a rod’s true fishing applications along with casting enjoyment. This is a rod that you contemplate while casting. It bends smoothly along its length with tremendous sensation and literally handfuls of feedback. There is a feeling of the rod loading that is almost elastic. The rod has a springy character but the stability of the blank harnesses the energy in a way that feels very refined. The bend of the rod, the stability of the blank and the feeling of connectivity with the line translates into extreme confidence on the back cast. You really do get the sense of the line pausing in time without losing energy. At all distances the casts follow your eyes. The heightened feedback found in this rod really accentuates the stop. You get a wonderful response as the line turns over while you transition from your forward stroke to the back cast. The stop forms the loop and having more awareness at this moment is everything.

    I cast no less than six different floating lines on this rod and came away with two that I really like: the Rio Gold and the Rio Perception. The R8 doesn’t have the line tolerance of the X 590, but with these two lines on the R8, you come close to getting two rods. With a Rio Gold, the R8 590 slows down a touch and the rod seems to focus on the bend and rebound. It’s smooth and supple like taut leather and the loops are savory, and borderline indulgent. The loops travel fast, but they seem to accelerate along the length of the line very evenly. I get a sense of the belly of the line traveling through the air as much as the tip. It is a feeling of connectivity with the line that is hard for me to put a finger on, but I like it. I would choose the Gold for maximum dry fly and technical performance. With a Rio Perception, the R8 takes on a different character and feels livelier with a greater sensation of line speed. The rod itself feels more balanced with the Perception and more fluid. I think the Perception makes the R8 590 perform optimally and lends an electric feeling to the rod. This would be my personal choice for the R8 Core 590-4.

    Richard Post (Telluride Angler)
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