Sage 896-4 R8 Core


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SKU: sag-r8c-8964

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Product Description

Sage 896-4  R8 Core Fly Rod

9’6″ 8-wt, 4-piece rod with anodized aluminum reel seat and fighting butt
Comes with a 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. I was very excited to cast this rod. The X 896 was so good and I really didn’t know what they could do to improve that rod. After casting the R8 Core 896-4 I was left thinking that Sage bumped up the power and made the rod feel as strong as it casts. The X 896 had a really sweet action that cast beautifully and felt lighter in the hand than you expect for a 9 foot 6 inch 8 weight. The R8 Core 896 has a faster rod feel and produces higher line speed, giving the caster a more empowering feeling. You feel more connected to this rod and get the feeling of hitting the gas in a sporty car when you stand on this rod. You can really stand on it too, you don’t have to, but the response of the rod encourages you to really drive the cast. The pick up and lay down with this rod is perfect. The loops are so level and connected to the rod that you get the sense of laying down wire. The exactness is akin to fitting a puzzle piece in its proper spot. I really enjoyed the Rio Elite Gold on this rod. The Rio Elite Perception was very nice as well and produced lots of line speed off the tip. The R8 896 had a shooty feel with this line and was truly fun to watch the head of the line race away and turn over. As a mending rod you feel a little stiffness. The 896 has a similar fast rod feel to the R8 696, but the heavier blank of the 8 weight isn’t quite as lively. This rod is more of an AK salmon rod than a large trout rod. I also believe this is a much better tool than its predecessor for throwing shooting head style surf lines to stripers. You get a more powerful rod in the R8 896 than the X and a rod that throws shorter heavier lines more easily. If you’re looking for an empowering distance casting 8 weight that is approachable to many fly casters, look no further.

    Richard Post (Telluride Angler)
  2. This is a very good rod for its designed purpose. Similar to the other 9’ 6” rods in the R8 family, the 896/4 is wonderfully light in hand and feels a little stiffer than other rods in the series. It is a rock star caster that can throw the tightest of loops into the wind. It is also very stable. You can pick up 60 feet of fly line off the water and shoot it back out with ease. It feels like a smaller rod than it is in hand, but as soon as you cast it you can feel what it is capable of. My favorite floating line on this rod was the Rio Elite Gold WF8F. I also messed around with the Elite Perception but thought it slowed the rod down just a little too much for me.

    Parker Thompson (Telluride Angler)
  3. R8 896-4: The angler planning to fish heavy-headed lines and sink tips has found the right fly rod. Whereas the R8 Core 796 and 7100 flex evenly down the blank, the 896-4 firms up noticeably in the mid-section, possessing a distinct launching point for heavy headed lines and shooting heads. This is a load-and-shoot style rod, rather than one designed to carry a long line while false casting. It takes a few reps to find that sweet spot, but then it’s intuitive and commanding. The powerful butt and mid sections are really useful for lifting sink tips from deep water to start the next cast. You’ll pull the line up with authority and form a sharp casting loop on your first backward sweep. In addition to salmon and steelhead fishing, this will be a fantastic pike rod, well-suited to specialty line tapers and extra bulky flies.

    John Duncan (Telluride Angler)
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