Sage Salt R8 1290-4


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SKU: sag-saltr8-12904

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Product Description

Sage Salt R8 1290-4 fly rod

9’0″ 12-weight, 4-piece fly rod with partitioned cloth liner and heavy duty aluminum case


  1. This is a wonderful 12-weight. Similar in style to the #11, the Salt R8 1290-4 generates line speed naturally as it loads into the mid-section of the rod. Unlike the #11, it is stable and generates high line speed with a wide variety of lines and casting strokes varying in cadence and power. This is perhaps the only 12-weight that I would choose over its 11-weight counterpart for tarpon and it doesn’t feel much heavier than an 11-weight. It is a rod that optimizes the performance of the fly line in the sense that a minimal amount of casting power results in high line speed and an accurate fly presentation in the money range of 40-75 feet. I threw it with an SA Amplitude Tarpon WF12 and can tell that it will handle just about any 12-weight line. This rod feels springy rather than stiff. It may not pick up 50’ off the water with the same authority as an Asquith 12-weight and it doesn’t accommodate an aggressive “stab cast,” but the rod’s taper will be highly effective with a wide range of fly sizes, from sleek tarpon patterns to bulky GT poppers. I recommend this 12-weight without reserve.

    John Duncan (Telluride Angler)
  2. The Sage Salt R8 1290 is a phenomenal 12-weight. As light in the hand as any 12-weight I’ve held, the 1290 holds a heavy-headed line in the air with supernatural ease and control for a rod of this size. I feel like a lot of 12-weights out there are stubbornly stiff and require constant attention to keep the rod and line engaged, and to avoid a trailing backcast from finding the back of your head. I know I have mentioned this in previous reviews, but it is worth repeating. When grain weights get above 400, gravity does a number on the line and I always feel the extra effort required to make smooth and consistent false casts. I tend to have to squeeze the cork to maintain control. Keeping a heavy hand on the cork creates fatigue and gives me a sense of unease, like a longtailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I look for a big rod that feels natural to me and lets me think about fishing rather than casting. The Salt R8 1290 makes the heavy line feel lighter and more controlled. I felt the rod load up noticeably and the rod returned a feeling of building energy through the load. I could hold the cork lightly like a golf club in the backcast, and really get a sense of the energy building behind me. In my mind, this is an ideal Tarpon 12-weight and I preferred this rod to the 1190. The Salt R8 1290 is light in the hand, hard on the pull and intuitive to the caster.

    Richard Post (Telluride Angler)
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