Sage Salt R8 990-4


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SKU: sag-saltr8-9904

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Product Description

Sage Salt R8 990-4 fly rod

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


  1. The R8 Salt 990 is a very good 9 weight, but it didn’t have the unicorn feeling of the 790 and 890 to me. I thought this rod had a more traditional Sage feeling and benefited the most from an aggressive casting stroke. When I stepped up the cadence and increased my energy input the rod responded prodigiously. Some rods lean towards presentation; some rods lean towards power. The R8 Salt 990 leans towards power and the more I put into the rod the more the rod gave back. I cast the Rio Bonefish, Elite Flats Pro and Elite Permit WF9F. The Elite Flats Pro was my pick on the rod and broadened the loading range. Both the Bonefish and Permit lines required more precise timing than I care for, and neither achieved the performance of the Flats Pro on the 990. I believe the R8 Salt 990 is a shade stouter than the Salt HD 990 and lends itself to be a better rod for sinking lines and more power-oriented techniques. Long pick up off the water, automatic delivery and the capability to generate tremendous line speeds are the hallmarks of the R8 Salt 990.

    Richard Post (Telluride Angler)
  2. The 990/4 R8 Salt from Sage is a little different than the other rods in the R8 Salt family. Where the 6wt, 7wt, and 8wt are all very well rounded rods the 9wt seems to be lacking an identity in a lot of ways. It is a relatively nice casting rod but it doesn’t quite have that silky smooth feeling that other rods in the lineup have. It takes a little longer to get used to this rod, too. Most of the rods in the R8 Salt lineup are very intuitive and tell the caster what they want from them. The trigger point on the 990/4 isn’t as automatic as the others but you can still find it with a little experimentation. Finding the correct line on this rod was a bit of a challenge. I played around with the Rio Elite Permit WF9F, Rio Elite Bonefish WF9F and Rio Elite Flats Pro WF9F. All three lines will work for different purposes but I found the Elite Flats Pro to be my favorite. The Elite Bonefish throws a nice tight loop and would be a good line for heavy-duty Hawaii bonefishing but the Elite Flats Pro is the most well-rounded line in the bunch.

    Parker Thompson (Telluride Angler)
  3. Equally capable but more line sensitive than the others, the Salt R8 990-4 needs a Rio Flats Pro or SA Infinity Salt to load into the mid-section, where it really comes alive. It’s a very good saltwater 9-weight with the right line, but lacks polish with lighter lines, like the Elite Bonefish, or lines with unusual heads, such as the Rio Elite Permit taper. The 990-4 marks the transition between the light and heavy line weights in the series. The 690, 790 and 890 are remarkable for their airy feel and hand-to-tip connection with the line. The 990-4 is like a Howitzer. It will hit all of your downrange targets, but you might need to shield your eyes and ears while casting.

    John Duncan (Telluride Angler)
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