I have to say up front that I am fast becoming a bit f a fan of the gear Sage has been putting out lately. That said I am still a value for money fly fisherman and that’s why I looked at getting into the new Sage 6200 series and more specifically the reel above, the 6280.
In case you haven’t noticed from the rest of the blogs and the website I am more of a saltwater fly fisherman than a trout guy and I really love fish that can pull line off and get to to the point of the braid humming through the guides. Fish like Aussie Salmon, Kingfish, Trevally and tuna get the heart pumping and are so addictive that it keeps you coming back for more line burn, so for that you need gear that can take that sort of punishment more than once in it’s lifetime.
From what I had read and heard about the 6200 series, even before it was released, it sounded like a solid reel with a drag system that should be able to match it with any fish that will scoff a fly down and run off. For me it was a must look at reel for my trips away chasing the speedsters of the north.
I spoke to a few people in the know and waited for some feedback on usage and the review that got me was one by Peter Morse on the 6212 reel that he used chasing beakies in Kuala Rompin. Before he had even set foot on the boat for that trip, Peter had posted about the amount of backing the reel took as well as the one turn drag system with easy to read numbers on a large drag knob. I know when I have fished for tuna that setting the drag was important not just for stopping the fish, but for giving it line when the tax men (sharks) were on their tails. The good thing about the 6200 series is that you can set a drag using the numbered knob and always go straight back to that setting and the drag pressure will always be the same. The big numbers also make it easy to read when the pressure is on and you don’t have your glasses on 😉
O.k. so that is the why I looked at it. When I got my 6280 straight out of the box you could see the quality finish, but was also amazed at ho light it was for such a robust reel. No frame wiggle in these babies at all yet is probably one of the lightest reels in my arsenal. Sometimes you get alight reel that lacks the stability – kind of a compromise situation. Tuna will test any tackle and I have had reels that have spools that scrape the frame when trying to wrestle the fish back to the boat. That won’t happen with the 6200s.
I set this reel up to take a 9 weight line. I know what you are thinking – but it’s an 8 weight reel…. yeah it is but the spool is almost the same size at the 4210 reel so I don’t think it’s a struggle to get a 9 weight line on it. It took close to 300m of 50lb FINs to fill the spool on top a 9 weight outbound short, so a line with a big fat head section. It should handle the fish I will be casting at with no problems. I have paired this reel up with the Sage Salt 9 weight that I have and combined makes a very balance outfit in bot feel and looks (both are Cobalt blue).
I have only had the chance to water test it on tailor so far, but in terms of that balance, it was excellent. Everything is easy to find – the drag, spool rim if you need to palm the spool and the reel handle all feel solid. I am yet to really test the drag system out but given it is a sealed carbon drag similar to the 4210, I can’t see there being any issues with smoothness and consistency.
If you are looking at a reel that you will have for a lifetime then you’d be hard pushed to go past the 6200s. Make sure it’s on your comparison list!
Update – Fished Weipa a few weeks back and the reel performed far better than I expected. It managed several longtail tuna, mac tuna, queenfish and tuskfish with no problems. The drag setting was so easy mid fight. Interestingly I had to pump up the drag for the tuskfish 2 notched above the longtail setting – geez they pull hard.