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Sage’s SPECTRUM C Fly Reel – affordable and formidable

Sage’s SPECTRUM C Fly Reel – affordable and formidable

By Andrew Derr

Sage is now offering the affordable and newly designed, die-cast SPECTRUM C  large arbor fly reel ($150-$175). It features a machined die-cast frame and generously sized concave vented spool. In the guts of the reel is the same One Revolution Sealed Carbon Drag System contained in it’s more expensive counterparts in the Sage Spectrum family. Unexpected finishings like a machined aluminum handle and drag knob adorn the SPECTRUM C.

The SPECTRUM C design is attractive and the arbor is large enough for strong fish that require quick line pickup and ample storage for backing.

First Impressions

Having fished this reel extensively in the saltwater this Fall, I can say that the performance of the SPECTRUM C is formidable and dependable. The drag system which is sealed, is smooth on start-up, when a fish surges and under steady pressure. The design is attractive and the arbor is large enough for strong fish that require quick line pickup and ample storage for backing. The die-cast body is machined finished and powder coated for durability. All of this results in an attractive workhorse of a reel.

The design is attractive and the arbor is large enough for strong fish that require quick line pickup and ample storage for backing. Photo: A. Derr

I believe Sage has taken a page from the WW/Lamson school of thinking by including their own proprietary drag system and utilizing it in a range of different priced reels. The theory being that they will use the same solid “guts” in each reel while controlling price by varying design, finishes, machining, casting, etc…

SPECTRUM C handles the rigors of fighting strong saltwater fish. Photo: A. Derr

In this case, the SPECTRUM C represents the entry level of sealed drag saltwater ready reels for Sage. Because it is a cast reel, it requires a simpler manufacturing process that saves in the wallet in the end. I worked this reel hard with my clients in Montauk, NY and experienced zero malfunctions, corrosion, or adverse performance. Consistent and easy drag settings are a cinch with Sage’s One Revolution Drag Knob with numbered and detented indexes.

SEALED CARBON SYSTEM (SCS) DRAG

Spectrum’s entire drag system is completely sealed to keep out water, sand, grit, and salt.

Sage explains and touts the merits of their SCS drag system:

With its smooth engagement and consistent, dependable, and repeatable pressure, our SCS Drag allows you to fish with confidence knowing your tippet is protected. Proprietary high-grade US made carbon easily and repeatedly handles high pressure and quickly dissipates the kinetic energy of that running fish into thermal energy. Tailored configurations allow us to create specific drag systems for each model, size, and fishing application, and the entire system itself is sealed to keep out water, sand, grit, and salt.

Coming tight. Photo: A. Derr

Exclusive USA Carbon

Our drags discs are made with proprietary, high-grade US made carbon. It is the same material used in the brakes of jets and F1 race cars. We utilize carbon drag systems because we recognize it is the most efficient material for dissipating extreme heat without wear. Unlike alternative drag components such as cork or plastic, or even polymers like Delrin® and Rulon®, carbon does not compress, deteriorate, melt, or burn. It allows us to create compact drag systems that are high performance, stable, durable, and repeatable.

Albie fishing in Montauk with the Sage SPECTRUM C reel and 9-weight Sage X rod. Photo: A. Derr

I find something very comforting when buying a quality product from a company that I know will be around for the long haul. Sage has a stellar track record with customer service and consumers can take comfort in that fact. Sage isn’t going anywhere and will surely be there down the road should something go wrong with one of their products. The SPECTRUM C is a great addition to your arsenal. Like every new Sage rod, blank or reel, it is covered by a lifetime warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. Check out the SPECTRUM C Reel and their entire lineup at the Sage website.

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