Sage METHOD Switch Rod 6119-4 – Review

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Last year, we were fortunate to get a hold of the Sage METHOD 7126-4 spey rod for a week long testing on some hot Dean River steelhead at B.C. West. We loved it so much that when it came time to look for a new trout swinging stick we looked to the METHOD spey rod’s little sister, the METHOD switch series. We’re super glad we did and here’s why.

Sage METHOD Switch Rod Introduction

Like the rest of the world, we were a little heart broken when we first got wind that Sage’s popular TCX line of switch rods were going to be replaced. Why fix something that ain’t broken, right? Well, to make something better, that’s why! Like many folks, we were under the impression that the new ‘METHOD’ series of rods were going to be even stiffer than their TCX predecessor, which we were a bit concerned about.. However, after reaching out to the rod gurus at Sage, we learned that the METHOD was designed to perform as an ultra-fast action rod (like the TCX), but with MORE feel! We pulled the trigger once we learned that, and needless to say we have fallen in love all over again. Sorry TCX, but I think we should see other switch rods..
All METHOD Switch rods are 11 foot 9 inches long (same as the previous TCX switch line), and range from 6 weight to 9 weight. We love this length as it really hits our take on switch rods as ‘mini-spey rods.’ We find the idea of being able to switch from spey casting to overhead casting more of a ‘dream’ than reality. Any rod performs best if lined with only one style of casting in mind and we have found the 11 foot 9 inch length to be nearly perfect for two handed casting in tight quarters.
We got our hands on the METHOD Switch 6119-4, that’s an 11 foot 9 inch 6 weight (whatever that means in spey terms now-a-days), with our big western Alaska rainbow trout in mind, and we absolutely love it.. Here’s why.

Design

The 6119-4, like the rest of the METHOD switch, spey, and single hand rods is bright ‘magma’ red in color. We were a little hesitant the first time we saw it, but we have to admit, it looks pretty darn cool. For those of you asking yourself, ‘it’s a little bright, won’t that spook the fish?’ Our answer would be, ‘I think you’re standing too close to the fish.’
As far as aesthetics, the 6119-4 features a classy down locking reel seat and high end components that we’ve learned to expect from everything Sage.
In our opinion, the design of the grips are spot on as well. We found the top hand grip to be just the right length needed for that compact stroke used most often with shorter rods, while the bottom hand grip is extremely comfortable right out of the gate.
Weighing in at a mere 5 7/16 ounces, the 6119-4 feels extremely light in the hand, allowing for longer fishing days.

Casting Performance

The first word that came to mind after casting the 6119-4 was crisp. Although only a 6 weight, we were impressed at the power available in such a small package. We half expected to have to work to load the rod, but to our delight, it loads extremely easy. We’ll hand it to our friends at Sage, it does seem to have more ‘feel.’
We threw a number of sink tips on it as well from 10 feet of T-8 upwards to 7  feet of T-14 all with great success, with a T-11 MOW tip feeling really, really, good. We even chucked some heavy lead-eye articulated flies with ease!

Line Match

We started out casting an Airflo skagit switch 450 grain head and never looked back. We found the 450 to load the rod effectively both on short lazy casts as well hero casts. However, with that said, your humble editor would admit to having a slower stroke than some. For those with a faster or more traditional casting style (i.e. kiss and go casts), a line in the 420 grain range might be more appropriate.

Reel Match

We paired the 6119-4 with Sage’s new Evoke 8 reel (stayed tuned for our review) to make for quite a sexy setup. At 9.90 ounces, we found the Evoke 8 to be perfectly balanced with the skagit head outside of the rod tip of the 6119-4. Not to mention it looks super, super cool.

Conclusion

You might have noticed, but throughout this review we didn’t list what we didn’t like about the 6119-4. That’s because we couldn’t really find anything! Honestly! The 6119-4 fit the bill perfectly for the trout we encounter at Alaska West. It was even up to the challenge of battling a few chum dogs!
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