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Saltwater Rods

Sage Maverick 9-foot 10-weight Fly Rod

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a perfectly good, high-performing saltwater fly rod you can take anywhere in the world.
Kirk Deeter author.
Kirk Deeter
June 22, 2024
Sage | Maverick 9-foot 10-weight Fly Rod
product description
“Sage’s new MAVERICK has been designed to maximize quick-shot opportunities with a powerful tip section that drives the casting load down to more robust lower sections, making it easier to fire quick, efficient casts and help the angler make the most of finite opportunities.” – Sage
company ethos
“Craftsmanship is our people. We’re not a big faceless factory, but rather a workplace of craftspeople who design and build the world’s best fly rods and reels using our hands and hearts.” – Sage

I signed up for an impromptu trip to Baja (northwestern Mexico) to chase roosterfish and dorado in the Sea of Cortez and knew I needed a 10-weight fly rod. I had one 10-weight already, but “Pez Gallo” (roosterfish), “toros” (crevalle jacks), tuna and jumpy dorados are all notorious for breaking rods, especially when you’re fishing out of a panga (boats perfectly designed for the region, but rod holders aren’t part of the mix). And knowing that a 10-weight rod is the fly-fishing standard, I wanted to be able to rig one rod with an intermediate sink tip line, and another with a full floating line.

What I didn’t want to do is pay more than a grand for a fly rod that I know I’ll use on a couple trips a year, if I’m lucky, amounting to fewer than a couple weeks worth of days on the water.

But I wanted an American-made rod. I wanted something that I could cast through the wind–both accurately and far. I knew I’d be throwing large flies, so I wanted a fast-action rod I could set up with a beefy fly line. I wanted power, so I could fight fish, particularly turning and lifting. And I wanted a warranty, in case I did break it.   

I got all that with the Maverick, and it costs $675–made in the USA, with a warranty and it’s an absolute gun for making long casts with big flies. It’s not dainty, delicate (not that any 10-weights are), or for making fancy trick shots. It’s a casting power tool–a one-cast wonder and fish fighter. My first fish on the Maverick was a 50-plus-pound rooster that took 37 minutes to land. Those 37 minutes, and the five-second cast before, cemented my friendship with this rod forever.

The good news/bad news for Sage is that we love the Maverick fly rod, but also don’t think we’ll ever need to purchase a saltwater fly rod (from them) for more than a grand. The truth is, and relative to all the saltwater rods they manufacture, the Maverick feels like all you’ll ever need–and exactly like the top-of-the-line saltwater rods they produced for $900 about 10 years ago.

Solid construction, great performance, meaningful warranty and thoughtfully designed. What’s not to like?

Pros

It’s a strong caster–good in wind, builds tight loops, great at shooting line for distance.

It’s accurate–Konnetic technology does enhance the rod’s precision, even at distance.

It’s beautiful–the Pacific Blue color is attractive and distinctive.

Tough components and construction.

Cons

I wish the fighting butt was an inch longer and slightly larger in diameter.

Reel seat and components are perfectly functional, but nothing special.

You need to be comfortable casting a fast-action fly rod.

You need to pair the rod with the correct 10-weight fly line (usually a weight, or two, heavy), especially if you’re throwing large flies. In lighter line weights, I’d stick closer to the standards.

If you went back in a time machine and looked for the very best saltwater rod blank you could find 10 years ago, this would be it, maybe with some fancier components. But this Maverick fly rod is best-in-class, emeritus.  

Priced at $675, and made in the USA with a lifetime warranty, this is a fair deal for the rod action and performance record. The last place I’d go bargain hunting is for a cheaper import rod to take fishing for Pez Gallo.

  • Price: $675
  • Dimensions: 9-foot, 10-weight, 4-piece fly rod
  • Weight: 4.75 ounces
  • Construction/Materials: Konnetic Technology utilizes advanced modulus positioning that places carbon fibers to exacting tolerances (we know, it’s a mouthful). What does it all really mean? A lighter, slimmer, stronger blank, providing better line speed and accuracy and smoother tracking (less vibrations)
  • Guides: Oversized Fuji ceramic stripper guides, oversized hard chromed snake guides and tip-top
  • Reel Seat: Corrosion resistant, anodized aluminum
  • Rod action: fast
  • Rod tracking: straight
  • Rod recovery: fast
  • Warranty information: Sage warranty policy

Sage warranty policy.

Sage doesn’t offer an “unconditional” lifetime warranty, like some other companies do. They’ll fix what they deem to be a manufacturer defect for free, but that almost never happens. On the other hand, they can rebuild a broken part to match your rod exactly, which is a pretty cool deal. But when your puppy munches your 5-weight, you’re going to pay.

“Every new Sage rod, blank, and Sage series reel purchased through an authorized dealer is covered by our original owner warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. This warranty is limited to repair and replacement of the rod, blank, or reel and does not cover direct, indirect, consequential, incidental, or any other type of damage resulting from the use of the product. This warranty does not cover misuse, neglect, normal wear, fire, theft, missing/lost rod sections, intentional breakage, modification or customization of the finished rod, or damage during the assembly of a blank into a finished rod by a non-Far Bank custom rod-builder.”

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a perfectly good, high-performing saltwater fly rod you can take anywhere in the world, make long casts (or short, accurate ones) and fight big fish with.

If you’re more interested in the “latest and greatest” manufacturing technologies, fine, go for it. But in five years, those fly rod advancements will also be yesterday’s news. There’s no fish that’s going to outclass the Maverick, and there’s no caster who is going to outgrow it. 

Most importantly, the fly line you choose to pair with this rod will bring out its character, and that requires a fair amount of experimentation and trial and error.

For looks, dependability, cast-ability and value, Maverick checks all the boxes, and I consider it one of the best saltwater rod options out there, especially for someone who fishes in saltwater on dedicated trips away from home. If you live by the beach and fish 100 days a year, you might, justifiably, want more. But for dabblers and part-timers like myself, Maverick is more than enough.

Find the Sage Maverick with our trusted partner:

Sage Maverick lifestyle shot, above shot two rods reels a hand holding fly
Sage Maverick lifestyle shot woman holding rooster fish
Sage Maverick lifestyle shot man hooked up standing in salt water
Sage Maverick lifestyle shot woman laughing with rod in hand
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