The Sage Response is both what you’d expect from Sage and something unexpected from Sage.
First, the color and feel of the rod are classic Sage. It felt like casting one of the old RPL’s, which is a great rod. The blank is the same color as those classics, the RPL and RPL+, of which I own one of each (7 and 5 respectively). The rod cast well as I searched for both baby and adult tarpon. Maybe too well, as I dropped more than a couple casts right on the heads of tarpon who were really not game for that sort of thing.
I wish I could tell you how well it handled a long fight with a tarpon… but, yeah, the longest I lasted was 2 jumps, which was not so long as I would have liked. I made the casts though. Tomas, my guide, even said my casting was good, which was a good thing to hear and some solace on a day with no landed tarpon.
What you might not expect is that this rod is $395, putting it in “the Bjorn zone” of pricing. The Sage One is one hell of a rod, but you could buy two Responses for that amount to fill the gaps in your arsenal (somehow I still don’t own my own 10 wt.).
It’s a well made rod, you feel the quality in your hand. It’s made in the USA, which is nice and unusual for a $400 rod.
Well done Sage… well done.