Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sage 2200 Reel Review

Got a knock from UPS today.  Another reel that I "needed."  But seriously, this is the brand new 2200 from Sage that I ordered as soon as it came out in August.  More specifically, this is the 2280- which is rated for a 7 or 8 weight rod.  

The 2200 replaces the venerable 1800, which was a favorite for many budget minded fishermen.  On first blush, the 2200 looks almost exactly like my 4200s.  It is finished in "stealth" black.  This finish is definitely stealthy and suprisingly textured.  It almost feels like a very fine spray on truck bed liner or a powder coat.  I like the feel of the finish but I am concerned that it will pick up grime- I guess that's not a big deal but it is a factor.  

The 2200 has a nice large arbor design with a concave spool that can hold a decent amount of backing.  I threw 100 yards of "distance orange" dacron backing on with an 8wt line and everything fit perfectly.  I am sure that I could fit a bit more backing in there if I spooled it tighter.  I really like the aluminum handle.  This reel comes in either blaze orange or titanium- although this only applies to the handle and drag knob.

The dimensions of the 2280 are really perfect for my 8 weight.  I have a Lamiglas G1000 that I built.  It is not a super light weight rod- probably average, although I have not weighed it.  Anyway, this reel balances my 8 weight perfectly.  It does seem a little heavy for a 7 weight, though that depends on your particular rod.  The 2280 weighs in at 6.6 ounces, which is quite a bit lighter than the 1880, which was a hefty 7.13.

I got the titanium color because it matched my reel seat.  It looks pretty sharp.  The spool comes off just like a Lamson- you just push with your thumbs and it makes an audible "pop" as the seal releases.

My favorite part of this reel is definitely the drag knob.  It is just a big chunk of knurled, machined aluminum that allows minute settings and has a nice crisp "click" sound like winding a nice watch.  The drag also has a consistent pressure as you turn through the settings.  In other words, you don't have to apply more pressure at 10 than you do at 1.  It also requires just one revolution.  I found the drag to be quite strong.  It is definitely tighter than my Ross Evolution (which is the previous reel that I was using on my 8wt), but maybe not quite as tight as my Lamson reels.  I can tell that this drag will do everything I need it to do.  The drag is of the sealed carbon variety, which is really nice when you fish sandy, silty river like I do.  Oh, and most importantly, it sounds awesome.

Sorry for the crappy, cropped picture, but I wanted to show you the diameter-to-width ratio of the 2280.  I like my reels to be tall and skinny, rather that short and wide.  I figure it is better to have a larger diameter in order to be able to pick up line faster.  I am not an engineer but this makes sense to my simple man-brain.  

Overall, I am impressed with the 2280.  It is machined from die-cast aluminum, which I assume is better than being straight die-cast.  The fit and finish of the reel is really good, though it seems a tad more wobbly than my 4200.  At a retail price of around $150, it would be hard to beat this reel.  If you need a budget minded reel for you saltwater rig or a down and dirty bass/carp/big trout reel- this one will do the job, all while making you look like a boss.  What it lacks in flash, it makes up in features and quality.  

I will update this review once I get to really put this reel through its paces.  Thanks for reading.

Update:  Yep- this reel performs as well as I thought it would.  I have put it up against bass, carp and trout and it does everything I need it to do.  In fact, it is one of my favorite reels- though it is now paired with a Redington "Vapen" 8 weight.  Do yourself a favor and pick one up.