Expert Review: Sage Click 3/4/5 Reel

Published on 08/16/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2019.
Marshall McDougal, Fly Fishing Expert
By Fly Fishing Expert Marshall McDougal

All photos courtesy of Marshall McDougal

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the reel, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2019.

My take

The Sage Click is an awesome little click and pawl reel. It is lightweight and perfect for small- to medium-sized trout streams.

About the reel

  • Model: 2019 Sage Click 3/4/5
  • Reel Size: 3/4/5wt
  • Backing Capacity: 100yds/20lb with WF5F Line
  • Arbor Size: Large
  • Construction: Machined 6061-T6 aerospace-grade aluminum
  • Drag System: Click and pawl
  • Drag Pressure: N/A

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Dry flies, streamers, and saltwater
  • Experience: 16 years of fly fishing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: May 2019
  • Rod Paired with Reel: Sage Sonic 486-4
  • Line Paired Reel: Rio Technical Trout WF4F
  • Days tested: 40+ days
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Rivers and small streams
  • Species targeted with rod: Trout

How it performs


What I was looking for

When searching for a reel to pair with my 4wt, I wanted a small click and pawl reel that would not add much weight to my overall setup. The reel needed a large arbor for quicker line pick up, and I wanted something that looked good on my Sage rod.

Why I chose this gear

I ended up going with the Sage Click because it fitted all the parameters I was looking for in a small river reel. It was beautifully machined and aesthetically pleasing. The overall function of the reel was great, and the click and pawl system is very smooth.

What I love about it

  • Performance: I’ve loved the way this reel performs. For a click and pawl reel, this setup has been able to handle larger fish with ease.
  • Quality: The quality of material is great. This reel is made of aluminum that can handle any water I fish in.
  • Durability: It is extremely durable for a design as lightweight and straightforward as this reel looks.
  • Use Case: I use this for dry fly fishing as well as hopper droppers and small streamers in freshwater. The reel performs exceptionally well for what I’ve been using it for because it can handle bigger fish easily.
  • Size: This reel is the perfect size for small streams and rivers and does not add much weight to my setup. It is best suited for 5wt and under rods.
  • Drag System: This is a click and pawl drag, which means that it utilizes a metal tooth or “pawl” in a gear system. Adjusting the spring that controls the resistance of the pawl increases or decreases the drag. Click and pawl drag systems are great for trout fishing, and I loved the way the Sage Click drag system performed.
  • Build: The reel is constructed of 6061-T6 aluminum, which is an aerospace-grade material. The build is very stout for how light the reel is.
  • Features: It has easy conversion from right to left-handle retrieve.
  • Aesthetics: The Sage Click is offered in three different colors. I opted for stealth black, and I love the way it looks on my Sage Sonic.
  • Warranty: It has a lifetime warranty.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Versatility: This reel is meant for trout fishing and nothing else. I would not take it to the saltwater and would not fight fish that are capable of taking me into my backing.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite memory with this reel was taking it out on the Taylor River just north of Gunnison. I was able to catch all different sized ranges of trout with ease. The large arbor allowed for quick pack-up to move spots, and the weight of the reel was ideal for an all-day wade trip.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Sage Click comes in at $330, which is one of the cheapest premium-quality click and pawl reels on the market compared to a Ross or Abel. If you look at some of the cheaper click and pawl options out there, this price tag may look steep at first, but it is built to last. Other low-cost options can sometimes lose traction in the drag from wear on either the gear or the pawl, which will cause problems in the long run and lead to having to purchase a new reel. Buy once, cry once with this awesome click and pawl reel!

Final verdict

The Sage Click will confidently tackle and perform in small- to medium-sized stream applications. It is the perfect reel to pair with any trout rod under a 5wt.

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