The Loomis has more authority and is quit a bit faster than the Sage. The Sage is a rather slow rod and the Loomis is a moderate action rod. Both use the same lines, the RIO 5/6 Windcutter works very well on each. Both will allow you to fish any size trout fly you wish. Both will handle fish to about 5 pounds and will protect small tippets. Neither is made for flies larger than about #8. Although they can be cast with flies up to about #4, neither one is happy with the larger flies.
If you are planning on using these rods for summer steelhead, unless the waters you are fishing have fish not exceeding 5 pounds, you will be undergunned.
I prefer the Loomis because it is a faster rod and I like fast rods.
You should also consider the CND Expert 1306, Meiser 13 ft 5/6, or T&T 1206 rods, which all use the same line as the Sage and Loomis. I like either the T&T or the Meiser over all the others.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with both, the loomis definitely has more horse power. I tried the loomis and the sage with both the Rio 5/6 and a dt 7wt. For my taste the Sage was just too soft! For my dollars I would go with the loomis.
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