If you look up the weight of the lines for the Sage BASS, they are roughly a 9 and an 11. If you really think you need to be throwing a 5" Clouser for 12-15" smallies, get your facts straight. You can catch all smallies on smaller flies, and catch MORE smallies, thus having more fun. I seldom fish for anything with any heavier rod than a 3wt, 5 is THE HEAVIEST I will fish. I refuse to buy into the party line that you have to fish an 8wt for bass, 5wt for trout/panfish, and you have to use a 9' rod. If you are using 10# leaders for bass, an 8wt is OVERKILL. You can fish that same leader on a 5wt and actually land the fish faster using proper fishfighting techniques. Likewise, 6x on a 5wt is OVERKILL.
Suggested rod weights and tippet ratings
000-weight to 1-weight - 12X to 7X
1- to 2-weight ----- 6X to 4X
3- to 4-weight ----- 3X to 2X
5- to 7-weight ----- 1X to 0X
Suggested rod weights, tippet X-ratings, and fly sizes
5-7 weight 0X .011 inches 12.0 pounds size-4 to size-6
5-7 weight 1X .010 inches 10 pounds size-4 to size-8
3-4 weight 2X .009 inches 9 pounds size-4 to size-10
3-4 weight 3X .008 inches 7.5 pounds size-6 to size-12
1-2 weight 4X .007 inches 5.5 pounds size-6 to size-14
1-2 weight 5X .006 inches 4 pounds size-14 to size-20
1-2 weight 6X .005 inches 2.5 pounds size-18 to size-26
0 weight 5X-7X .006-.004 inches 4-1.2 pounds size-20 to size-28
0 weight 6X-8X .005-.003 inches 2.1-1.0 pounds size-20 to size-28
00 weight 7X-11X .004-.001 inches 1.2-.4 pounds size-26 to size-32
000 weight 8X-12X .003-.0009 inches 1.0-.3 pounds size-28 to size-32
These recommendations are taken from the gentleman who knows more about rod usage, and design function than anyone else I have seen. They can be seen in their entirity at Fly rods that protect your tippets by Bill Byrd
. I adjusted the pound test ratings based upon what I have here at home as far as my own leaders and tippet spools.
My recommendation is to cast one first to see if you like the broomstick casting action first. To call that rod soft is like saying that McCain is kind of old.