One other thing. I'm probably being too narrow-minded/irrational, but I don't think I could bring myself to pair a Sage reel with anything other than a Sage rod and so for me it's a very specialized, expensive reel. Even if I could get past the price I just couldn't seeing pairing it with a T&T Contact or any euro nymphing rod other than the Sage ESN. I'm probably being too closed minded, but I just view Sage as a rod company and look elsewhere for reels.
I've had one since they first became available. I think Sage did a fine job with the design, very well thought out. The spool has an extra large diameter relative to the overall diameter of the reel and is very narrow and the frame is fully caged. It looks to me like the reel uses the same drag system and spool retention knob as the Spectrum LT series. The counterweight(s) can be mounted in six different positions to fine tune the balance.
It is expensive but I expect it to last for the rest of my fishing life.
I bought one this morning. The balance feature seemed cool and it will be interesting
to see how much more balanced the rod will be moving the weight around. I liked the narrow
large arbor feature also.