I borrowed a SLT586 from a shop today because I've been thinking about getting one for 3 weight and wanted to get a feel for the series. I was immediately impressed with how small in diameter the rod is as well as how classy it looks and the quality finish work on it.
I floated the Bitterroot and it was a lot more like winter than it's been and was windy and whipping a little snow for a bit. Fish were not eating dry flies and I was fishing another rod. I really wanted to test it without the wind factor while fishing dry flies. Since we weren't knocking them dead with nymphs anyway I figured I'd go ahead and fish a dry fly in the wind to try out the rod. The rod is buttery smooth, it at first felt like it would be a little mushy because it's soft to a degree, but there is just so much feel to it. I could tell exactly what my backcast was doing when with another rod I might just be wondering. So much sensitivity that I think an experienced caster could feel something like the added resistance of a tangled nymph rig. It just felt good. It also put the bug right on target in some serious wind. It's got a backbone, more than I thought it might. When a fish finally ate my fly I left that fly in his mouth on the hookset, it's got more power than I thought. I hooked a nice brown and had to take the wood to him hard or we would have had to chase him in the boat and were in a good spot. The SLT came through for me there offering plenty of lifting power in heavy currnet. It in no way made me feel like I needed something more stout. I landed that fish fine. It seemed to roll cast fine, but it's hard to tell in 20mph wind.
I like this rod a lot and would recommend it to advanced fishermen that want a rod with a great feel as well as beginners that want the best of everything even thought they haven't learned to appreciate it yet. I say this because I think the added feel in a rod can help anyone.
I don't like the standard Sage grip, it's too small. I've never liked their grips but it's not something that'll prevent me from buying one of these. Also I wasn't too stoked on the 8.5 feet. There's not much need for a shorter rod out here, I guess the longer rod might be a little heavier in hand, but I don't mind.
I'm not affiliated with Sage but maybe I should be considering my growing collection of their products.