Sage ONE#5...Which Line?
I am making decisions about my rod and reel selection to outfit me during my late June through late July tent camp trip to Idaho and Montana. The Sage ONE, now into its third season as a winner in my quiver, is guaranteed to be included but I have been taking something for granted. Sage, part of the Farbank group of fly fishing products, was developed using RIO Gold from a sister Farbank company. I knew this when I got it and though I did compare Gold to Grande on the new rod; I quickly decided Gold was perfect and went happily on my way fishing this ultra precise, super sensitive, masterfully construed fly rod.
It got a new reel for this summer's adventure, a Nautilus FWX 7/8, at 4.1 oz. a perfect balance for light ONE with the capacity for plenty of #30 Dacron I may need in the Land of the Giants. I've wound on the bright yellow Micron but wait, before looping on the line, lets take the dogs to the park and do some line switching lawn casting. After all, there are some new lines like Cortland's Trout BOSS I should try. I cast with Gold first and man can this rod cast, I was thinking. Then I put on the BOSS, a very nice line featuring a S&S approved extended head with long rear taper similar to Gold. Clearly and quickly it was no match for ONE a bit too soft perhaps especially in the limp high floating tip section; not the positive accuracy of the Gold. However, no point trying lines and not including the grandaddy line in this category, the seminal SA Expert Distance Taper. Not only the oldest design of these three lines and the oldest technology but the physically oldest as well. Stringing it up I gave a flick to clear slack out the tip top...wait a minuet, have I never tried this line on this rod before? I stripped more line off the reel, then some more; at close range or at distance the old Bruce Richards SA design yielded not only the tightest loops but the most stable and smoothest as well. It was intuitive to dial in subtle adjustments to eliminate any dips or bumps in loop formation regardless of the amount of line being aerilized. Quickly I reeled it in and re-mounted the reel with the Gold on it. Very nice, nothing wrong with this but...I reeled it back in and returned the reel with the old SA line.
I have been recommending RIO Gold for this rod on this forum for over two years. I am sorry and don't strip off your Gold and throw it in the round file, it is a great line. I am, however, mounting a new SA Expert Distance Taper on the new reel. It is incrementally smoother and more stable in its loop formation and, importantly, turns a 15' leader over more positively and with greater authority which will produce, I anticipate, more accurate dry fly placement. Turns out, the new winner is the old winner.