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Old 08-08-2011, 02:34 PM
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Default Sage One - Test Casting

Well, I was back in the Poconos last week; doing some business, some domestic stuff and, yup, some freestone creek trout fishing.

I happened to stop by my local Fly Shop on Wednesday to get some elk hair caddis (#16's and 18's) to take prospecting, when the owner greeted me at the door with a big smile and a: "you'll never guess what just showed up here UPS." I admitted that I probably wouldn't be able to guess, he disappeared back into the shop and emerged a few seconds later with a 9'0" Sage One 5 wt. rod. Smiling again, he said: 'go ahead, take it and let me know what you think; I think I'm the only shop in PA that has one".

Hard decision...........but...........OK!

Here are my non-water based first impressions of the Sage One:

1. This is a very light rod; it makes even a Winston BIIx seem a bit heavy. It also had a nice half wells grip; which is good for big mitts like mine.

2. The color, finish, materials, etc. is what you'd expect from Sage

3. This is a very easy rod to cast.

I actually think that Sage has taken rod design in a somewhat different direction with the One. Rather than designing another rod that lets good casters make phenomenal casts, which has pretty much been the name of the game up to this point, they seem to have designed a rod that will pretty much let almost everyone make decent casts in the 40-50" range.

Casts at 45-60' were almost effortless. This is a rod that provides a lot of feedback to the caster, which encourages you to let the rod to the work rather than trying to horse it; something that some of us should be doing more of. To me this rod actually promotes/encourages that.

I tried varying my casting stroke all over the place; looking for the stoke that would not put out a nice cast at that distance. I opened up my loops, jerked the start of the casting stroke, drifted my stops forward and back, hauled at the wrong times and, honestly, all of this had very little effect on getting a nice cast out there time after time. After I went through this exercise I remember scowling and shaking my head at the shop owner, who smiled back and said: "ya, that's what I thought, too."

4. The tip is somewhat soft, which makes shorter casts of 30' or less both easy and fun (not the case with the Z-axis). It should also do a good job of protecting light tippets when that unexpected monster devours your fly and runs downstream with it.

5. Roll casting was not bad; considering that I was on grass. I'd expect it to be a good rod for this on the water, as well as an easy rod for line mending.

6. For long distances; 70' to into the backing, this rod can certainly do that, but I didn't think it was any better at it than my Z-axis. Granted, I am very familiar with the Z, so to get a really good comparison, I would probably need to spend more time with the One.

This is a great rod. I think that Sage will sell an absolute ton of them.

Lightweight, easy to cast, good in close in the mid-range and at distance, great feedback to the caster, etc.

I left the shop with my trusty Z-axis still in hand. It will take a lot to get me to part with that rod..........but I now have something to seriously think about......

Pocono
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Sage One - Test Casting

Will you wait till Xmas Allan ....to get one?...I mean a One
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Sage One - Test Casting

Nice review, Allan. For those of us constantly considering "one more" rod, this kind thing does not help the will power to say "no"!

What is action on this rod? Is it yet another super-fast offering?
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Sage One - Test Casting

There are a number of rods that I want to cast - the Biiix and now the Sage One being two of them. I'll wait five years or so until they discontinue them or someone buys one and does not like it. I'll freely pound away on my Z-Axis rods for now.

I love what you write about in your review
Quote:
I actually think that Sage has taken rod design in a somewhat different direction with the One. Rather than designing another rod that lets good casters make phenomenal casts, which has pretty much been the name of the game up to this point, they seem to have designed a rod that will pretty much let almost everyone make decent casts in the 40-50" range.
Makes sense to me

Cheers,
Mike.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: Sage One - Test Casting

Allan: Great review on the "One", thanks!

Larry
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Sage One - Test Casting

I've been giving the "One" very quick views on the internet lately, and your report has not helped me, Allan. I mean that as a compliment: it sounds like the rod is everything they claim it is. The bronze hardware is a bit weird, but Sage has bronze reels. They're a bit weird as well. Yeah! That's it! I can't buy one because of the bronze hardware! That should keep me from looking until tomorrow.

I never really had much trouble casting my 9' 5wt Z-Axis in close. Roll casts with only 10 feet of line (and a 9 foot leader) are easy and accurate. I posted a video here a couple of years ago demonstrating this. A 9' 4wt Z-Axis might be the next thing I try. I like 4wts, and should try to locate a Z-Axis before they're all gone.....
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Sage One - Test Casting

Great review Allan. And I dunno Frank, that bronze hardware next to the bronze Sage reel looks pretty nice... I'm just happy that I haven't seen one in 12wt yet. The bronze does give me ideas for the rod I'm aiming to build however...
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Sage One - Test Casting

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
What is action on this rod? Is it yet another super-fast offering?
Dean_mt, the action is fast; not superfast, but definitely fast.

If you were to compare this rod to Sage's TCX, then you would probably rate it on the medium side of fast, but if you compared it to their ZXL, then you would say that it is decidedly fast. It's not a broom handle rod by any means and it gives the caster a lot of feedback which, for me, is the important thing.

I have a Hardy Zenith 9'0" 5 wt. and the One has an action that reminds me, somewhat, of that rod. But, I prefer the action of the One to that of the Zenith; although I can't put my finger on exactly why.

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Old 08-09-2011, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Sage One - Test Casting

Having fished them on back-to-back weeks, I consider the ONE to be a bit crisper, especially in the tip section, than Z-Axis...not fast like TCR/X but deffinetly not medium like the above mentioned green-colored rod. Both give great communication for in-close presentations. The ONE's denser fiber construction yields its lighter, super communicative character. I mounted it with a black reel which complemented its blank color and seemed harmonius with its dark bronze anodized alluminum (rather than nickle silver) hardwear. ONE is a terrific rod that good casters will love and accomplished casters will discover supurb taper transitions that encourage casting off all portions of the rod.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Sage One - Test Casting

Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately I am unfamiliar with all of the Sage rods of the past 5 years. I have an 8 year old 9' 4wt SPL, and a 2-8-2 SLT, both would probably feel like bamboo compared to the new rods of today. My 6 wt is the rod I always consider replacing. It's an old Sage VPS, fast - but big and heavy, comparably. I really want a nice and light fast / med-fast 6 wt that I can fish on big water / high water. A rod that can cast streamers, weighted nymph rigs in wind but is still fun to cast dries when you float up to a pod of risers.

The ONE sounds like the...yeah, one. But I reckon I'll have to wait a couple years as the $715 price tag is a bit steep. Then I'd need a new reel too...
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