After fishing a Sage One 590 on a trip to Colorado last Autumn, I had been saving my pennies to purchase the Sage One 390. On the 5wt, I really enjoyed the accuracy and casting motion of this stick and was really interested in going lighter for the types of water I typically fish.
I was looking for an 'all-purpose' Sierra rod; something that would allow me to put a fly out further than my TXL, and could cut through Sierra breezes. I also wanted something that would be a good nymphing set-up with plenty of mending capability. And all that, plus good sensitivity for the takes.....
I ended up selling a mountain bike and found myself in the position of having enough cash to purchase a complete set-up. After a lot of research, trying buddy's rigs, and soul searching, I plunked down for the 3wt Sage One, Sage 4230 reel, and Rio Gold line.
I have been working the rig out on my local creek just to put time on it. Thus far, I'm liking it pretty well. One of the knocks I've heard against the One line up is their inability to load at close distance. Not so with the 3wt. With a #16 PA, I'm just as accurate within 20 feet as I am with my 1wt TXL. It requires a different stroke, but gets the job done. The difference is if I need to hit a 60' cast, it's within the realm. I have worked the 3wt One against the 3wt TXL-F and I do like the feel of the TXL close in (but that's what it's designed for) but then again, the TXL will have a harder tine in stiffer breezes.
The One requires a fast casting stroke with pronounced pauses. Once you get comfortable with what the rod is telling via feedback, it becomes a deadly sniper of a stick. Basically, where you point the tip is where the fly is going. No torsion issues at all, no matter how badly I tried to throw it off track.
Tippet protection and sensitivity for the take is quite good considering that the rod is FA. I was able to detect light bumps while nymphing, even down to the 2-3" fish that sometimes end up on the line. And even with those tiny fellows, there's enough sensitivity where they don't end up in the crown of a tree following a hook set.
The 9' length makes the swing weight feel a bit heavier, but it's still so light that it's a minimal distraction that becomes background noise after a few casts.
Fit and finish is top shelf. Everything about the rod screams 'seductive perfection.' I particularly like the black ice rod color.
As to the 4230 reel.... I purchased it in bronze color because my Sage Click has worn so well. The reel is light and machined to perfection. The drag system, while not as sexy as a Lamson, is carbon based and with a 1/2 turn you can go from smooth free-spool to darn near lock down. Each bit of turn is reflected with a 'click' which makes it nice to gauge.
Together, these two pair up very nice. The Rio Gold is well matched at weight, though some may prefer GPX or similar for that slight overload.
At this point, it's 10's on rating, but 7 on value. Let's face it, it's expensive. But, in comparison to the top shelf offering from other makers, it's actually a bit low on the price point.
I'll add to this after next week when I get some Sierra time on it. Here's some pics from the 1st few sessions, including a double on the very 1st cast of the rod.