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Sage One 390 w/Sage 4230 reel
Sage One 390 w/Sage 4230 reel
Published by creeker
05-13-2012
Author review
Performance
100%100%100%
10
Build Quality
100%100%100%
10
Appearance
100%100%100%
10
Value
70%70%70%
7
Overall
90%90%90%
9
Average 92%
Default Sage One 390 w/Sage 4230 reel

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.

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  #1 (permalink)  
By Waterborne on 05-14-2012, 10:57 PM
Thumbs up Re: Sage One 390 w/Sage 4230 reel

I'm glad you posted this. I was curious about your thoughts on this rod. Thanks for sharing!

I've been going in circles for an "all around" (dries, nymphs, small streamers) trout rod for the prime spots around the Sierras. I want a rod that I would have confidence in regardless of fly type or method.

8' feels crisp and light in the hand, but it can be a bit short especially when nymphing. 10' seems like it might be too specialized as an all around round, and somewhat of a compromise for swing weight and balance. I'm sure the 10-footers are great nymphing rods, but I'm not quite sold on the idea of a 10' as my primary rod. A light weight 9' might be perfect.

I like to fish as light of a line as I can get away with. A lot of people seem to prefer 4 weights over 3 as the light line for handling a bit of wind. Frankly, it's seems like splitting hairs. I've been out in a stiff breeze when a 5 weight felt worthless. If it's windy, I doubt a single line weight up would make a significant difference. For the waters I would fish, 5 weight could be over kill for a lot of the fish. Sure it can throw bigger flies, but I want to balance rod capability with the size of the quarry.

390 Sage One... looks like you made an excellent choice!
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  #2 (permalink)  
By creeker on 05-15-2012, 02:37 AM
Default Re: Sage One 390 w/Sage 4230 reel

If you want to roll up for a test drive, you are more than welcome. Reyne and Dublhaul worked some runs with it and had some fun.
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  #3 (permalink)  
By creeker on 05-24-2012, 08:29 AM
Default Re: Sage One 390 w/Sage 4230 reel

Having returned from my Sierra's trip, I'm still very pleased with this set up. Large fish for the weekend was a 22" wild bow in moving water. There was enough backbone to keep its head turned, yet still protect the 5X tippet.

It suffered in the light breezes first day out. Well, actually, there was a high wind warning and no one was having any success.....

One irratation- the clicker on the reel would arbitrarily work. I personally like a click. Others may not. But both is maddening. It appeared that when the reel got wet, it got silent. I'll take it apart for an exam and see what's up.

So, the low down is its a fun rod from smaller creek trout up to some decent sized wild fish. The length hurts in tight quarters, and helps every where else. If you have to pack a single rod, within reason, it's worthy of a look.
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