Well, I cast the One 12 wt against the Hardy Pro-Axis Sintrex 12 wt and much preferred the One's action as it had more mid-rod casting power than the Sintrex in my view. I'd have used the latter with an 11 wt line rather than a Rio tarpon 12.
I cannot remember how the xi3 12 wt casts other than I preferred the ancient RPLX 12 to it for casting power when spooled with the above compound taper 12 wt Rio tarpon line on it. The One did seem to be an improvement over the xi3. I would have to cast them one after the other to really see the difference.
I have an RPLX in a 9 wt that is useless in comparison to the 12 for my taste - way too soft throughout. So you can't really judge a rod by series as each wt may cast differently in the same series.
I can pick up a new xi3 for $425 and have put one on hold until Tuesday. I did find an RPLX in (described) pristine shape for $325 and will have to make that decision before Tuesday.
Ditz, I really have broken very few rods despite fishing them hard. The demo 11 wt I broke was not in pristine shape and I had half-expected the tip to break due to an existing fly collision that left a ding in it - and I got it very cheap. I was surprised when it snapped where and how it did.
The old one has brought dozens boatside in the last 20 years without a problem until the tip got snapped off by a hatch cover by one of my buddies. But Sage did fix it despite its age.
I heard so much about the new short-headed tarpon line that I wanted to try one out, but the local shop quit carrying them. I prefer long heads, but the shorter ones may be easier and quicker to get out for those used to the generally more relaxed freshwater fishing styles.
PS: Labrador, I get a good discount on Loomis but only on rods up to a 9 wt. They don't offer it above that. Like someone said, if you are after fish requiring a 12, chances are a lot of things can go wrong.
Akruss, sounds like you got into a good tarpon fight.