Sage One Fly Rod Review and More

| September 6, 2011


Rather than get into the “class warfare” of fly rod cost, let’s all just get along, and say there is a tangible difference between expensive fly rods and less expensive fly rods. Then there’s the tapers. No, not people who tape live music, and no, not the worms.

Fly rod tapers within different manufacturers are what give a manufacturer like Sage or Scott (name your favorite) their signature feel, their identity. It’s what lets us say the original Sage Bass (largemouth / smallmouth / bluegill) were described as “sticks” while the Z-Axis and XI-2 caught lighting in a bottle – described as both “fast,” and “sensitive.” As rod makers strive to create the next “best” thing, sometimes they hit the mark, and sometimes they slip on the rocks.

Personally, I love my XI-2 (7), but after two broken tips, I can see why Sage went to the (what more experienced casters call a “dead tip”) XI-3 with a heavier tip. On the other hand, this year Sage rolled out the Bass II series of warm water rods, and they may have a winner. It’s priced about $200 higher than the original Bass line, so it better be special. A fly rod for catching largemouth bass for nearly $600 scares me just a bit.

This year, the second coming is named the “ONE” by some very smart marketers at Sage. Imagine the meeting when that rolled out of someone’s mouth. “Let’s call it the ONE!” Genius.

If you watch the video, then this will be redundant, but I did see a lot of head scratching going on at the casting pool last month at the IFTD New Orleans Expo. Make no mistake, the lines to throw the new ONE were long, so long in fact, that I didn’t even give it a go. Most of the casters walked away scratching their heads … wondering just what to say about the ONE. Nobody seemed to be able to pin it down, and I didn’t see any Sage people trying to classify it either. One thing everyone said is that it’s straight. It’s not a rocket launcher, and it’s not a lot of other things. It’s straight.

I get the impression this is the first rod in an entirely new line for Sage because this rod is NOT a replacement for the Z-Axis (and to their credit, I don’t think Sage has claimed that). We are looking at what you could call a low-fast rod (XI2 being high-fast).

Anyway, watch the video, and if nothing else critique my lack of casting skills! Can you believe that guy? I figure who better than an average caster to test a Ferrari?

Add fly line to rod caster as your second variable in this video. The line itself was just below something like a SA Expert Distance – not exactly a wind cutting line.

Enjoy the video. There will be a review of the Sage Bass II rod out soon. The Sage Bass II has been called the “ugliest rod ever” by a local fly guru who will remain unnamed as to protect his pro-deal status.

Thanks to Tailwaters Dallas, North Texas’ only mom-and-pop fly shop, for the use of the ONE.

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Equipment, Fly Rods

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