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  1. #1
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    Review: Sage ONE

    Rod: Sage ONE 7wt 9.6
    Line: SA Wet Tip Express (WF 250 sink tip)

    Go figure, the rod looks cool and feels light.

    Casting: (backyard with an assortment of small to large streamers)

    First of all, this rod is much stiffer than the Z-Axis in a 7wt. Even the tip felt stout! Granted I was on land but the loading was very nice and super smooth. The claim to fame for these sticks is the true tracking. They are not supposed to stray from the line of the rod...no horizontal wiggle. I have to say that idea came to life in this rod however I found, for my casting styles, it doesn't work well in some situations. As with other fast action rods, you can't have a sloppy cast or things will come unravelled quickly. I had to change my standard cast from a slightly unconventional open wrist to the proper grip. The rod loaded and through a line with ease then but for me was not natural. My grip worked but line control was a bit out of whack. 2 hauling with an open cast took some time to figure out too. The torsional stiffness makes it difficult to make those wide open long casts if your natural tendency is to have the rod plane at anything but vertical. Bottom line = a lotta people are going to pierce ears and heads with this rod in hand if not careful. Cast it in a standard, "correct" form and you'll be rewarded with it's ease.

    For me, I like TCX and the Z-Axis better. The One is a great rod for some. For $700 retail, I think there are plenty of better options for a do-it-all rod!

  2. #2
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    The #7 likes more grain weight, try it with 300.
    I think the 690 is dialed with 250 grains.

  3. #3
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    I'll give that a shot if I get the chance to cast it again.

  4. #4
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    Regardless I think you've epitomized the plight of the fly fishing industry. Rod technology is kind of stuck in a rut. A rod can only get so much lighter and faster, now it's really hard to tell the difference between generations and models unless your a Rajeff or Jerry Siem. Not like skis where rocker technology and hybrid rocker camber sidecut goofiness makes new skis that much better especially for hacks like myself.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapt View Post
    Rod technology is kind of stuck in a rut. A rod can only get so much lighter and faster, now it's really hard to tell the difference between generations and models unless your a Rajeff or Jerry Siem.
    I believe we have starting to see the new frontier of fly rods last year and this year. That is...better cheap rods. Seems like the lower end rods are sooooo much better then they were just a couple years ago.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    I believe we have starting to see the new frontier of fly rods last year and this year. That is...better cheap rods. Seems like the lower end rods are sooooo much better then they were just a couple years ago.
    compared to what and when? cheap rods got "better" a decade ago. most casters the difference doesn't matter (like for most skiers the minute rocker differences don't matter) it's just marketing and selling new crap.
    Lord King of the Beater-Kooks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    compared to what and when? cheap rods got "better" a decade ago. most casters the difference doesn't matter (like for most skiers the minute rocker differences don't matter) it's just marketing and selling new crap.
    And I think they have further close the gap with the high ends over the last couple years, probably primarily due to the recession and competition for anglers disposable income
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    And I think they have further close the gap with the high ends over the last couple years, probably primarily due to the recession and competition for anglers disposable income
    sorry, guess what I was thinking that cheap rods became "acceptable" to many a decade ago (my marking point is the TFO Lefty Kreh hookup) and after that is most the big boys started adding and growing cheaper rods. not long before that cheap rods really sucked both in casting and build quality. they've been improving since and yes the gaps closed

    guess I just don't get the idea behind the ONE (or the marketing of the ONE) at that price point.
    Lord King of the Beater-Kooks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwerty View Post
    The claim to fame for these sticks is the true tracking. They are not supposed to stray from the line of the rod...no horizontal wiggle. I have to say that idea came to life in this rod however I found, for my casting styles, it doesn't work well in some situations. As with other fast action rods, you can't have a sloppy cast or things will come unravelled quickly. The torsional stiffness makes it difficult to make those wide open long casts if your natural tendency is to have the rod plane at anything but vertical. For $700 retail, I think there are plenty of better options for a do-it-all rod!
    Sounds more like yet another does-one-thing-well (distance) fast action rod, not a do-it-all. In a typical freestone day, I make as many rolls, water hauls, sidearm pokes, figure 8s, flips, single hand spey, curve, steeple and sweep casts as I do traditional overhead casts. Some days in pocket water, I may make almost no traditional casts and none demanding a true back cast in the vertical plane because there is often no room for that casting contest shit in the real world of canyon crawling. Does not sound like an improvement in rod technology to me. FFing aint always about casting a country mile. Usually, in moving water, its about having the line lay down just the way you need it to land in a huge variety of situations and a lot of that is accomplished by moving the rod around in the plane of the cast. It's only sloppy casting if you don't intend to do it.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 04-28-2012 at 06:30 PM.
    I have come for you my child and the gift I bring is murder.

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  10. #10
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    I hear you ND. I'm waiting for the new fishing mag called Grass & Gravel - the parking lot casting journal. Every point you just made is very much on my mind when I set out to design new rods. The trick is getting in range precision with distance capability if needed. I wish shops would make customers cast to dixie cups filled with water at 25-35 ft in front of a brick wall. Or better yet let them take the rod fishing. Distance casting or reserve power has a place for sure.
    Harvest the ride.

  11. #11
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    All the reviewers writing how great these super super fast one dimentional rods are doesn't help much either...then they tear apart models that have been around for two or three years because they don't have the same "power" at long distances, etc.

    Three years ago those same rods were getting the best reviews...I don't think our rivers or our fish have changed that much in 3 years...haha
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  12. #12
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    I waved the 9' 5wt with some sorta floating line on the water for 15mins or so. I was on a creek about 25 feet wide at best and throwing a #16 bwo dry. Not vastly different than the style of the 7wt but I liked it better due to being in the water. I had no trouble casting in the usual 20' range with most casts I use but the loops were kinda funky on most casts besides the ole vert plane 10-2 standard shit. Line control was still difficult in many situations but manageable. I tell ya though... If you like a standard cast and are casting 25+ ft most of the time this is a very nice stick. Smooth and precise when you're in that situation.

    5wt conclusion: fine rod but no reason for me to have one!! I like the horizontal wiggle in most trout sticks I guess. Good for Sage that they designed a rod that doesn't have any. The One won't be in my rod quiver unless someone gives one to me or offers me 2/3rds off I pro price...neither of which will happen.

  13. #13
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    Yep,
    No doubt some models will feel better, but seems some will indeed lose the identity of feel...y/n?...as the nano-process is wound around in the whole rod wall(360deg), as I understand it, not just the horizontal(left-right) stiffening. Seems like it'll capture the envy of many of the newbies into the Czech-thing...aka dapping..
    LOL...ah, there's a new -thing every year...and marketing will be first to understand it..

  14. #14
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    FWIW - I fished the 7wt 9.6' yesterday on a lake for about 20 casts without playing a fish I liked it much better, (go figure), than I did in my backyard but still don't think it is all that for $700+!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    All the reviewers writing how great these super super fast one dimentional rods are doesn't help much either...then they tear apart models that have been around for two or three years because they don't have the same "power" at long distances, etc.

    Three years ago those same rods were getting the best reviews...I don't think our rivers or our fish have changed that much in 3 years...haha
    Quote Originally Posted by steved View Post
    LOL...ah, there's a new -thing every year...and marketing will be first to understand it..
    And they'll just pass the copy on to the friendly reviewers who'll cut n' paste it.
    Lord King of the Beater-Kooks

  16. #16
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    The ONE is a fantastic rod, I think the best on the market for a very fast and light stick, only problem is so was the z axis and so is everything else they make. I can tell the difference between models but most of the people who walk through my doors can't besides the weight. I fish a lot of VXP's as I like a tad more flex. In the industry most companies believe a rod has a shelf life of 5-6 years before consumer will think things have gotten stale or obsolete. Orvis has the Helios replacement dialed as L8 can attest to but they are milking every last sale out of the Helios by waiting until sales hit a certain number before they axe it. There's a lot more to releasing new products than meets the eye.

  17. #17
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    I don't want a faster rod. I want a fast(ish) rod with truly good nibble detection, and tippet protection. If you can make a 6 weight rod that does those things as well as today's 4 weight rods. I'll stand in line.
    BEWARE OF FEMALE SPIES

  18. #18
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    Bump.

    I have not fished with any of these at great length but have tried a bunch of wts and lengths on water. My impression has loosened a bit. Still not something I will likely buy but a little more fun after you get in the groove.
    Last edited by schwerty; 07-25-2012 at 09:36 AM.

  19. #19
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    Just fished my 990 ONE all week for baby tarpon. The Sintrix and Helios I was loaned never left the bag. This is the best flats rod on the market.

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