I will start by freely admitting I am a Sage Guy – there, that‘s done. I have had many different models since my first Sage rods, and for the most part, they accommodate and enhance my personal styles of fly fishing. I remember the old LL (Light Line) series, as well as my still-trusty RPL series in varying weights. At first, I probably never chose Sage for any particular reason. However, I do know that I was taught fly casting and fishing by knowledgeable people that all seemed to use Sage rods. This is not to say that there aren’t remarkable rods that have been manufactured by several companies over the years, and I can honestly say that I have three “favorite” fly rods currently, and one is not a Sage!
This being said, I am eager to relay to you just how incredibly wonderful the new Sage One Series of rods is. I am a caster that prefers faster-action, Tip-Flex rods and I find my style to be centered more on muscle power, as opposed to what I usually teach to be important. That is, to let the rod do most of the work and concentrate on subtlety and control. I guess the old saying rings true – do as I say, not as I do! I will also admit that my style is by no means a thing of grace and beauty, but I get the job done and I don’t fix what ain’t broken.
As I became a proficient fly caster and learned exactly what I really liked and disliked in a rod, I advanced into a rod that was, and still is, probably my most favorite rod that ever left a plant from Sage – the XP series of rods that were discontinued years ago. Upon casting my first XP 6wt, I realized exactly how much I didn’t know about my own casting preferences, and consequently, my personal casting possibilities suddenly became endless again. The XP was probably one of the favorite rods of many casters (those that have been able to own one) that prefer stiffer and faster-action rods. It just had an explosive pop on the forward and back casts, like it was loaded with thick rubber bands commonly associated with the weapons of choice used by spear fishermen. Lifting 10, 15 or even 20 yards of line was not an exercise in torture or futility, but almost a foregone conclusion not dwelt upon. The strength, control and animation found in the XP series made it a must-have for all Sage aficionados, and it was one of the longest-running manufactured series in their storied history. Unfortunately, Sage discontinued this line and subsequently offered fast-action rods such as the XI, TCX and Z-Axis lines which filled their niches nicely.
Now that I have had chances to fish with two of the Sage One Series rods during the past season, I am as excited as a kid in a candy store to once again honestly say that Sage has created a fly rod as close to the XP as any since! If you are a caster that prefers stiffer backbones, meatier movement when chucking large presentations or just an experienced fly fisher that likes to send their flies beyond the next nearest zip code, the Sage One Series is right down your alley. It is not too stiff, but actually seems to be able to morph into a more medium-action rod when closer, more gentle casts are necessary. Then, with a flick of one’s mental wrist, this rod comes to life and becomes the go-to, true Tip-Flex rod with a glorious “sweet spot” for powerful loading. It does take the place of two rods with ease, and I would highly recommend (since I have fished with them) the 4wt, the 5wt and the 6wt Sage One models as they are really special fly rods. In fact, Sage makes the One Series from 3 weights all the way to 12 weights, and although I have not cast these higher weights yet, I can only imagine they do an amazing job for trout to tarpon. Do yourself a favor and come check out these One Series rods by Sage and once you cast one, you will become the believer I already am!