Jason and Matt Test Drive Sage’s New Rod in Puerto Vallarta!
Jason and Matt traveled down to Puerto Vallarta this November for a family, non-fishing vacation. “Matt and Jason on a non-fishing vacation??”, Ya that was what everyone at the shop said. It was no surprise to find Matt tying rooster flies while Jason put his vast fishing guide contact list to work preparing for the “non fishing vacation”.
The research paid off. We have all the information you will need to plan your next trip to the area…whether it is a fishing or non-fishing vacation.
But this post is about the rod. A rod that we can only describe as the “ONE”
With an awesome black on gold color scheme, short sharp edged cork and a clean platinum reel seat, it has the elegance of a fine Spanish duelling pistol. (mind the sappy colonial metaphors, something about looking out over the Mexican cost line makes me feel like I am in a Disney Pirate Movie)
The technology in this rod is hands down the most advanced on the planet. It is light… the lightest rod in production but weight has become redundant with a number of “light” rods on the market. What impressed us the most was the accuracy and the care taken in the tracking of this rod. Tracking is how the graphite maintains one direction of flex. The better the tracking the harder it is to throw tailing loops and collapsed casts. It also covers up mistakes that throw power off the plane of casting. Ultimately good tracking results in longer, easier, more accurate casts with less false casting.
We fished the 10wt Sage One and an 8wt Sage ONE, comparing them against the G.Loomis GLX and a Sage XI3. We tried a number of different lines and fully recommend overloading the 10wt Sage ONE by 1 wt.
On my first day with the 10wt ONE, it took about 2 minuets before I figured it out. Simply strip off to the backing knot, relax, focus on clean hauls and defined hard stops… oh and make sure your drag is set or the cast is going to pull backing off the reel.
I casted the Rio 11wt tropical intermediate line and a Rio Tropical Clouser. Both lines preformed perfectly for this style of fishing. Within 3-5 easy yet crisp false casts I could reach the backing. However, this is where I discovered the only drawback. With such a stiff action I would not recommend extended false casts. A slower rod would have been less taxing on the arms, and better suited off balance or poorly timed casts. Then again, If you can cast an entire fly line into the backing with 3-4 false casts accurately without much effort, then what the hell.
So here is what we recommend you consider when debating a new rod this season.
In the distance, accuracy and looks categories the ONE is our new favorite rod. Whether you are making long casts to rising trout, a tailing permit, or a school of roosters moving at 90 miles an hour this is the rod. It comes with one consideration. The ONE is stiff. Short casts wanted to jump back at us and we would not recommend this rod in the heavier weights (8-12) to anyone who cannot double haul comfortably – or at least to someone who doesn’t plan to learn.
If you love a relaxed easy stroke, look to the new Sage VXP, the most enjoyable casting rod on the market but if you want mean, unbridled speed, distance and accuracy then go for the ONE. We found that the Sage Xi3 and the G.Loomis GLX are a perfect middle ground between the VXP and the One. This is because they are more forgiving and still have the muscle to make long accurate casts. The VXP is a convertible Cadillac, the Xi3 and GLX are Range Rovers and the One is a Turbo Porche.
I also recommend that you consider going lighter when matching the rod to your target species. The standard bonefish/salmon rod is an 8wt. When choosing the Sage ONE we would recommend going lighter with a 7wt or even a 6wt. For permit or light inshore fishing (roosters, skipjack, small tarpon) the 9wt is stellar, while the 10wt or 11wt is an awesome heavy inshore cannon for larger roosters and tarpon. Though we have not fished the lighter models, the 4wt is on our radar as the next great high performance trout rod. Maybe we will have to plan a non-fishing vacation to New Zealand so we can put it through it’s passes.
If you want to test drive the “ONE” or any of the other rods in Sage or Loomis’s line up come down to the shop and take a look or go to sage’s web site for more details. If you are heading down to the west coast of Mexico talk to Jason or Matt. They will give you the details on their trip.
Stay tuned to our blog. We will be publishing a special article on our quest to chase roosters on the fly.