Sage One 590-4 ReviewOctober 12, 2012
- Among the lightest rods available
- Narrow rod sections reduce air resistance, reducing casting fatigue
- Fast-action taper produces great line-speed for distance and performance in windy conditions
- Design and materials dampen lateral vibrations during casting, improving accuracy
- No ‘alignment dots’ on ferrules to ease set up
- Rod tube is very narrow, making packing rod more difficult
- Smaller handed testers felt the traditional half-wells grip felt a bit cumbersome
One of the most accurate lightweight rods we’ve used. The Sage One 590-4 is especially well-suited to casting dry flies in challenging conditions, since the accuracy and power allow you to place small flies delicately on target, even when the winds are blowing and the fish are skittish. Equally strong in swinging streamers, and more than adequate – though not ideal – for drifting tiny nymphs.
Sage, which makes all its rods in the U.S. at their Bainbridge Island facility just across Puget Sound from Seattle, spent three years developing the technology they introduced in the Sage One rod.
Casting Distance and Accuracy
The One uses Sage’s new carbon fiber compound – dubbed their Konnetic technology – in the new precise tapers to create a stiff, very fast-action rod capability of throwing trout lines great distances. That same new composite technology dampens vibration in the swinging rod, resulting in remarkable accuracy even on long casts. Our testers discovered the most cast farther, with better accuracy, with the One than with any other rod of similar line weight.
Even more impressive, that performance comes in a rod slimmer and lighter than most of its competition. The narrow rod diameter keeps weight down, while also reducing drag during the casting stroke. That means less arm fatigue after long days of casting – which can translate into more time on the water, and thus more fish in hand.
General fit, finish and feel
The One looks sleek and sharp, with its shiny black finish and walnut reel seat. While I personally felt the rod comfortably fit in my hand, other testers – especially those with smaller hands (including all our female testers) – felt the classic half-wells shape was just a tad cumbersome and not nearly as comfortable as the more commonly used reverse half-wells cigar-shaped grip.
While many times fish are caught within 15-20 feet of the caster, there are times when you need to reach across a river and lightly drop in a tiny dry fly to get a finicky rainbow trout. That’s when the One really shines. It can push line through stiff winds and reach across wide waters yet still delicately and accurately lay down your fly. It is equally suited for throwing big streamers out to voracious big brown trout or even steelhead. The only use for which we found it less than ideal – and we noticed just a touch of drop-off in performance – was in nymphing. When drifting small nymphs under the surface, the stiff tip didn’t give us the precision touch that’s preferred for delicate takes underwater.
Dan Nelson- Fly Fishing Editor
Dan Nelson is GearInstitute.com's fly fishing editor. He is based in the Pacific Northwest.