June 23, 2011
By Ross Purnell, Editor
In the movie The Matrix, "The One" was the only person who could defeat machines holding the human race as a hostage energy supply. The character Morpheus spent a lifetime searching for "The One" and finally found it in Neo, the singular person who could stop bullets and learn Kung Fu in a matter of seconds.
In fly fishing, the ONE is Sage's answer to everyone's search for the ultimate all-around performance rod. It doesn't stop bullets in mid-air, but it is light and fast, and brings game-changing technology to fresh and salt water.
For the past few months, everything about the new rod has been hush-hush. I've known the rod was coming, and even had a chance to take 8- and 9-weight versions saltwater fishing for a few days, but a press embargo kept news about the rod under wraps until it was officially unveiled at the first industry trade show of 2011 — the European Fishing Tackle Trade Exhibition (EFTTEX) in Amsterdam, June 17-19.
In Amsterdam, the ONE was named "Best New Fly Rod" by the European trade association, and the rod will be making its American debut at the International Fly Tackle Dealer show in New Orleans, Aug. 18-20. While the show judges wiggle the rods under the bright lights of the convention floor, we've already had the chance to fish with the rods for several days in the salt. Here are the highlights:
Visually, the rods are different than anything Sage has previously produced. The blanks are glossy black — no Sage green or muted reds or amber as in previous decades of Sage rods. Sage calls the color "Black Ice."
More important, the rod shaft is noticeably slimmer with low-profile ferrules intended to cut weight and create a more sensitive stick — not just so you can feel a nymph ticking along the bottom, but so you can receive better feedback from the rod during casting. The idea is that if you can feel what the line is doing at all times, you'll be prompted to become a better caster. Heavy, clunky rods don't give you the same feedback as something as light and responsive as the ONE.
The text on the blank of the ONE touts Sage's new Konnetic Technology. Don't look that word up in the dictionary, you won't find it.
Sage says, "Konnetic technology, the most recent and significant evolution in fly rod innovation, uses new materials combined with pioneering manufacturing methods and processes. This technology incorporates an optimized ratio of Sage's proprietary resin to exclusive high modulus aerospace-grade carbon fiber.
The latest construction methods include Sage's Advanced Modulus Positioning System (AMPS), a process that precisely aligns and positions carbon fiber materials to exacting tolerances for the greatest blank strength, delivering extremely efficient energy transfer throughout the shaft. Using Sage's High Compression Molding process, carbon fibers are compacted for optimum density and precise alignment while simultaneously fusing the 50% lighter all-carbon fiber inner core.
"The inherent strength of Konnetic technology allows ONE rods to have a smaller diameter and are 25% lighter than comparable Sage rods. These attributes combine to provide augmented aerodynamic efficiency. Further innovations are the 70% lighter, low profile ferrules that help direct and carry energy through the rod without sacrificing strength, critical action and feel. The ONE offers exceptional tracking with virtually no lateral or torsional movement, resulting in astonishing casting accuracy that is unparalleled in the marketplace."
"The ONE rod becomes a true extension of the angler's arm," says Sage rod designer, Jerry Siem. "It offers a more fluid transmission of energy from the arm to the fly. The eye sees the cast it wants to make and is translated to the hand through the rod instantaneously."
The ONE rod will be available at Sage authorized retail locations in August/September 2011 with a selection of 22 single hand models. ONE rods range from 3- to 10-weights priced from $715 to $740.