New Year New Rod! - Review of the Sage 10150-4 ONE
So here’s the thing about 15 footers. I don’t really use them. Boooom. There’s the bomb. Why don’t I use them often? Well quite frankly there are better options and I simply don’t need that length of lever on most occasions in the UK.
When would I use a long rod?
When I need some distance but more often than not it’s not in high water, it’s in low water. I often reach for a long rod when I feel I need to keep my distance between spooky fish in low water. So, I’ll wade above them and cast a long line with a long leader and swing gently onto them. Sometimes I’m physically 100 feet away from my target 30 degrees upstream of them. The longer lever enables me to manage a cast like that comfortably and control the line to swing it over the line. If I choose my line carefully I can comfortably present a small fly at range delicately.
So my 15 footers need to be refined. They are not canons that whack out sinkers square and to heck with it. They need to present heavy lines delicately and accurately. They are precision tools, as should all my rods be. Just because they are long and require heavy lines to load them, doesn’t mean they should be agricultural like many 15 footers tend to be.
Enter the Sage One 10150-4.
What do long sticks do outdoors? They catch the wind. When it’s blowing a gale I don’t go bigger and heavier, I go shorter and thinner. The 10150 gives you a long lever in a thin blank. One of the thinnest blanks I know is the Hardy Marksman 15 foot which is really a 9 weight. The Sage is a true 10 weight but thinner at the butt than the Marksman. So we have authority in a slim, wind cutting blank. I like that.
I’m no expert on tapers and certainly didn’t get my verniers out to compare the Marksman’s taper next to the One but the Sage certainly has a stiffer tip. It is more tip action than the very middle to tip action of the Hardy so the comparison ends there. I only make this comparison because the Hardy Marksman 15 foot T series is my favourite 15 foot rod up to 55 foot lines. The Sage One is the more refined, authoritative, accurate and intelligent version of the Marksman. I absolutely love it.
Straight down the line
I lined up a 63 foot James Chalmers Equalizer floater and a 60 foot 50g prototype line from Carron on the Sage One. I first cast off my left in the horrendous winds we have had recently, arrow straight. Unbelievably straight. I never knew what straight was in fact until I cast this. Straight is redefined. Easy is redefined. Smooth has another meaning. It’s as though the rod has an inbuilt intelligence. It rewards the competent and produces a line which simply travels to the target like it was predetermined to go there.
A complete threat to difficult fish.
When I pay a load of money for a rod I want to be blown away. The sage 7119 tcx was the last rod that did that. In fact the 6119 did too. I’m sure the 8119 would but I never tried it. You see I love accurate switch rods with guts. So I kind of drag my feet a little to saddle up long rods. Not the Sage One. It reminded my of the way a 7119 tcx has a hornets sting to it. So accurate and dangerous in its delivery. A complete threat to difficult fish.
I’m not going to bleat on about the finish and the cork because quite frankly it’s beautiful. Everything about it is, the rod tube, the quality of the screw cap and its fitting, the blank colour, the reel seat, everything. Let’s just get that out of the way. It’s the way this rod feels when you cast it. It’s like a magic trick. It’s so light and balanced and refined you feel like you’re casting a 13 footer but it has the range and scope of a rod longer than 15 foot.
A rod with scope and finesse
You can just reach out 120, 130 feet and place your fly exactly where you want it with no fuss, delicately. Exactly what a long rod should be. A tool of range with scope and finesse.
I could tell you it’s a tip action rod gradually getting into the mid section as you drive it, or hypothesize about konnetic technology and tracking or besmirch nano rods but who cares man. This thing connects on an emotional level. It makes you wanna fish with a long rod and it makes you wanna fish for difficult fish. It rewards the thinking angler. It’s an educated rod. I love it. I love it I love it I love it.
For details of my speycasting instruction services visit www.bellflyfishing.co.uk