Being buried by production stuff keeps me away from trends and technological breakthroughs. But, since the release of SM3, (Thanks by the way for buying so many) I’ve been able to get a little fishing in. Not fishing in the sense that we discuss here, but fly fishing with a single handed rod for large, fresh-from-the-ocean Kings, found in obscure, quiet places where my goal is to sink into a deliberate process, of long casts, long swings, small flies and infinite hope. Enter a fly rod which, with one cast, opened my eyes to what parallel alignment of graphite fibers can do for a 100 foot cast. Konnetic Technology SAGE calls it.
The deal with distance casting is that, with so many variables coming into play, a slight deviation in your stroke– a change in tempo, power application, rod tip path, timing of the final haul, etc, affects that perfect turn over and immediate contact with the fly.
“Hey, where did you get a ONE rod?” I asked, noticing the sharp looking stick lofted above the couch, balanced between two ends of a makeshift rod hanger in the living room of a buddy’s fishing cabin.
“You wanna fish it this evening?”
I strung the rod with one of my 10 weight shooting heads, re looped the 18 foot leader to the butt section and added one of my favorite king flies.
First, you must know, these rods literally weigh that of a rod 3 or 4 lines sizes lighter. The 9 weight feels like a six weight in your hand. But when you make that first cast, you realize the POW! in the sweet spot and the dead straight tracking of the fly line….The line follows the path of the rod tip, Right? And the tip of these rods tracks straight, if you do your job. No wiggling side to side loops. The rotational torque present in most production rods, even if you make a near perfect cast, causes a side to side oscillation within the forward loop, affecting accuracy and the power in the delivery. Not so with the ONE! The top leg of the loop travels directly on top of the bottom leg and the loop turns over with authority. If I pay attention and delay the final haul to that last possible moment of the forward cast, this rod delivers like no other. I’ve cast countless fly rods in my 40 years of intense fly fishing. Many remain in my quiver because they work for me, but this rod is legitimate. The hype is justified. Sage designer Jerry Siem and the engineering team at SAGE have raised the bar for others. For the first time in my life I thought about unloading every rod I own so I might be able to replace them with half as many ONE rods. But then I’d want two of those 9 foot 10 weights, and about six of their two handers, switch rods and the others. The trout rods must be rock stars where accuracy is concerned…Well, one can dream.
I’d like to say how happy I am that SAGE has decided to sponsor SM4. We will get to use their new line of two handers in a variety of applications on the steelhead rivers of the mid west. I’m so stoked about this show. Airlfo lines and the ONE two handers! Good fun will be had.