Neo? Is that you?

The internet has been all abuzz with the announcement of Sage’s new stick, “The ONE”.

I first heard about it on Midcurrent and Angling Trade, which is not surprising because I often find out breaking news at these two sites. Then I saw a lengthy discussion about it on Washington Fly Fishing. It was also discussed in a LinkedIn group, and elsewhere. Surprisingly it even popped up in the webstats for this blog: to date, 30 people used the search phrase, “Sage One Rod” and ended up landing at The Unaccomplished Angler. I found that to be rather interesting since I hadn’t posted any mention of it here. I’m sure that whomever landed on the UA, expecting to find some inside scoop on The ONE, was disappointed. And so the reason for this post is simply to address that matter: if anyone else lands here after searching for “Sage One Rod”, I’d like to be able to provide them with something of value. Of course, I can’t do that because I know nothing about The ONE other than what I’ve read elsewhere, so consider this a redirect. Here is the Press Release.

God speed, dear adorable friend

I will say that since The ONE will replace the love of my life, the Z-Axis, it must be a REALLY great rod. I absolutely adore my Z-Axis rods, and that’s a pretty bold statement since I never use the term “adore” (because it’s not very manly). I have a Z-Axis 4 weight which is my go-to rod in every possible situation. I love casting that thing. When the wind is howling and I’m chucking big junk to big fish, then I employ my 6 weight Z-Axis. I also have a 7136 Spey rod which needs no introduction as it is a ridiculously popular two-hander. I’m a terrible hack when it comes to Spey casting, but the Z-Axis 7136 makes me be all that I can possibly be, barring any talent and ability. According to the press release from Sage, The ONE will only be available in single-handed models: “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 3-10-weights and will be priced from $715 to $740.” Makes one wonder what will become of the Z-Axis Spey rod models- will they remain as such?  Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps we should ask the Oracle, for she is a wise old sage. *NOTE: within minutes of this entry hitting the feeds, The Oracle chimed in with insight: The Z-Axis line of two-handed rods will indeed remain for the time being.

So, what of The ONE?  Well, it’s built using modern Konnetic technology: it’s light and strong. It’s said to be an extension of your casting arm, and deadly accurate. It’s ominously cool with it’s black blank. It has a name that is a bold declaration of it’s impending status. If you believe what Sage tells you, it will be the real deal. When first hearing of the name of this new rod, one cannot help but reflect upon the Matrix movies, in which the main character, Neo, was also known as The One. He was a pretty incredible dude with amazing abilities that made him the last hope for saving reality from virtual domination. If The ONE can give me even close to the powers of The One, then I’m definitely going to want to test this rod out some day.

Morpheus: I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.



  1. akkaren

    Kirk, the Z-Axis Spey and Switch rods will remain in the Sage line up for 2012. As you alluded to, they are indeed wildly popular.


    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks for that valued bit of insight, Oracle 😉

  2. cofisher

    Not being a fan of the latest and greatest by any rod maker, I have to ask, what about the latest and greatest that wasn’t the ONE? As in the last couple of models that were the latest and greatest at the time. Is it true that Sage will send out letters of apology and a $100 rebate for those that purchased before the ONE? What’s next? Perhaps a rod that you pay $800 for and casts itself, has a built in fish finder and hatch matcher? No thanks…I’ll stick to my cheap fiberglass.

    • Kirk Werner

      Many share that same view, Howard, and many echo your thoughts that the rod we currently have in our quiver is perfectly capable of gettin’ it done. But from a company standpoint, nobody can fault Sage or any other company for introducing new product and presenting said product with marketing materials to suggest that customers should buy the new product. A company that rests on laurels won’t be around for long. Interesting query you’ve posed however. I wonder if you look deep enough into the legal copy, it will say, “This rod is the ONE, for now. Until the next one.” As for the other stuff you said about a rod that will do it all for you, well, you’re just being silly. Real, darn silly.

  3. cofisher

    Famous last words my friend: “You’re going to sail off the edge of the world Christoper.” “It’ll never fly Orville.” “Come on honey, it’s unsinkable.” Darn silly? I think not.

    • Kirk Werner

      I suppose you don’t believe in Bigfoot, either?

      • Owl Jones

        BIGFOOT IS REAL. hmmmpf.

        • Kirk Werner

          You may see one on your travels west. In fact, maybe you should come to the Pacific NW. You can take a tour of the Sage plant, see the ONE up close and personal, and maybe even get a photo taken with Bigfoot.

  4. Sanders

    Like you said, if “The One” is anything close to as cool as “The One”…than “The One” will be a pretty good stick. Or something like that. Really adored the post 🙂

    • Kirk Werner

      All I know Sanders, is that I’m not going to go test cast one anytime soon, because I’m afraid I will want one. And quite frankly that would be ridiculous because of my current adoration with my stable of Z-Axises. I forgot to mention in the post that I also have a couple XPs that I absolutely cherish (another word I don’t use) as well.

  5. David G

    If it can slow down time, count me in!

    • Kirk Werner

      Well now you’re just being darn silly, David…like Howard was being darn silly earlier.

  6. David G

    Oh! On a more serious note: Strange grip ain’t it?

    • Kirk Werner

      Ah yes, we’re so used to seeing the standard reversed wells grip used by so many manufacturers that this usage of the snub-nosed, half wells grip does seem rather…unique. And look, Sage’s decision to go with the name and odd grip has us talking 😉

  7. cofisher

    I’ll never forgive Sage for dismissing the XP like yesterday’s garbage. But enough of that. Of course I believe in Bigfoot! I was there when the Venusians delivered them here!

    • Kirk Werner

      You know what? The XP remains, in certain weights, THE one rod. Round these parts, many believe the XP 896 to be the premier single hander for steelhead. A coupla years ago, after trying in vain to find one on the used market, I ended up getting a 8100 from a guy in Oklahoma (not many steelhead out there). I don’t use it much, but man- what a sweet rod. Hard to imagine anything finer. I also have an XP 696 and like it almost a notch better than the Z-Axis. The XP will go down in history as one of Sage’s best all-time rods. So will the Z. And eventually, perhaps so shall the ONE. Bigfoot? Where?

  8. Owl Jones

    I’m kinda with Howard on this, as a fly fisher who’s doing just fine with his $100 White River rod from 7 or 8 years ago. That said, I’m not trying to cast 3/4 of the line or anything like that. As a matter of fact the only time I’ve ever cast the whole line into the backing was a demo casting session at a fly show in Charlotte, NC. The rod? Oh…it was a Sage of course. ( When I felt the backing as I was stripping out more line for another double-haul, it surprised me and I stopped the cast. I was like ” what the (*$&# is that?)

    Backing. I never use the stuff. 😉

  9. Marck

    I would like ONE but can’t afford ONE and having ONE daughter in college and another ONE on her way. The ONE won’t happen for me.

    • Kirk Werner

      You couldn’t have the ONE even if you didn’t have one in college and another one on the way soon, because you got a new Sage rod last year (maybe not the ONE, but a very nice one all the same) and you don’t deserve another one. However, you really do need get a Spey rod. I suggest you grow a pair and get one.

  10. Marck

    If you don’t spey, Don’t start.

    • Kirk Werner

      You didn’t really believe that, did you? It was intended to be more of a challenge, not a warning.

  11. Chuck

    I use Sage Rods. My favorite steelhead rod is in fact a rather slow action , old 7 wieght SP! The XP was a great rod. I own several! I own a TCR which they discontinued because I think only one out of a hundred guys could actually cast it! The XI2 is a great rod.

    Yeah they make good rods but they perpetuate all the same techy hoakum other companies do! High modulus graphite blah , blah blah……..Lighter, faster…..blah , blah blah! I think they have reached a plateau in carbon fiber technology but they gotta keep ya jumping through the next hoop! I don’t care what they say….the new lighter rods are more fragile! How light do ya need your rod to be? Are ya really that weak? It’s ridiculous! What’s a gram here or there ? Can ya really tell? I can bend my old SP in half and land a 40 pound fish with it if I have to! It’s soft in the tip but really strong in the butt!

    Sure there are some rods that make life easier in the wind but for the most part; NO ROD IS GONNA MAKE YA A BETTER ANGLER!

    • Kirk Werner

      True, Chuck- no rod will actually make one a better caster. But, perception is a powerful thing, and if a hack feels better about themselves because they have a high-fallutin’ rod, their self image and self confidence may skyrocket. Then it doesn’t really matter whether they’re any better or not.

  12. Tony

    I am admittedly getting this information 2nd hand from a fly shop owner who has fished with the one, but he described its action between a z axis and tcx.

    He thought enough of it to tell me told hold off on a purchase of a 9 wt purchase (either a xi3 ot tcx) to see if I like the one more.

    I have a 7 wt tcx and like it a lot.

    • Kirk Werner

      Thanks for commenting, Tony. I’ve never cast the TCX, but am aware of it’s reputations as a ultra fast action rod. I’ll eventually test cast the ONE in a 3wt, as that is the only weight rod that I can even remotely consider “needed” in my quiver. Like most rods, it will probably feel quite different from one weight rating to the next, so while I may like it in a 3wt, I might not like it in a 7 weight, or vice versa. We shall see.

  13. Fontinalis Rising

    Get up, Trinity…get up.

  14. Terry Rogers

    I am a Flyfisher in Australia. I have been using a Sage TCR 6 wt. for many years. Last month, Sept. 2011, I purchased a Sage One 6wt. to use on a fishing trip I am taking to New Zealand in November. I am looking forward to seeing if this rod is as great as it is being made to sound…..I need all the help I can get in my piscatorial pursuits.

    Terry Rogers
    Melbourne. Australia.

    • Kirk Werner

      Terry, thanks for commenting. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the ONE after your trip. I’m hoping to get my hands on a test rod soon so I can see if it lives up to its billing as well. I’m going to test a 4wt in a head to head comparison with my 4 wt Z-Axis, which I love. I’m worried that I will love the ONE. Keep me posted, and may you avoid any angling unaccomplishments on your trip to NZ.

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