They say time speeds up as you age. I can't believe it's been just a hair over four years since I bought my Sage ONE 590-4. The ONE caught my eye because the series blends together a lot of what I like in a fly rod—great components, excellent build quality, fast action, and a light weight. The fact that it's a Sage doesn't hurt either! Has this 9-foot 5-weight disappointed me at all? Nope!
I haven't exactly beat on this rod, but it's seen its fair share of time on the water and a mixed variety of species. As of this writing the ONE has caught an oddly varied bunch of fish including cutthroat trout, common, grass, and koi carp, tilapia, bass, and snook. After tangling with fish in several states it hasn't skipped a beat and instills a high level of confidence every time I fish it.
One thing that immediately jumps out regarding the design is the grip style. Sage calls it a "Super Plus custom tapered shaped cork handle." That's a long name, but it's downright comfortable and I think it looks pretty cool too. Do I prefer it over something like a western-style grip? I have to say I do like it slightly better, but by no means would it influence a future buying decision.
Other than being put together extremely well, the light weight, very slim blank, and fast action earns the ONE high marks. I find it accurate at all ranges, but I especially enjoy it from mid-range and out further. It's able to toss a weighted streamer, yet it isn't overly-rigid for short casts with small flies. The ONE series also incorporates Konnetic technology which basically gives it that nice slim blank and helps improve tracking and line control.
From the cold waters of Pyramid Lake to the scorching heat of Arizona and Florida, the 590-4 ONE has proven itself. There's no doubt there are some great 5-weights, and in my humble opinion this is one of them. With the new Sage X series of rods on the way to fill the void leftover by the ONE series, we can't wait to see how they compare!