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First look inside the new Curado I baitcaster
 


 


Fly Rod Review


Truly the One?  The Sage ONE 590-4 Fly Rod (continued)

Real World Test:  I was lucky enough to be able to test the ONE in very different environments.  It accompanied me here locally on several beach Snook fishing jaunts, as well as a 3 day stint on Pyramid Lake in Nevada.  It was fished solely with an Abel Super 4N reel, and WF5F fly line from Rio.

 
A beautiful Cutthroat was easily subdued by the ONE 5 weight.

Casting: This rod is a flat out casting machine.  Wait, let me back up just a tad.  Fly casting strokes vary wildly amongst anglers, so opinions do vary, but for me the 590-4 is a sweetheart.  The slim blank, thin ferrules, and dainty rod weight all combine to make for a very pleasurable casting experience with a weight forward floater.  Since the action is fast but not overly fast, an ultra quick and super precise stroke is not mandatory.  The feel is really good up close but improves with more line in the air.  This is a crisp blank that dampens quickly and is very user friendly.  Though sink tip or full sinking lines were not applicable or even available during testing, I can say without a doubt this stick will be equally as capable with them.

 
Hard chrome snake guides and tip top aid in fluid casting.

Despite the fast action, it still has enough tip softness to place a fly accurately 25 feet out.  Some fast rods feel lifeless this close in, but the ONE 590-4 does not.  Mid range casting of 30-50 feet or so is a lot of fun and where I enjoyed fishing the rod the most, but plenty of power is definitely available to rifle out the long bombs.  It was not too difficult to cast the entire fly line and hear that lovely tink...tink...tink  sound of the backing knot clearing the guides....even easier with a tail wind!  If you are looking for a truly versatile fast action in your next 5 weight, this undoubtedly hits the mark.

 
Fighting a Pyramid Lake Cutthroat in 30+ knot winds.

Photo credit: David McKenzie

Power: The 590-4 ONE not only casts well, but also fights fish without breaking a sweat.  Unfortunately no state or world records were caught during testing, but several nice stillwater Trout were subdued easily using 6 and 8lb tippet.  What about the Snook fishing you ask?  This rod proved to have bad Snook juju, with nothing over about 16” coming to hand on my beach trips with it.  I'm too embarrassed to post those pictures!  At any rate, even though I didn't land any giants the rod has appropriate 5 weight backbone and provides all the power you're going to need for it's intended targets

 
In hand the grip fits your hand very comfortably.

Price, warranty, applications:  Ouch!  No, I didn't drop something on my foot, that's what I said when I first saw the price.  At $775, this is quite an expensive rod, but is still right in the ballpark of premium offerings from other brands.  Fly rod prices creep higher each year, and I have to wonder just how expensive they will cost in the future.  Well, if you have ultra expensive tastes Sage now offers a ONE Elite 590-4 rod which has some different features, including an extra tip section, for a price of $1,295.   

 
A rod sock is included along with the tube.

It's widely recognized that the most versatile fly rod sizes are 5 and 8 weights.  This particular rod will cover the vast majority of Trout fishing applications you'll encounter in the lower 48, and is a fine choice for a few other species as well.  Lighter duty fishing for Carp, Bass, and all Panfishing will be other popular uses for the 590-4, but don't overlook light saltwater too.  This rod carries a lifetime, original owner warranty.

Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Sage ONE 590-4 Fly Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Carefully constructed with high quality materials. 9
Performance An awesome performer that casts great, especially at modest ranges.  A real pleasure to fish. 9
Price There's no denying that this is an expensive rod that's outside of many peoples' budgets. 5
Features Slimmer blank, new style grip, Konnetic technology, and quality, attractive components. 8
Design (Ergonomics) The grip is quite nice, and the rod is one of the lightest on the market.  It feels more like a 4 weight in hand rather than a 5. 9
Application Not super versatile as far as species go, but covers most Trout fishing and lighter freshwater and saltwater applications. 7.5

Total Score

7.91
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Build quality is excellent - Expensive
+ A top notch performance rod - Rod tube needs to be a wider diameter
+ Very lightweight  
+ Simple but attractive design  

Conclusion: With high end features and boasting wonderful performance, the Sage 590-4 ONE rod is absolutely one of the premier 5 weights available today.  Rare in my reviews, I really can't conjure up a substantial complaint about the rod itself.  Ladies and gentlemen, it really is that good!  It's a blast to fish, looks handsome, and does everything you want it to.  Unfortunately, the price will undoubtedly keep it out of reach for many people, but thankfully there are some really nice cheaper options out there that will still put a smile on your face.


One of about a dozen Cutthroats that came to hand on day 2.

Photo credit: David McKenzie

If you are able to justify the cost, you'll have a tough time finding a 5 weight that performs better.  When you get to this level of performance, the difference between premium offerings can be very minimal.  It then becomes a choice based on aesthetics, warranty, and the like.  The 590-4 doesn't blow away comparable rods I've handled, but it's certainly neck and neck with the best in the world and is the finest 5 weight I've fished yet!


 

 

 

 

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