A Geek’s Spey Rod: Sage Spey Switch 8116-4
Yes, I love technology
But not as much as you, you see
But I still love technology
Always and forever
Technology can be a glorious thing or it can curse you like an unrelenting, tireless demon. Amazing all the tasks that I can accomplish on my phone or how my car can calculate how to get me to my favorite food cart. On the other hand, nothing will make you want to abandon your pacifist tendencies more than watching the spinning beach ball of death as your laptop freezes up like a hitter guessing fastball but being dealt a slow curve for a strike.
Technology has been applied to the fishing industry but I’m usually the cynic regarding each new advance assuming limited impact on my day to day forays to the water. When Sage debuted konnetic technology I heard about how this would impact accuracy but that made no sense as an advancement with spey rods. My accuracy concerns revolve around not hitting my head with a weighted Intruder. However, I’ve found that energy applied to the rod is not wasted but efficiently translated to the flex and recovery of a
spey rod. With less effort, a caster gets tighter loops and higher line speeds. And just as importantly, the rods weigh much less.
The tech really comes to a crescendo in the Sage One switch 8116-4 or 8 weight, 11 and half foot, four piece. Personally, I don’t consider it much of a switch rod because I think anything of that length will be a chore to cast single handed especially with a double handed cork grip. Consider the rod a baby spey rod that kicks like a mule. Now, here’s the amazing stat, 5 and 11/16 ounces. Meaning this rod weighs exactly the same as the Sage VXP 5 weight, 12 foot spey rod!
I matched this rod with an SA Intermediate 440gr Extreme Skagit head and a Rio iMOW tip with about 4 feet of 12-15 lb leader. Depending on your casting stroke, I think the rod could easily load up to 500 grains. With this set up and the konnetic technology, I feel connected with the fly and have a better sense of the swing. In other words, I’m fishing better. This length of rod is a joy to fight and land fish as well because it’s so sensitive. The rod has a beautiful continuous flex throughout it’s length meaning a nice steady
stroke works most effective. A quick stroke necessary with the TCX series is wasted on the ONE spey rods. The aesthetics are beautiful when matched with a Ross CLA #5 grey mist reel. Given the perfect combination of high performance to turnover a weighted fly and light weight to make skating flies a joy, the Sage ONE is going to be my new every day rod on the Deschutes this summer. I’m contemplating taking the rod on the Nushagak to swing for kings. Who would have thought that a sport wrapped up in Norman Maclean, twede, fur and feathers could be made so much more enjoyable by engineering. Ain’t it wonderful.
Article by: Charlie Chambers