Name a series of fly rods The One, and you’d better have some serious skin in the game or be prepared for some abuse.
Sage, it turns out, walks the talk. New materials and manufacturing processes reduce weight and narrow the shaft and ferrule diameters for a more fluid energy transfer from butt to tip. The upshot is a fast-action rod that isn’t stiff or clubby and offers superb tracking, delivering the fly precisely where you aim it with no lateral wandering, drift, or residual vibration that reduces accuracy and distance.
Part of this performance is achieved with a taper that delivers the goods at short to medium range without requiring an aggressive stroke to overcome shaft stiffness. The 5-weight rod tested gives excellent casting control, smoothness, and accuracy throughout its distance window—a versatility that few other fast-action sticks achieve. This is a forgiving rod that answers to a wide range of casting styles and tempos—a real pleasure to fish. The 22 models in the series range from 3- to 10-weight. --TL
What's new in tackle this year? Plenty--and we fished with it all. Field & Stream testers hit the water with more than 100 pieces of the latest gear, from humble hooks to the top-of-the-line high-definition sonar units. We winnowed the list down to 16 standout products that clearly are the Best of the Best.