Jun 13, 2012

George Cook Talks Sage One Spey and Switch Rods

If they are anything like the Sage One single hand rods, the much-anticipated arrival of the Sage One Spey Rods and Sage One Switch Rods are sure to set the bar in the two-handed and switch arena. Industry professional and renowned fly angler, George Cook, was on the phone to deliver me the skinny on the new line-up, as well as to educate us on their uses.

Sage One Spey and Switch Rods

GFS: So what’s all the excitement about?

GC: Well, I’m fresh off the 2012 Sandy River Spey Clave where folks overran the booth trying to get their hands on these rods that, previously, had only been rumor. To be sure, these rods are a revolutionary jump in spey rod design and performance. And they are incredibly light.

GFS: You talk about weight reduction? Why is this important?

GC: There are a number of reasons why… A light rod really reduces fatigue on the angler, increases over all line-speed and feels light in one’s hands which inherently inspires confidence and eagerness to get on the water.

GFS: One of my favorite attributes in a fly rod is agility. The time it takes to get the fly from brain to target. How would you describe the agility of these rods?

GC: While not as agile as say, Westbrook or Durant (For those tuning into the NBA Playoffs), these rods, like their single hand cousins, redefine accuracy. Directional acuity is at the highest level ever witnessed in a spey or switch rod. These are next-level rods, with much thanks going to Jerry Siem and his technical team at Sage.

GFS: What the hell is directional acuity?

GC: I refer to this as the accuracy of D loop to target. In other words, where your D loop lines up, is where your cast is going. Point and shoot.

GFS: It’s become evident in the single hand one series of their uncanny ability for straight line tracking. Or I guess what you call true tracking. Is this what you are getting at with the spey and switch rods?

GC: Absolutely. Again, directional acuity rules the day.

GFS: If you were to pick one word to describe these new rods, what would that be?

GC: Unrivaled

GFS: What about sizes? Can you give the rundown on the spey series?

GC: Sure. We got a 5126-4, 6126-4, 7126-4, 7136-4, 8126-4, 8136-4, 9140-4, 10130-4, 10150-4

GFS: What about spey lines? What type of arrows are we talking about here?

GC: It all depends on what the angler seeks. Winter or sink-tip spey rodders will want a Skagit line like the Rio Flight. Summer enthusiasts will see sick, scary line speed with the Rio Steelhead Scandi and the traditionalists who use traditional spey casts like the single spey or the snake roll will find the Rio Power Spey to their liking. The Scandinavians will love the Rio AFS on these new One Spey rods.

Sage One Spey and Switch Rod Line Chart

GFS: Ok, I’m going to mention an application. Could you recommend some rod sizes?

GC: Sure.

GFS: Alright… Summer Steelhead. Small to medium sized rivers…

GC: 5126-4, 6126-4, 7126-4

GFS: Summer Steelhead. Medium to large rivers…

GC: 6126-4, 7126-4, 7136-4

GFS: Winter Steelhead. Small to medium sized rivers…

GC: 7126-4, 8126-4, 8136-4

GFS: Winter Steelhead. Medium to large rivers…

GC: 7136-4, 8136-4

GFS: King or Atlantic Salmon…

GC: For Kingy, the 1030-4 is newcomer to the 10-line series, which should be a really hot rod. The 9130-4 is the traditional king rod with the 10150-4 for the longest of the bomb casts. The Atlantic Salmon crowd will favor the 9, 10 and the shorter 8 (8126-4) as their go-to rods.

GFS: Chum, Coho, Sockeye Salmon…

GC: 7126-4, 7136-4, 8126-4, 8136-4. And Sockeye! Good lord boy, you must know something about those critters that I’ve never heard of before!

GFS: (I’m laughing good and hard at this as I recall the fact that Sockeyes like to swim at your boot laces and need to be threaded through the mouth)

GFS: Trout…

GC: Bow Bow is a great target for the 5-7 weights, not to mention some of the switch rods.

GFS: So moving over to Switch Rods. What sets the One Switch series apart?

GC: They are ultra-light, responsive line speed demons. At 11’6” in length, they offer the perfect middle ground, balancing the single hand nymph crowd along with the baby spey enthusiasts.

GFS: In general terms, why Switch rods, George?

GC: Well, switch rods in this day in age are a fascinating deal. For example, here in the Pacific Northwest, they offer a plethora of uses. Everything from overhead casting on the breaks for sea-run Cutthroat and resident Coho to lake fishing in Eastern Oregon and Washington which is often done by using a standard Rio Outbound Intermediate in one line size up. Trout and Steelhead nymphing aficionados can do a lot of damage with the Rio Switch Line which provides a focused nymphing tool. The baby spey rod game with these rods is super cool. Skagit Short lines, Scandi Short Versitip lines as well as Steelhead Scandi lines definitely lead the way. For some folks, a switch rod lets them wet their toes to the whole spey realm. For the spey crazy, it becomes their pet baby spey rod and often with more than one in the quiver.

GFS: Ok, let’s keep on with the applications that Switch rods are used for around this great big planet. Let’s start with Trout or Bow Bow, as you like to call him. What size rods are appropriate?

GC: Bow Bow and related trout buddies are the perfect targets for 4 weight and 5 weight switchies, but all the way up through the 7 weights depending on where one is going at it. The 7 weight tends to be the “30 ought 6” of the switch series as it can be used for trout, right up through steelhead and light salmon.

GFS: Steelhead…

GC: The 7 and 8 weights are el-primo here, but say for some Northern California or Southern Oregon fisheries, like the Rogue, the 4, 5 and 6 weights also apply.

GFS: King Salmon & Atlantic Salmon…

GC: I’ve caught Kings on 8 weight switch rods but one had better eat a good breakfast and keep both feet planted to play this game.

GFS: Chum, Coho Salmon…

GC: 7 and 8 weights.

GFS: What about Bass and Pike?

GC: Bad call. Pick up one of the Sage Bass Series Rods, like the Largemouth for this ballgame.

GFS: What about still water applications?

GC: Yes sir. 4,5,6 weights with the 5 weight being prime. Again, go with the standard Outbound Intermediate, one line size up, and start hucking spinning rod-type distances.

GFS: What about Salt Water? You know surf casting for example. Or from rocky shorelines… Is there a place for switch rods on the flats?

GC: Well we talked about sea-run cuts and cohos. The 8 weight is also a great tool for Striped Bass and Blues. Again, the one-bump standard Outbound is the ticket. As far as flats fishing goes, you really don’t want to sacrifice the deadly accuracy of 8-9 foot rods.

GFS: Can we talk price? How much? Surely you’re not giving these sticks away.

GC: Clear some space on the Visa and go see your local dealer.  (Prices are now available on our website)

GFS: Ok, and now the question that many of us are waiting for: When can we wrap our hands around one?

GC: They will start shipping to shops on June 28th. Prepare your mind and body. Alright Mike, got to run. I hear my cat yowling at the door. She’s 22 lbs, so it’s best to let her in before my safety is in jeopardy.

We should receive our initial stock here at the Gorge Fly Shop between June 28th – the second week of July. Please note that the 6126-4 and the 7126-4 Spey Rods will not be available until the end of July. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We are taking preorders at this time that will ship to you as soon as we receive them. As always, thank you for choosing The Gorge Fly Shop.

1 comment :

  1. Can't wait to get my hands on one of these! PD


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