That was the issue I confronted with Sage’s new One Spey rod, the 12′ 6″ 7-weight to be exact (model 7126-4). I took that rod to Canada’s Gaspe Peninsula a couple weeks ago while fishing at Camp Bonaventure Lodge and Salmon Lodge (do it, do it now, book a trip there and you won’t be sorry) and threw it with a 480 grain Scandi head. Most of the time I used a full floating line and a relatively long tippet, but other times I attached a 60 grain light sinker to the head, along with about three or four feet of 10-pound test tippet.
I’m not a great Spey caster. Some days I have it going and other days I don’t. In fact, my talents seem to change by the hour—one moment I’ll be in control, not forcing the issue, taking time for the D loop to form and launching rockets; the next I might have the Scandi head wrapped around my neck or be watching my cast pile up on top of a fishe’s head.
But that happens, I can tell you, less frequently when using this new One Spey rod. It just has an awesome action that really allows anglers to bomb long casts while offering solid control when you need to fish tight. And it has the power to fight big fish when hooked, but enough subtlety to let you feel even a small fish, such as a four-pound grilse, on the line. I had both experiences, fighting a 25 to 30 pound bright hen for almost 30 minutes on the Bonaventure, and fighting a couple four to seven-pound grilse on the Grand. I enjoyed each battle and felt like the rod worked well for each situation.
I do want to tell you about a day on the Grand Cascapedia while fishing a run called Alder Island. It was early and I was still fresh, with good fish in front, so my concentration was keen. I got into a rhythm and started placing my fly within inches of the far bank, time after time after time. I stripped off more running line and took longer angles downstream. And still I was putting the fly in the very spot I wanted. Let’s see—34 foot head, 24 feet of tip, a few feet of leader, plus how much running line? I seriously thought I might be able to cast that thing 200 feet without putting much backbone into it. But like I said, I ran out of river, a new sensation for me.
I guess if I had one Spey rod to take to the stream tomorrow, it would be Sage’s new One. I was able to put it in the hands of several excellent Atlantic salmon guides while visiting the Gaspe Peninsula and they felt the same way. And they are more educated on the Spey game than me. Hey, Christmas is coming, Sage has created an absolute gem here, and if you’ve been good you might end up with this rocket launcher under the tree. It costs a a few pennies, that’s for sure, but you could own this rod, call it good, and be ready to take on any Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon, or steelhead in the world. Check it out at Sage.