I had the opportunity to cast a Sage 890-4 X for about an hour last weekend. Gotta say it's the first Sage that's impressed me in quite a while. It was parking lot casting with an unknown WF8 "shop" line that had suffered from previous asphalt adventures, but the rod simply didn't care. It easily picked up 40-45' of line off the ground, and with a single back cast threw an unbelievably smooth loop forward to reach 80'-85' almost without effort. Best of all, it was superbly accurate all the way out there. Both the shop owner and I were landing our casts within inches of called targets at close- and mid-range, and yes, equally well at long range. Shorten the line up to 30', and the rod still registered "true" to line weight. Seems like a really versatile and forgiving rod that will be useful for all sorts of things.
I have never been a 100% fan of the Sage One, in spite of casting and fishing lots of them. I just never could bring myself to reach into my wallet, mostly because the last couple of feet of the tip always seemed too soft for the blank. Lay a little extra on it for distance or to hook a cast at longer range, and the soft tip would collapse. Fine rod for moderate ranges, but problematic at longer ranges where I need extra performance.
Not so the X. We never really stretched it out to see just how far it would cast, but I'm confident that with the right line not chewed up by a parking lot, it would be pretty easy for me to threaten or surpass 100'. Can't make that claim about the One with any line I've tried, and the One is certainly no competitor with the X for accuracy, even at closer ranges. Nice to note that the X seems at least as light and easy on the arm as the One.
The 8-weight feels lighter than a lot of 7WTs and even 6WTs in the hand, but it's perfect with a standard 8-weight line (as compared to those half a line size bigger such as the Outbounds). Kind of a neat sensation to have one that's smooth as bamboo, yet light and powerful.
Today I quit dithering and bought the thing! My wife got tired of my pondering and ORDERED me to do it. Now all I have to do is keep it out of her hands. Seems like she ends up claiming about every other fly rod that comes through the door. I sense a pattern, here.
Okay, I'll shudup, but you can tell I'm jazzed. Lotta money for a rod, but for me anyway, the premium price of Sage is worth it this time around. Been a looong time since I felt that way about a Sage. Fishing reports to come. It's prime time for silvers, and they're running big this year. Been stormy and windy 5 days out of 7 each week so far, so the X is going to get a thorough workout. Perfect.