Ultralight Trout Spey Rod Review - Sage ONE 2109-4 Review

December 18, 2015

I'm not sure why I can be so stubborn sometimes, but I guess it runs in all of our blood here and there.  Ol' Craig had been spurring me to try out his new 2 Weight Sage ONE Switch Rod for a while now.  I kept putting it off trying to catch on putting web fires out since Steelhead season got over.  I had been wanting to test this rod for a while now and finally got my chance.

As many of you guys know, I am a trout spey guy and really enjoy both casting two handed rods and catching trout.  I like this combo because I get to shoot line on a little two-hander, and I get a good number of strikes and I even get a few big trout once in a while. Big trout for us are 18" or so, with a few to 19-20" every few trips.  Most however are 10-14" and tackle the fly hard.  

The challenge for us is that while the fish may be on the small side much of the time, the flies they like (and the big fish usually prefer) can be quite large and tough to cast on light rods.  If you use a heavy rod like a 5 weight switch rod you'll lose touch with the wiggle of a moderate sized trout.  Recently Sage introduced their "ONE Trout Spey" lineup and the star is definitely the 2 weight.

Craig helped me solve the problem of getting a lightweight rod to cast big flies.  When he got his 2 weight he immediately started experimenting with the OPST Commando Heads.  These short powerful heads have allowed us to pitch big flies on ultralight weight switch and spey rods.  This combo rocks.  It is really cool, I am pretty excited about it these short heads.  RIO also makes one called the RIO Skagit Trout MAX that are 11' heads.  I plan to fool around with these next.  

If you want to throw big Sculpin Patterns like this one, you'll want a head and proper sink tip that will turn over flies like this.

I tried not to be overly exuberant in the video and stay unbiased, but for a light trout spey this combo is hard to beat.  The OPST Commando head is a great combo on this lightweight rod and I recommend it for anyone shopping for a light trout spey that wants to rule out any chance of regret.  

About the Sage ONE Trout Spey Rods

Overall I really like this combo for anglers fishing in places where you are more likely to catch a 13" trout than a 20" trout.  They make a 2 weight and a 3 weight rod and they seem to be built on a very different chassis than the 4-5 weight Sage ONE Switch Rods that I have been fishing with.  These are definitely trout rods whereas my 5116-4 Sage ONE would double as a light summer Steelhead rod.  Its just bigger.  The grip and everything is more like that of a traditional two-hander.  

With the advent of better lines anyone shopping for a dedicated trout spey rod should consider going with the ultralight setups that we sell at Red's.  

Line Selection for Sage ONE Trout Spey 2109-4 and 3110-4 Rods

Commando heads or RIO Trout MAX heads just make sense on these little rods.  We like a 175 Grain on the 2109 but it is a very strong rod (considering its rated at 2 weight) so it will cast up to 275 grains.  The 225 Grain seems to be the sweet spot.

On the 3110-4 the 275 grain head seems to be the sweet spot. 


  1. So, what are your thoughts after casting? How do the Sage One 2 and 3 wgts compare? How about comparisons to the Winston Micro Speys?
  2. I switch over from miracle brain running line to grip shooter in the winter because I think mono slides trough iced guides better. But I was out on the Yakima Saturday swinging skulpins in temperature around freezing and I couldn't get the mono to straighten out. Pulled long and hard, but it still stayed tightly coiled and troublesome. Is the Lazer mono better than grip shooter in cold temperatures? Makes me want to go back to Amnesia. Maybe I'm a dinosaur but I still like miracle braid. Floats well, so it doesn't tangle up my feet, cheap, handles nice, and casts plenty far for me. Except for the ice.
  3. I agree, the OPST does coil a bit, but I haven't had a problem once I stretch it. I am not familiar with the Miracle Braid, I'll have to try that. I'll bet Craig Hettinger has some. I am curious about it. And yes, MONO does shoot through the ice very well.
  4. What grain OPST heads do you put on the 2109 and 3110 ONEs?
  5. Hi J, we like a 175 Grain on the 2109 but it is a very strong rod (considering its rated at 2 weight) so it will cast up to 275 grain. the 225 Grain seems to be the sweet spot. On the 3110-4 the 275 grain head seems to be the sweet spot.
  6. Why are the recommended reels for the Sage a #8 and #6 for the two smaller Winstons? Thinking of both rods with a primary use going after cutts and rezzies in the salt but also swinging streamers in the Yak.
  7. For the Sage rods I would put a Sage DOMAIN 10 on the #8 and a DOMAIN 8 on the #6, on the Winstons I like Lamson or Hardy. Give us a buzz at the shop and we can rope up whatever you need and make sure they balance right before we send anything out. Roger, Craig, or Joe are probably the best guys to help with this. Our shop # is 509.933.2300
  8. Just wanted to clarify I was asking about reel sizes for the Sage micros (#2 and 3 weights). I think your reel recommendation is a #8 Domain for both. For the Winston micros (#3 &4), I think your recommendations are for a reel for a reel for a # 6 line. BTW: do you have "try rods" at the store to play around with at the shop for comparing? Thx...Craig
  9. Craig, did you buy a rod from us today? Coincidentally a "Craig" bought a Winston Micro Spey from us today. Was that you you haha?
  10. What would be the correct grain size for a Sage One 4116? 300gr with 10ft MOW?
  11. Hi, how would you compare the sage 3wt trout spey to the winston microspey ? Would the sage be better for distance and large weighted streamers ?
  12. Can the 2109 handle T-11 or do you need to use the Rio Light MOW Tips? I'm a little partial towards Airflo but I'm a little disappointed that they don't have a short head like he OPST or Rio Trout Max Short.
  13. For the Sage 2109-4, if I already have a Rio Single Hand Spey 5wt. line spooled up (wanted to play with it on my 9' 5wt go-to rod), do you have a preference between the 225 gr. OPST Commando head and the Rio Skagit Trout Max head if I wanted to set up a second spool, or even a second reel, for a stripping streamers vs. the Single Hand Spey that works so well for swinging wet hackles or presenting dry flies that don't have to be very "delicate" like Stimulators, Chernobyl ants, hopper/dropper tandems, etc.?