I am very interested in getting a switch rod and would appreciate a review of the Sage Z-axis 8110-4 from anyone who has fished one, and maybe even line recomendations. Also if anyone could compare the Sage to the Meiser or Beulah, that would be great. Thank you.
I've not fished the 11-8 ZA but I know 2 buddies that have, and they absolutely love it for smaller rivers swinging sink tips and especially when running an indicator rig:thumb:
So far, the favorite line seems to be the Rio Skagit 400 or 450 gr. Rio just came out with a Skagit Versi tip that might be just the ticket for these rods, to cover a variety of situations. If you're going to be doing 2 hand over head casting you might also look at the Rio Outbound or the Beulah Elixir lines. If you go with the Outbound, keep in mind the grain wt, and that you'll need to go up, because the Switches don't conform to the AFTMA standards. A new line that just came out that might prove well for these rods is the Rio AFS (Advanced Flight Spey shooting heads). I'm interested to hear some reports on this one
Currently I'm building a Beulah 8/9 Switch, and I'm lining it with a SA Skagit Deluxe (450 gr). As soon as I give it a thorough test drive, I'll report on it.
I'm a huge Sage fan, but after reading up on, and now having a Beulah in my hand........I'll definetly be buying more:thumb:
Before you buy, I'd recommend talking to Bruce at Beulah rods, he will provide a wealth of info to ya!!!
Hope this helps
This is a great thread since I have been contemplating the Z Axis 8110 as well. I have not cast it yet and might go today and see if a local fly shop has it. I would think that this rod combined with the Outbound would be a great beach setup. I would like to know how it would fish spey wise as well if anyone has the info.
Thank you for the info. I am also very interested to hear how the Sage works with the new Rio AFS lines. None of the shops in my area carry switch rods, so I am trying to get as many opinions from owners as possible.
I got a chance to look at the z-axis 8110-4 today. I was very surprised how small the rear grip was. I would guess it is only about 4" total. My indext finger was resting on the edge of the cork and the reel seat. I did not get to cast the rod and am just wondering if the rear grip is seems too small when casting?
I would appreciate opinions from anyone else who ownes this rod. Thank you.
I will demo this rod all weekend and use it for both spey and single handed casting. I will match it with a Hardy or Airflow line. I will have it for the weekend and will post a total overview of the rod on Sun night.
I ordered the Rio AFS 7/8. It has not arrived yet so I am itching to get out and try it. Just for fun I tried a 9wt. Steelhead taper. It was ok, but I could tell this is not the right line for this rod. I will let you know how the AFS line works out.
I used the Z Axis 7110 last weekend on the Sky and I had mixed reviews about it. I am not in the Dec Hogan class, when it comes to spey fishing but having gone many times, I know a bit about these rods. My opinion is based on having used it for single handed casting for half the time and spey for the other half.
Single Handed: The rod was long and hard to manuver, when compared to a 9' rod. I only had a mid-belly Hardy line rigged on it, so to judge it from a single handed perspective would be unfair, due to the weight of the line I was using. Even with this mis-matched line for single handed casting, it seemed hard to cast.
Spey: I was using a floating mid-belly 9 wt. line on it and don't know the grain. I was surprised for being a Z Axis, it did not seem all that fast when spey casting. It was weighted heavy, given that line, which might not have been appropriate for that rod.
This is an unfair summary on this rod on my part, given that I used it for one day and I did not have the chance to match it with other lines, but in my case it did not make me want to rush out and get it. Obviously, a switch rod is neither a full spey rod, or a full single hand rod, but a tool that lets you use a single hand cast or a double hand cast, given the situation presented.
Just got the Sage 8110-4 and have it lined up with a CND 5/6 for single hand/overhead casting and general spey work. It spey casts nicely with the color change just inside the tip. For winter work and big flies i have a skagit 650 cut back 4'. It is awesome! Very easy to cast and does not bog down the rod at all. Looking forward to fishing this setup more thsi winter. Hope this helps a little.
Sounds like the Mach I... At least thats the color of the Mach I i have, but maybe all the Hardy spey lines are that color. I picked that line up for a 10' 8 weight Dan Craft switch that I built, but its not my favorite... I've really narrowed it down to a Windcutter 7/8/9 with the middle section removed. This line rocks on the rod. Skagit style spey, 2 hand overhead and isn't actually too bad for single hand overhead although the rod loads up quite a bit. Haven't casted the Z-Axis, but I assume they're fairly similar rods in terms of action.