7 Weight or 8 Weight Sage Z-Axis Spey

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Broderick Smith, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Broderick Smith SeaToTree

    Posts: 248
    SeaToTree, WA
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    Hi Guys - Looking at either buying a 7 weight spey or an 8-weight spey. I fish the peninsula in the winters, and want to do more summer steelheading too. Do the Methow etc but use my 8 weight single hander for this.

    SO, would the 7 weight be enough power to manage the Hoh and some other rivers where I'll encounter larger steelhead? Or should i go to the 8 weight?

    Thank you very much.
  2. Klickrolf Active Member

    Posts: 492
    Klickitat, Washington
    Ratings: +95 / 0
    Go for the 8. It'll help you land and release the wild ones quicker and give you more juice for tips or chickens or both.
  3. shawn k Member

    Posts: 697
    buckets worldwide
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    I live on the OP and My go to rods is the winter are the 7133 vxp and the 8129 z axis. Believe it or not i like the 7 better.
  4. Broderick Smith SeaToTree

    Posts: 248
    SeaToTree, WA
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    Will the 7 be enough to throw some big nasty streamers when i want too? I believe so but want to triple check before i make the purchase.
  5. Steffan Brown ...

    Posts: 548
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +64 / 0
    I have the 8129 z-axis and haven't found any limitations... It's sensitive enough to where a 30" fish is just as fun as bigger fish and it will throw chunky winter rigs with little effort. If it's a winter rod you're after, go with the 8 weight for sure. I doubt you'll regret it.
  6. Broderick Smith SeaToTree

    Posts: 248
    SeaToTree, WA
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    Perfect world i want a rod for summer and winter...dreamin'?
  7. Matthew Gulbranson Resident Swinger

    Posts: 1,732
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    I have both rods and I like them both for different reasons. The 7136 is a softer rod that the 8129, but still throws heavy sink tips and bunnies/intruders just fine for me. I tend to use this rod more because I like to cast it more, and that is the bulk of what we do fishing for steel! That being said, the 8129 is a bit more of a 'broomstick', but will chuck anything you put on it. It's a much faster rod, so depending on your casting style, you might naturally gravitate towards one or the other. I love the 8129 for those tight quarters, like on the Sol Duc, where I've got branches and trees wanting to interfere with my casting. I can tip cast it much easier than the 7136, and still throw big stuff. Also, when it gets windy, I use the 8129 and throw on a little bigger head.
    That being said, I wouldn't use the 8129 for summer fish, it's just too much of a stick for that IMO, but it's great in the winter.

    So, I hope that helps. If I had to choose just one, I think it would be the 7136, but then I know I would be missing the 8129 at times too.

    Cheers,

    Matthew
  8. Broderick Smith SeaToTree

    Posts: 248
    SeaToTree, WA
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    OK maybe I will get the 8129 and save up for a 7 switch or something instead. I think i will use this more on the winter rivers. Thanks for the help.
  9. Steffan Brown ...

    Posts: 548
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +64 / 0
    Matthew's probably right on this... However, I do use my 8129 for summer fish because it's what I have; and although I haven't felt overgunned in all situations, I have at times over powered fish that probably would have been more fun on a 6126 or maybe the 7136. My limited experience with these rods doesn't make that statement definitive, but more likely, just an observation. Keep in mind, that's not always the case though. As Matthew explained, there may not be the perfect rod for all applications and I continue to long for something a bit lighter for summer work.
  10. Matthew Gulbranson Resident Swinger

    Posts: 1,732
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    My most recent 'longing' is the TCX 6119 'switch'. That, for me, would be a perfect summer stick. Super light, throws lazer loops, and uber sensitive. I fell in love with this rod, then i had to give it back. It got me also thinking about the TCX 8119 for winter, but fortunately I haven't tried that one yet...
  11. Steffan Brown ...

    Posts: 548
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +64 / 0
    I need a trust fund... Anyone willing to adopt an employable 31 yr. old with a fishing addiction?
  12. Matthew Gulbranson Resident Swinger

    Posts: 1,732
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    Make that two of us!! I'm sure there are many more of us here on WFF than we'd like to admit.
  13. sandspanker Member

    Posts: 314
    Camas
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    hell buy both of them.... then when you need a smaller summer rod you have the 7 or like me in need of a 6wt for those small rivers. :)
  14. Klickrolf Active Member

    Posts: 492
    Klickitat, Washington
    Ratings: +95 / 0
    One major point that you're all discounting (or missing) is the fact that every steelhead, whether wild or hatchery, should be landed and released (or knocked on the head) as quickly as possible. I assumed the 7 or 8 would be of equal length, now I see the 7 is a 13.5' rod and the 8 is a 12'9" rod. This reinforces my opinion. You will land fish quicker with the 8, unless you don't care and like to drag things out. Steelhead are not toys!...none of us should choose a lighter rod because we want more of a thrill. The difference between a 7 or 8 of equal length and demeanor is minor, but if the 7 is a softer longer rod the difference can be notable.

    If you're over-gunned you can't lose, if you're under-gunned both you and the steelhead lose!
  15. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,266
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,229 / 9
    I have cast the 9140, 8129, 7136 and 6126. I favored the 8129 for winter casting applications and don't find it a broomstick like Matthew. He is a very good caster, so I likley use a lot more grain weight to impart more feel and easier casting mechanics for my lack of skill.
  16. Broderick Smith SeaToTree

    Posts: 248
    SeaToTree, WA
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    Allright I ordered the 8 weight I'll post a report on my thoughts. I talked to my father in law who is a spey master and he said the 8 is better for me (and the steel) and had a ton of reasons some which were listed on here. I wish i could buy both man, time to save up another few years....last big purchase for a while.
  17. sandspanker Member

    Posts: 314
    Camas
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Happy fishing and casting... I got my frist spey last Nov.. a 8wt as well and truely love casting the thing..:) Next is the choice of a line for it LOL the search never ends.....
  18. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,281
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,382 / 0
    Klickrolf,

    I didn't think anyone was discounting the role of the rod as a factor in how long it would take to play and land a steelhead. I think it would be hard, maybe impossible to be under-gunned with any Spey rod of 6 wt or up. I don't notice any difference in the amount of time steelhead are played to hand based on the rod I use. It's generally over pretty quick, regardless of rod, even bamboo. And since Spey rods of any wt tend to be about 2 sizes heavier than their single hand counter parts (i.e., a 6 wt Spey has the lifting power of an 8 wt single hand), any 7 or 8 wt Spey has sufficient power to play any steelhead in the world to hand within a reasonably short amount of time.

    I think the one minute of play per pound of fish rule of thumb remains a good measure in regard to fish health. And it's an uncommon steelhead that takes more than 5 minutes to land in my experience, again, regardless of the rod employed. I think the upshot remains that one should choose their fly rod based on how well it suits their personal casting style. Any rod can land the fish fast enough to respect its health.

    Sg
  19. o mykiss Active Member

    Posts: 1,280
    .
    Ratings: +137 / 0
    I agree with Salmo. Before we all started fishing for steelhead, we mostly used 7 or 8 weight single handers, which are totally up to the task of quickly landing the typical steelhead. A "7 weight" spey rod has way more lifting power than an 8 weight single hander.

    By the way, I recently got the Z-Axis 7110-4. Have not caught a fish on it yet (just been dinking around on Sky and Snoqualmie a few times), but I would say it is a perfect two-hander for steelhead fishing on small to medium sized rivers. Can't wait to try it out on the Methow (fingers crossed for opening this year), where I've felt that my spey rods are a bit more rod than is needed.
  20. Matthew Gulbranson Resident Swinger

    Posts: 1,732
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    ED - It's been a long time since we've fished together, but I'm sure you are at least as good, or better caster than I am. Just curious to know what you use on the 8219?

    I'm with Sg and o mykiss. I've never felt undergunned with the 7wt spey on any steelhead. It might be that on a huge fish i would put the cork to them, but I think it would be just fine.

    O mykiss - I have the 7110 too (I know...) and I love that stick for summer work on smaller rivers like the Kalama. I have found it doesn't like t14 with big bunnies, but for the majority of work it's great. I have also landed a fair share of kings too, but that is what I would call being a bit under-gunned! I've been handed my ass a few times on that rod by some big chinook while fishing for steel. I'm going to try and two-hand overhead cast it in a couple weeks from the jetty by Longbeach and see what happens... If anyone has a good reccomendation on a good overhead line to use on that rod please let me know. Will be tossing some clousers with a light sink tip most likely.