Sage Spey rod suggestions

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by defranksflies, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Ok fellow metal head anglers, I'm looking to get a new 8wt sage 2 handed Spey rod and I wanted to hear some suggestions from you west coast guys.
    I will be coming out to Tacoma, Washington next summer and wish to be prepared. Money is not an issue, I,m more concerned with casting characteristics of the rod. I will be throwing a 550 gr 28 ft head Rio Skagit line that I already have. Anybody have experience with a sage rod shooting a line as mentioned that can give some reviews, pros and cons would be greatly appreciated.

    - Mark DeFrank
  2. Mark,

    Prepared for what? That's a lot of steelhead rod for Tacoma in the summer. The only Sage I have in that range is an old 9140-4 that I use a 550 Skagit head on. I used that for kings in AK and find it a tad heavy for winter steelhead around here. There are a lot of fans of 8 wt Sage Spey rods tho, so you should get some positive feedback.

    The river nearest Tacoma with a good summer steelhead run can be fished with anything, but I favor a 7 wt short belly floater once the flows come down, as they just have. Contact me before your trip if you'd like to discuss local steelheading options.

  3. My current favorite rod is the TCX 8119. It's supposedly a 'switch', but it's really just a shorter spey. However matching a rod to the line feels a bit backwards to me. If money isn't an option, finding the rod first and then finding the right line to match is going to be key in being happy with what you have. That line you have will be much more condusive to fishing winter flows and clarity, throwing big sink tips and big flies.

    I fish the 8119 with a 540 switch compact, which will be very different than a 28ft head, especially throwing longer tips. I wouldn't hesitate using this rod in summer though becuase it has great sensitivity and is not your typical 'fast' rod, but it would be a little overkill for fish under 6-8lbs. It has plenty of zip to it, and you can feel it load into the cork unlike some fast rods. The analogy I like to use for this rod is like a sports car: you can drive it like a normal car, but when you want to punch the gas it really puts you back in your seat - the line just rockets out, and did I mention it's zippy!? It's also nice with the skagit short when backed up against the bushes or around trees. Being able to get it to load quickly and punch it out there on the forward stroke is key in those situations.

    All this being said, this is what I LIKE, and it may be very different for you! I'm sure that others have a very different perspective on this stick. Rods can be like girlfriends, one does definitely not fit all. You need to find one that works for you.

    shotgunner likes this.
  4. since you said money was not a factor, I think it would be more beneficial to first find a rod that matches the fishing you will be doing and get a line for that rod. Rather than try to match a rod to a line you already have. You will be much happier with the results.

    Andy D
  5. Thanks for the reply Salmo!
    You have given me some respectable insight on the difference between summer and winter steelheading near Tacoma, Washington.

    I have a brother that lives in Tacoma, so I can go there anytime be it summer or winter, which I plan on doing both. Down side of that is he dosn't fish, so I would be on my own.

    I own quite a few 7wt rods, so I'm good to go for summer, but I'm still in the market for an 8 wt Spey. I will be able to use it here on my home waters as well as out there. We have at least 2 rivers that would accommodate an 8 wt set up...big water with fast current and they have some depth. I think also what I might do is leave some rods at his place so I don't have to tote extra baggage when I fly in.

    I usually find myself nymph fishing more than swinging a fly, but there's nothing like the drug of the tug!

    If I remember I will contact you.

  6. Note taken Andy. I'm aware that is a possibility and I will go that route if need be.

    Thanks for your insight,
  7. I'm going to toss in another one for your consideration (got the rod a couple of months ago-used off of the SpeyPages) a ACR (Gary Anderson) 1238-4 STH 12'3'' of 8wt magic. One of those 'tweener' rods, tad long for a 'switch' and a tad short for a full on 'spey.' Loaded with a 525 'short skagit' and a type 3 or 8 sink tip and that thing just launches line. Even at 90' feet (unless I lighten up) there's still so much 'force' in the out bound line it will jerk line off the reel.

    I kid you not!
  8. Mark Walker has a Gary Anderson built Sage Z Axis 8129-4. He may even have a line. Great deal. I have the factory version of this rod. Solid performer from a factory 15 miles from my home.
    yuhina likes this.
  9. Good call Ed! I will second for Gary Anderson's custom's built if you can find one... They are such beautiful rods with better components.
  10. Reds has a couple of 8134-4 Z-Axis left. Give them a call and ask for a price, I am not working until next week. 509-933-2300

    Craig H
  11. The only 8wt I have is for when the wind just freaking howls on a certain river in b.c. and to be honest even then I normally at least try to fish my 7wt...IF for some reason I was ever on a river with nooks then I would pull out the 8 as well...

    If your spending the coin and REALLY want a sage I'd look at the one as it's supposed to be the shits....that favorite would be the burkie 8139 or 8133...I have the 8139 and it's a cannon but light enough for an 8wt..I also love 3 piece rods and think they cast better but that's just me maybe...
  12. It's not just you golfman65...all the rods I look for first are 3pc...but Sage doesn't make 3pc speys. CF Burkeimer does.
  13. Simon Gawesworth gave the Z Axis 8129 a rave review- I think I would give that one a test drive.
  14. I use the same line as Matthew on a TCX 7126 that I bought recently. I have added a clear floating head and found that combination works well for me. I agree that you should buy a rod and then match the line.
  15. I fish 7126 TCX winter and summer. Thinking about getting a 5 WT switch for summer, but winter the 8 WT hardly sees the light of day. I figure if I'm going to stand in the rain not catching anything I might as well do it on the lightest rod that can still handle a big winter fish.
  16. If you end up with the 8129, I've fished the skagit switch 540 on that rod too and it's frickin' awesome!
  17. Burkie does, have two of them (a 7 and an 8) that were 'Customs' by William Olson (best known for his fly reels) and they're a total delight to cast/fish.

    When it comes to teaching someone to cast a two hander those will be on the Jeeps rod rack. Couple of others are 'standard' so Fellow/Gal can go from one rod action to another (various line configs) till they hit the "Oh Yes."

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