Sage Z-Axis Spey Rods

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by poirierpro, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. inland Active Member

    Posts: 595
    .
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    I started fishing light line two handers almost 15 years ago. Sold off my 'big' rods. Had a hard time understanding what people saw in fishing with something more powerful then a mid sized 7/8. Even those were too much rod for most steelhead.

    Under most circumstances (when throwing heads with tips) I still fish short light two handers. The heaviest being a 13' 7/8. Plenty of rod for most fish at reasonable fishing distances.

    After spending years trying to cast these small rods to max distance on my favorite river (which is exactly the same as the Thompson reguarding picking up fish 'out there' and WIND)...I didn't realize how hard I was pushing it until I opened my mind once again and went about it a different way. I found the larger fish still fought just fine on the bigger rods. At days end I was less tired with better results. To each their own. I caught fish with the small rods. Had fun. Catching 10X's as many with the big rods ('exact' same water as before). Having fun. Lotsafun. Again that is for one particular river system during the fall migration.

    The really good anglers I fish with can both cast and fish extremely well. It doesn't matter one bit if they are using an 18' 12 or a 9' 7wt. They use what makes them happy. They fish with what makes the best sense for how they enjoy to cast and present the fly. They fish the water as best they can. 'Fisherman first caster second'. Yet to a man they are disgustingly superb casters. If guys are mucking up the water methinks it has far more to do with their perception (and/or lack of skill) vs. what gear they are using. A really good angler and caster with the same outfit that you are thinking is hindering some folks will pick your pocket just the same as if they were using your setup.

    Brian,

    I agree completely. Do exactly the same. I fish them all. Like them all. There are good reasons for all of it. Have a GREAT TRIP! Doesn't get any better. Hopefully your 'home' river has enough fish warrant a fall season this year too.

    William
  2. sashjo Member

    Posts: 531
    Lakewood, WA.
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Tells you something when an OR poster puts WA rod builder ahead of OR rod builder.
    Agree, love my sage rods but my Burkie 7133 gets the nod.
  3. golfman65 Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Brian...I hate you...:rofl: Look for my bud Ralf up there..he'll be in an old dodge lingering in the bush..

    I get what your saying inland...Think i'm arguing with you over the same thing...IF I ever got to fish the river I love during the season a big stick would be a blessing...I see too many guys who use a big stick because it gives them distance over that it has it's place and can be an asset to compliment what they are fishing...

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I would rather see a guy learn with a smaller rod, learn how to fish it not just cast it..then I would seeing so many big sticks on small rivers..Make sense?

    I might have to take you up on that trip...I'll see how I do on the T. this weekend with the long lines again..before I go though!!! though I'm kind of experimenting with some guideline scandi lines to see how they fish on big water...
  4. Brian Thomas Active Member

    Posts: 802
    Kamloops B.C
    Ratings: +120 / 0
    Paul , I know exactly where Ralf will be staying . Gonna hand him a bottle of Scotch as a matter of fact .:beer2:
  5. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,748
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    I have a Z-Axis 6126-4, with handle improved by Meiser and an MKS 13'6" 7/8 and currently am happy with both. The attached picture shows the Z after Bob turned it and it is world better than the factory handle.

    One is an ultra light in the hand rod for smaller fish and smaller river. One is a heavy cannon for waging war with big waters.

    One thing you NEED to understand is that the action among Z-Axis rods can differ GREATLY from model to model. That 8134-4 is a stiff long belly rod. That 7136-4 is a softer Skagit caster. Someone who likes the 8134 would not like the 7136. If you plan on casting Skagits and want a Z, the 6126-4 and 7136-4 are the best all around choices because they can handle wind alright, larger water alright, and can handle 95% of the steelhead you will hook without any serious problems.
  6. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,827
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    there's a lot of talented steelheaders out there, Pro. Every one has their own unique style and ideas of what a "perfect" rod is.
    I have two Sages, one a Z, and they're great rods. I have a few absolutely beautiful Meisers, and a few Deer Creeks which aren't status rods...they just cast and fish beautifully, are well designed, take plenty of abuse, and have a nice look in their own right, especially on a sunny day, or when bent by a fish! I have a tasty little Beulah that whispers understated class, and a surprisingly versatile and fishable TFO Pro that's a battle-scarred veteran.
    The best rod, to me anyway, is the one I'm fishing today and especially the one I'm catching fish with today. They're my girls, wouldn't part with a one. I was lead to each one by a process I don't fully understand, and was rewarded in unexpected ways.
    I will say this, though...
    If you can find someone at Sage to sit on the phone with you for hours, working out your needs, wants, style, and all the other little things that make a rod fit, while you're drinking whiskey and enjoying the talk, buy one. If you can find someone to continue to care about the rod and you after you buy it, service the rod every year, track it through its life cycle, help you work out the bugs in your casting while getting used to it...go for it.

    But I hear you saying it's time for a custom rod.
    my two. good luck bud.
  7. Randall Dee Castaway

    Posts: 372
    Cascadia
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    I may be in OR but I'm only 20 minutes from Washougal.:rolleyes:
  8. willj New Member

    Posts: 11
    weaverville, ca
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Burkheimer is so good its a joke! I just got a 7125 today and it is so sweet. I have the 7133 and the 8134 and they are incredible also. I can't say enough good things about Burkies, they are simply the bomb. The 7133 is hands down the best rod rod I have ever cast. Im done blowing burkie
  9. steff_dk PST+9

    Posts: 93
    Denmark (Europe)
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I agree - which is why matching a Z-ax 7136 with a scandinavian head (AFS etc) is not a good option ... ;)
  10. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,748
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    You are right that the 7136 will handle a Scandi line.

    However, Scandinavian lines are still short belly lines. ;)
  11. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,435
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +514 / 0
    I have to admit that TFO came through on the aesthetics with the Deer Creek Series, seems like many love these rods for their action too!
  12. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,400
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,357 / 9
    Z Axis and Deer Creek...two hander and switch in both...great tools even in my humble hands.
  13. bendow New Member

    Posts: 20
    Richland, WA
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    I completely agree that it is very important to realize the different characteristics of each rod in the Z series. I own the 6126-4 and 8129-4, and have fished the 7136-4 quite a few times. Here is my two cents:

    8129-4: I fish a 550 and 600 gr. rio skagit on this rod. It has a faster action than the other two rods, which some may find does not lend well to skagit casting. However, it will launch line and throw nice loops. I have fished a 8/9 AFS and 510 Compact Scandi as well. Both lines throw very well on this rod. I like the rod, but would not pay full retail second time around.

    7136-4: If I could own only one Z it would be this rod. I have thrown 500, 550, and 600 grain rio skagits and it handles them all...I prefer the 500. This rod has a deeper flex than the 8129 which lends itself very well to skagit lines. It will throw bombs.

    6126-4: This rod has a much softer action than the two rods above. I have thrown a Rio 450 and 500 skagit, prefering the 450. Fishes similar to a Dredger, and is the closest to a "skagit rod" in terms of a deeper load. For some reason I have problems maximizing the perfromance of this rod, but a better caster would do just fine.

    At the end of the day, if asked I would probably trade in the 8129-4 and 6126-4 for the 7136-4. The 7136 just does it all, and does it well...just not as good as my Guideline LeCie 7139-3.
  14. Steelie Mike Active Member

    Posts: 1,600
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +24 / 0
    The Guideline LeCie is the best Scandi rod period!
  15. steff_dk PST+9

    Posts: 93
    Denmark (Europe)
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My vote is for the Loomis Stinger GLX'ers but to be honest I haven't tried the LeCies.
    Have three stingers though :rolleyes:

    I probably wouldn't be able to cast a tight loop on the Z-ax 7136 if my life depended on it ...
  16. golfman65 Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +5 / 0

    ARRRRGGGHhHhhhh......I'll pass that along to him...He was actually talking about you this weekend and I didn't put one and one together till now...Damn I sure envy you guys..and you couldn't be hooking up with a nicer or more dedicated steelheader then Ralf...
    Had dinner with the totems Sat. night at Spences (Ralf is a member and one helluva good group of guys) and they were reliving their Dean trip...GOD I HATE MY LIFE sometimes...can not get any time off...but the kids are about out and it's all coming eventually...

    Have a great trip, hope it's as good as last year!!!! bawling:

    p.s. I'm picking him up something this week so you'll have something to enjoy with your bottle.
  17. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,827
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    hope you guys get a chance to try the new Meiser S rods.
  18. longstick Member

    Posts: 280
    North West
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    For the 7136 owners

    For the guys who have a 7136. Which compact scandi do you like better, the 450 or the 480?
  19. poirierpro Member

    Posts: 240
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I ended up getting the 7136...510 compact skagit...450 compact scandi...love the rod!
  20. stewart dee Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I would like to recommend a CND try one you will not even think Sage again.