Stillwater trout rods

Maybe it is the high rivers or something, but lately my fishing desires have been heading towards stillwater fishing. I am looking for a rod that will be a good fit for trout fishing on lakes, and I have narrowed it down to the Scott 9' G2 6wt or the Sage 9' ZXL 6wt. The information that I have gathered is that it is best to have a rod that has a solid backbone with a soft tip(I guess Denny Rickards uses a 6wt rod with a 5wt tip). I have felt the G2 and it feels good but I have not picked up the Sage. Any suggestions, experience, or comparisons with other rods would be appreciated. Thank you.

There are lots of rods made that will meet your need....I wouldn't go mix parts like Rickards.
Sounds kind of goofy and unecessary. I like the Thomas and thomas Helix myself for my 6wt. stillwater rod. It depends on the price range you are talking though.....that will narrow it down.


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
Don't think you could go wrong with the Scott or Sage you mentioned, although I really love my TFO 5wt Pro's! I've cast a few Scott's recently and they are sweet! The TFO's more than do the job for me and I had fun on a local lake on Thursday afternoon / evening.

Just dragged around a bugger with a chronomid dropper most of the time! Also gave my new SA Sharkskin line a workout around some snags and was able to cast far and accurately! :thumb:
You don't mention how you persue trout in the lakes. If your choice is chironomids a longer rod is preferable. Ten foot 5wt being a great stick. For sinking lines, the nine foot 6wt is a good choice. For drys, your choice, 3,4,5 or 6wt nine foot works depending on the wind conditions and size of fish. Can't speak to either of the two rods you mentioned, I personally use older RPL's in ten foot 4 and 5wts and a 9'6" DS2 6wt. If I need a stiffer 6wt for bigger streamers I have a St.Croix 9'9" Ultra . All have decent soft tips and I think are considerably less money than the two you mention. Decide how you want to fish, then match the rod to it.

Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
I see you already have narrowed down to a 6 wt. for your stillwater stick, but I'll just put my personal opinion in. My all-around, go-to, do-everything lake rod in an 8'9" TFO Finesse 4 wt. it makes small fish a blast and big fish an epic battle. I can toss some pretty big streamers on that thing, and I definately have no problem casting an intermediate full-sink. What I do like to do, at times, is bring along a second rod, a 9' 5 or 6 wt., and rig that for streamers/trolling and use my 4 for dries and such. It's just nice to be able to set one rod down and pick the other up when the action suddenly switches from buggers on the bottom to emergers up top.


Active Member
I use a 9ft 6wt TFO Pro. It covers just about all possible scenarios I've ever encountered in stillwater situations. Since I can double haul reasonably well, I can cover all the distance that someone who can't but owns a 10ft rod will. However, I also keep a 8ft 4wt TFO Pro as my dry fly backup rod. That 4wt rod has done me very good on the occasional "emergency" situations I've encountered. Since it is shorter, I find I can sneak a dry fly under low branches a little better.

Nonetheless, if you see yourself stuck with one rod, I'm tempted to recommend a 4-piece 10ft 5wt that has either a fast or medium-fast action. If you could find that in an old Sage RPL, I think you might have a dream rod. I have a 10ft 8wt built on that Sage blank. That's a rod that wants you to slow down and allow it to cast itself--and it will shoot a lot of line. The length makes it sometimes feel like a medium action rod, but it's definitely a tip-action rod--if you let it do its own thing.

To get back to the subject, a 10ft 5wt rod should cover a lot of stillwater applications. I think it will also give more leverage and shock-absorbing qualities, than a shorter rod in the same weight, when facing the rare monster trout. I've heard of anglers who lost a leviathan, because they left the fight to only a reel that's surrendering backing. There comes a point when you need to palm the reel a touch, slow the fish down, and do some arm-wrestling. That's when the shock-absorption of either a long rod, a lighter weight rod, or a slow-action rod will make some magic. It's the give of the rod that will keep the fly seated in the trout's mouth and also save your tippet from breaking.

Here's another thought: If you got yourself a 10ft 6wt, you might also have a nice rod for summer steelhead. I could be wrong, but the thought is pretty interesting.

Tight Lines!
--Dave E.
I'm going to have to get that TFO 4WT PRO Dave. For me, the lower the weight the more fun for trout from 8-28 inches. I use a TFO 3WT PRO right now, and thinking about maybe a 2WT or 4WT. My 5WT is pretty "stiff."
Thanks for the great info. What I am looking for is a rod that will cast intermediate to Type III lines with medium weighted buggers. I was able to get my hands on a
9' ZXL 6wt today and it felt a little faster than the G2. I was confused by Sage's website explaining the ZXL as an "easy-casting, smooth, progressive taper rod." Unfortunately I had to pick up a 10' Z-Axis 5wt. Chironomid/indicator rod? Flyn'dutchman brought this up. is the length for mending?
Last night I was fishing with a 7'6" 3 wt at rattlesnake and it wasn't long enough to get a good hookset. But it sure made it fun when I could!!!

Jay Burman

Fly Fisher, Bon Vivant, Layabout.
I bought a Sage Z-Axis 697 9'6" six weight. I especially like the fighting butt, plus the extra six inches is also helpful when fishing from a pontoon boat. So far it's been perfect. It's a 4 peice which caused me some doubt , however I pack it as a 2 piece in a Rod & Reel case, by leaving the lower 2 pieces and the upper 2 peices assembled. I couldn't ask for a more perfect fishing pole.
I'll have to second the idea of using a lite-tipped rod for the lowland lakes with planted fish. The size of these fish is just about perfect for that type of rod and makes fighting them a whole lot of fun. The rod I use most is a light tipped 4wt, 9ft, 4pc.

Another issue I would address if you're using sinking lines is which (brand,make) line. I find the clear intermediate from Cortland (camo) and Airflo give superior strike detection especially on light tipped rods.

LG Mix

New Member
How about two mid-priced rods instead of one expensive one? The last three weekends at Rattlesnake I've used my Loomis GL3 9' 6wt with either an intermiediate or type IV sinking line and my home made Dan Craft 9' 4wt with a floater. Much easier to change tactics with two rods on board. Most of the strikes and the few fish I've landed came on the floater the biggest -- about 14" -- came last night on the 6 wt intermediate line.