8 Wt. Blanks..


For him there whould always be the riddle of steel
Looking to wrap a 9' to 9'6" blank for coho & steelhead. I'd like to get one close to the Sage Z-Axis in weight & feel without the Sage $$. I like to throw weight forward lines & about 1/2 the time have a weighted fly on the end. I'm not much into pretty casting, just want to get the the distance for my clouser or streamer.

I have some custom Rainshadow gear rods in RX7 & XST & like them, open to other ideas as well.


I really like the St. Croix blanks that I have used to build rods. I haven't casted a Z-Axis but the six weight I've got in the St. Croix casts beautifully for the way I cast. The SCIV and SCV models are pretty nice and not nearly as much as a sage. If you ever in the Arlington area you'd be more then welcome to come check out the action. These two are fairly fast. I was out Saturday and was throwing a weight forward floating line almost the whole distance with big weighted flies. Just ask Kerry from the board what that's saying... he knows how bad my casting can get.


Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
I don't know if you'll get too close to the smoothness of a Z-Axis without actually getting a Z-Axis. Dan Craft has some nice blanks out there (FT) that have some extra backbone to throw tips, big nasties, a lot of line, and any combination thereof. If you can get your hands on one to cast first it would help. They are notoriously fast (the FT's), in and above the range of Sage's TCR rods, and some people don't like them. Just another option.


Long Drift Trouter
I looked through the CCS database and couldn't find comparisons for the Z-Axis 8wt, but for the 7wt the numbers are amazingly similar between the Z-Axis and the TFO TiCR. The weight difference is there - for the 9 footers: 1.69 oz for the Z-Axis, 2.12 for the TiCR. Noticeable, but relatively light either way.

If the AA and ERN match up, then they're going to feel pretty similar once you're casting them. You're also looking at a $100 blank instead of a $350 blank - I'm sure that $250 in your pocket will make the TFO cast that much better too!
I second the TFO rod but lean towards the TiCRx 8wt which will be my next project. Angler's Workshop also recommends the Batson.
Cast the TFO TiCrX before deciding to head down this path. It's a much different taper than the Z, which you may like, but it's certainly different.
The Dan Craft FT. Contact Dan and talk to him about this. The great thing is that he designs and builds rods as well as fishes with them.
Depending on your price range, the Batson Rainshadow RX7 or RX8+ blanks might be options to consider. They both have that faster action that you are looking for. One thing nice about Rainshadow, if something happens and you break a rod, its close and easy to get a replacement section.
I purchased a Fenwick HMG blank from Cabelas some time ago. 8wt. I built it and I can say that's my favorite 8wt now. Nice action and a cannon at the end of the cast.
I used it on big searun browns, steelhead and golden dorado.


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
I built a Rainshadow RX-8+ 6wt 9' 4pc up at Ron and Kristins shop and love it! It's similar to an XP. I am also thinking about building an 8wt, and considering the VT2 blanks and a new Sage 9'9" blank. Love the Z-Axis and may consider that, but have been impressed with some of the VT2's that I've seen.

Good luck!