Really interesting. I don't own either but I have a quiver full of Sage rods and only an 8 wt. Helios. They all work well. I guess I'd want to test both myself before I dropped that kind of money on one more new rod.
I liked this review because they actually used a tip flex orvis to compare with a top of the line sage.
sage makes great fast rods, don't know how they could make the z axis any better - I only cast one z axis A 9' 6" 6wt and what a beautiful power rod with feel!
Being an orvis user since I built my first one in 1981 they have always thought of "feel" instead of power if you ask me. like winston or scott!
sage has owned the fast rod sales.
In the review they talk about the distance with the orvis "tip flex" well if you wanted a rod that fishes better in close you can always buy a mid flex 6.5 rated rod. I myself (liking a stronger tip) love the mid flex 8.0 configuration and dislike a lot of the soft tipped fast rods - just me - this is something other companies should start doing.
When you buy a Z or a ONE you get a Z or a ONE no in between for "different casting strokes" for "different folks" Sage could of came out with a different version of the ONE for bombing saltwater casting and rated right with the tip flex orvis for distance. by the same token they could of tested a mid flex 8.0 or 7.5 orvis and came closer to the "ONE" in action of the sage.
I would not want to take the Z axis to a spring creek but by the same token it is by far the best large trout "lake rod" I have ever laid my hands on and cast. I have one more large trout lake rod to purchase and I want it to be a fast rod and love the Z axes 9'6" 6wt but they are becoming rare to find. my other two 6 wt. lake rods are a 9'6" 6wt full flex 81 superfine rod and a 9'6" 6wt b2x for a medium flex rod now I need a 9'6" 6wt fast rod with "FEEL" would love to test =
helios or helios 2
sage one - and xp (already tested the Z and love it)
b2mx or sx
all in 9' 6" 6 wt. - this is not an easy task! been looking for the Z but in that length seems to be a real waiting game! but not being able to test the other rods and "knowing" what the Z can do I'm still looking for that Z. Is the "ONE" better?
Mark, in the article the second guy said "I felt like they had returned to their faster roots after the mushy Z-Axis detour" about the One vs the Z-axis. I have never cast a One or an XP, and in fact the 9'6" 6wt Z is my first Sage. I bought it used based off reviews without ever casting one and was expecting a faster rod than I got. After reading what the reviewer said, I may actually prefer an XP or One. I find that the Z is not really fast like most modern rods are fast. It flexes much further and I feel like it requires a slower casting stroke than my other fast rods while casting long distances. It definitily collapses when I overpower the cast or trying to cast in to the wind. I think it's a great all around rod for trout, but it has it's limits on a windy day on the beach. I really like it in nice weather for coho, but if there was more than a light breeze I found myself grabbing the 8wt on the way out the door.
I think you described the Z well in saying a fast rod with "feel".
Well MT, if you sold me your Z you could get that "ONE" but not til next month.
I know my experience with fast rods is nil, but using nothing but mostly full flexing superfines of the 80's I could never push the Z. to me it was very fast and was amazed at the speed the flexing blank could generate. I like deep flexing rods (to the handle mostly) maybe why I liked it so much. but this new purchase for a "fast rod" and a top of the line at that, is a big purchase for me. even used the Z goes for around $400. but now I think I will have to drive across town to test the helio's and the H- 2 and see how they feel. and yes I do think having to have a rod that flexes or has a lot of feel is a handy-cap when looking at fast rods. If a rod is at all "stiff" I will know in just a couple test cast. This is a word the second guy mentioned in his report!
I really did not understand the fast craze until I went fishing with a guy from Washington out of his drifter on a lake. we stayed some 70 ft. away from the bank (and longer) the whole time casting to the banks. this was somewhat new to me. with a 9'3" 2 pc 5wt. spring creek superfine I felt I kept up but after a couple hours - longed for a fast 6 wt.! Don't get me wrong it was a blast throwing like that all day, I just wasn't used to it. now on the only trout river I fish around my parts we could never fish out of the boats (Oregons deschutes) it was always get out and get intimate with the redsides. now the yack and other Washington rivers where you can pound the river out of the boat I would think a fast rod would be the tool for sure. Now going mostly lakes I need that fast rod in my quiver, have also been thinking a fast 9'6" 5 wt. to top off my 5 wt. lake rods.
All this has "MADE" me look into the fast rod world so I am still learning. I also am teaching a few new fly fishers right now so am giving advice to what rods to purchase as they get better. "MAKING" me try and learn even harder than if it were just for me.
As far as rods for three of these guy's I had them buy. one has a 5 wt CPS - another purchased a 5 wt. 3 pc. sp - and one other I sold a 6 wt 3 pc. sp. notice how none of them bought an older superfine! the superfines are hard to get distance out of for new comers! now two of them need 6 wts' and one of them is willing to go for a Z with my advice because it just seemed "TO ME" so easy to cast.
When the superfine touch came out I went to orvis and tested one. while it didn't blow me away the guy handed me a brand new access rod to try. two false cast and I reeled it in and told him not to give me another rod like that to test. it must have been a tip flex because it would of made a good tomato stake for the garden. to me stiff is stiff no matter who made it or how much it costs. although I understand how others have different tastes in rod actions.
MT I liked your truthful response and thank you for it. you taught me that the Z is not all that fast and that there maybe be better out there for what I am looking for. but now I have to do more testing! that I will blame on you also I know long winded!!!
The H2 was launched with just a few rods in the line-up, with a addition coming in January and should be complete by mid-'13 I think. Orvis Bellevue continues to have the full line of ZG Helios rods in stock.
I happen to have a beta H2 8'4" 3wt Tip flex that is sweet...hope this is included with the new rods coming in January.