Sage Z-Axis Spey Rods

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

  1. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    Gotta agree with the above...2 of those rivers are small and the fish not that big...If you just gotta have a sage z I would be looking at the 5126 or 6wt version...loved my 5126 but sold it....I won't get into the "what's the best rod" jingle...I own meisers...they work for me...you use whatever you want...My favorite stick at the moment is a 5/6 11'7" switch..Thing can handle fish up to 15lbs but little guys like Pinks and trout are still fun..Handles a compact scandi well, a compact skagit well...I switch tips for what or where I'm fishing...

    I am starting to explore lighter rods for more applications, I don't think you need the big gun rods as we aren't catching any 20+ lb steelhead ...granted if I go chum wrestling (which I love) the big rod is a necessity..but for most of what I fish locally and in b.c. I'm finding it a helluva lot more fun fishing all day with lighter rods...

    So much has been made and said about how you have to have a big rod on big rivers and I don't think it's true..IMHO...If your new and suck at casting then a big rod and line might help you but your only putting a bandaid on the real problem...13-13'6" rods again IMHO are the max of what you'll ever need...they can throw 140' when you know what your doing so distance isn't an issue...
    More important to learn to cast, stay near the bank and fish close in then to wade out throw a big loop and scare all the fish away...
     
  2. Randall Dee

    Randall Dee Castaway

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    First, let preface my post by saying I've never cast a "Z", but I have owned 2 Sage spey rods and still own a few of their single handers. I like their rods. But I think the previous advice to get to a clave and test as many as you can is spot on, especially for the price of a new Z. There are just way too may good rods out there besides sage anymore, especially in the spey category. For that kind of money, I would take a look at the Burkie's for sure. I cast the CF 7133-3 after casting a Meiser and others at the Sandy clave and liked it the best. It would be a good consideration for the 2 smaller rivers you mention. It would be a good "do it all" rod for both summer and winter work. If you think you are going to fish the smaller 2 rivers more and want more of a summer rod, I would look for something in a 6 wt. The new Beulah Platinum Series are great rods and come in under $600. Lots of choices, just try to get to a clave and cast, cast, cast.
     
  3. inland

    inland Active Member

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    Golfman,

    Seems everything I read says how using 'big rods' are overkill. I nearly completely agree with you. Except for the 'need' part. Steelhead fly fishing is a 'want' so people should do as they 'want'.

    Is it impossible (not whether its more fun, less fun, ideal, overkill...those are personal choices) to use a longer line on a longer rod and somehow still stay close to shore (so you aren't wading on the fish)? Especially at the distances you are casting with a skagit setup on a shorter rod.

    Are you going to be on the CW this fall? Do you mind if I spend some time following you through a few runs if you come over? I am eager to see your casting stroke, fishing style, and how you break down the water.

    William
     
  4. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    I would love to take you up on your offer...I know a couple "mikes" over there so that would be a welcomed break and invite...

    I do fish the Thompson though not likely anymore for steelhead in the winter...(they aren't going to open it again or not for awhile anyways) I have and do fish that river with a 13'6 8/9 doesn't have to be a skagit, only use that when the wind is up and you hit a deeper hole..mostly use cnd's, delta longs, guideline scandi. etc.

    Bottom line is this...I am lucky to fish that river maybe two times a year for steelhead..otherwise it's only summer time trout...TWO times a year to take out the big stick doesn't warrant a big stick or the punishment throwing a long line on it for a couple days...98% of my fishing is coastal and local here and in lower rainland...I've seen 6wt z bring in big wild steel....not recommended maybe but not like the rods can't handle it...
    When I talk with the boys down in Oregon they have shifted to lighter rods for awhile now..more enjoyment on your body, more enjoyment on your fishing etc.
    I have caught a dime bright 8 pound steelhead on an 14' 8 wt rod...You know what?? It sucked!!! I especially didn't enjoy the part where the fish came skimming across the top of the water with it's mouth open...

    What I do see way too much of are guys without a clue yielding 14' 8/9 wt rods wading out to their chests and ripping up the water all around um trying to throw there big open loops across and up stream....Why? because some yahoo told um that's what they need to overcompensate for either lack of skill or because they wanted to sell that brutal set up and get something lighter..

    The more I see spey rods, (which is more often then single hands now) the more often I see the above...Nothing like it, especially when your fishing a run and someone walks in below you, wades out past the fish and scares the shit out of anything with a hundred yards of them...

    I personally would rather see guys fish a spey rod like what it is...a FLY rod...instead of something to relieve their boredom of not catching any fish..(see above for reason) and instead practice casting and scaring whatever fish might be in the river away...

    One thing I've learned is the longer I've done this, the more I realize I don't know...When you get the guys who know their stuff, two things have sprung out at me...1. most shocking of all maybe...allot of these guys can't cast all that great...but they catch more fish then the guys who can....which leads me to #2 If big rods and long casts means you'll land more fish...how come I see the opposite happen more times then not?
     
  5. Brian Thomas

    Brian Thomas Active Member

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    Agreed .
    I`ve fed the addiction enough to be able to fish with various lengths and weights of rods . Next week I`m leaving for a three week trip to fish the Copper , Skeena , Kispiox , Bulkley and Morice rivers (and maybe the Kitimat , if the coho are in ) . So far , the rods I think I`m going to take are ... 16'1" CND Solstice , 14'3" Burkie , 12'6" Loomis Stinger , 12'6" Amundson , and maybe my 12' Snowbee . I could get by bringing only one or two rods (take yer pick , they`ll all work) , but I`d rather fish different rods on different waters . The 12 and 12 1/2 foot rods will be used on the Morice where the 16'1" might look out of place , but would be perfectly serviceable for that system . On the Skeena however , the little rods just won`t be as effective as the CND or Burkie will . The Burkie will be the rod of choice on the Copper . Not because I need the length , but because it`s a higher gradient system than any of the other river I`ll fish , and I can use the power . And I just love fishing that rod . It will also be the weapon of choice on the Kispiox .

    Next rod purchase for me will be the 14'6" 7 weight Decho . Not because I need one , but because I want one .

    Back to the original question .... If I were looking for a rod to use primarily with a Skagit system , the Loomis Dredger would be the first I`d look at , but would also be taking a serious look into Meiser MKS and CND Skagit Specialist rods .:beer2:
     
  6. inland

    inland Active Member

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    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
     
  7. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    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.
     
  8. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    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...
     
  9. Brian Thomas

    Brian Thomas Active Member

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    Paul , I know exactly where Ralf will be staying . Gonna hand him a bottle of Scotch as a matter of fact .:beer2:
     
  10. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    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.
     
  11. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    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.
     
  12. Randall Dee

    Randall Dee Castaway

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    I may be in OR but I'm only 20 minutes from Washougal.:rolleyes:
     
  13. willj

    willj New Member

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    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
     
  14. steff_dk

    steff_dk PST+9

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    I agree - which is why matching a Z-ax 7136 with a scandinavian head (AFS etc) is not a good option ... ;)
     
  15. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    You are right that the 7136 will handle a Scandi line.

    However, Scandinavian lines are still short belly lines. ;)