Z Axis 5wt or 6?

Looking to buy a new z axis trout rod to fish tailwater rivers.
Do not live close to any dealers. Question to those that have
fished these rods. Is there a lot of difference in the 5 and 6?
Does the 5 need a 6wt line to load? Will be nymphing at some distance
and fishing streamers too. Thanks for your comments.
10 foot 6wt with a 6/7 sixth sense airflo line if you are only nymphing and streamer fishing and the same if not!:thumb:

And yes line it up one size, and yes there is a difference in feel, and yes get a 10 footer. you can mend like no other and really bomb stuff.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Why do you need our help in buying a new rod. You can't trust these yahoo's to send you down the right path. But If it was me I would buy the 5wt. Better all around rod.

For chucking streamers and nymphs primarily the 6 weight is a better option. I would not use a heavier line on the Z-axis. I would use Sage's Performance taper or a RIO Grand for a floating line with it as these lines are about 1/2 weight heavier than the standard weight rating. If you are asking about length, it would depend on where you fish the most. Longer is definitely better for mending, but sage rods tend to be stiffer the shorter they are.


Active Member
This coming from a guy whos signature reads "avoid nymphing whenever possible."

If you're fishing tail-waters, you are typically fishing bigger water-- hence-- the longer rod mentioned by Rick. When picking a weight, it's always better to be over-gunned than under-gunned. If you’re rod is too light for what you're doing, well... you're screwed. At least a 6 wt allows you to fish effectively in situations where a 4 or 5 wt would be better matched. So the comment, "a 5 wt is a better all around rod is incorrect IMO. Rick's recommendation is spot on for larger tail waters where dry fly fishing needs to be avoided when ever possible. You want to catch big fish right?;)
Guy's I have a couple of z-axis rods and believe me when I say overline them! And yes by overline I mean if you have a 5 wt, put a six weight line on it. Also if it is a longer rod over line it. For nymphing especially over line it and for streamers as well. I know you guys have some huge trout down there and I would feel better with a 6 wt over a 5wt. and for those of you that have never fished a 10 foot rod, get one and try it. Change is good. :)
Change is not always good...tried the 10 footer and didn't like em. Longer rods are more tiring for most to cast...for extended periods of time.
That is probably the biggest complaint that people have with them. They do tire you out more if you false cast them alot, but if you can learn to single spey cast and such you actually cast signifigantly less and thus it's not as tiring, This only applies to nymphing. The benifit for dries is distance, same with streamers and improved hooksetting at longer distances and more line pickup.

At least you gave one a shot! A lot of people won't even try one. :)


Long Drift Trouter
I want to cast a 6wt GPX or nymph line with the rod. You say to overline it so that means buying the 5wt if I understand the above.
Just a thought... I fish tailwaters on the White in Arkansas and a couple times on the 'hooch in GA, and a 5wt is enough of a rod to take care of any trout you'll see. If you plan on doubling for bass (smallmouth on the fly, oh yeah) then definitely go with a 6wt! The extra punch to get streamers and poppers through the wind is worth it. I much more enjoy fishing the 5wt for trout, though.

As far as length, if you're mainly wade fishing, then a 10 ft rod is helpful for high-sticking nymphs.

Not to bleed over from the other thread, but if you'll need to use lighter tippet (ie. 6X) the 5wt might be a bit better at protecting it.

So, after re-reading my post, I concur with fatguide - you need both :thumb:


Dana Miller
I cast a SA GPX WF5F on my 590-4 Z-Axis and it casts great. I don't see the need to overline it (but then again I've never tried it with a 6).