Sage Switch Rods?


Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
Anyone cast the Z axis 11' 6 or 7 weight rods? I am looking for a a long 7 weight for steelhead and the 10' and 11' are interesting. Anyone own one? How does it cast overhand? Can you cast it with just one hand and not be too tired?

I demo'd the Z Axis 7 wt 12' for a day and I personally had mixed reviews about it. First and foremost, if you had to rely on it all day as a single hand casting rod, you would get real fatigued. What I was hoping for was that it would be a superb small-med sized water spey rod and I felt that its spey performance was better but lacking that power that you find in other spey rods of similar size and length(i.e. Burkheimer 13'3") My opinion after was that I would invest in a premium 8 wt single handed rod and then later invest in a lighter and shorter spey rod(I currently own a 1509). I'm certainly no expert in spey casting, but I have been single hand casting all my life, so I know what I like and don't like with single handed rods. If I demo'd it for a day with my expectation I have now of the rod, I might actually come away with a better opinion of it. I was hoping for a rod that could do both perfectly and in my opinion, it is a practical light spey rod but not a rod you want to enjoyably single hand cast.
Sorry no experience with the Z axis but you might want to try the Beulah's 6/7 switch at 10'6". I've got 7/8 and 9/10 which I very much enjoy. Usually double/but can single hand spey with it or just single hand haul and shoot etc.


Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
I have a Sage 6126 as a Light Spey rod and like that. I was looking to use this rod as a Longer Nymphing rod for steelhead and possible two hander in Alaska for Rainbows with streamers.
I have a Beulah 5/6 switch rod that I took to Alaska this summer for a week on the Alagnak. I put it away after fishing it just one day.
I found that my 6-wt. single hand rod was much easier and more fun to fish with egg patterns/indicators or lightly weighted leeches. If I wanted to throw heavy tips/heavy flies an 8-wt. single hand was a better tool than the switch rod.
I'm considering selling it now. That rod doesn't seem to fill any gaps in my arsenal, and for spey casting I much prefer my Sage 6126.
About the only situation I think the switch rod would be superior would be steelhead fishing in tight quarters with a Skagit setup.


Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
I am probably going to get the 10' 7 weight Z Axis and not bother with the Switch rod. I was interested in the longer length for mending.

pescador do mosca

"An under forty victim of fate..arriving too late"
I would do yourself a favor and see if you can demo the rod or at least a switch before you abandon it for a single hander. I have fished this rod for a bit and found it really nice with a one or two up steelhead taper and 350-400 skagit with 15 foot tips cut back around 13 ft.

I would agree as mentioned that the rod is better off for two hands than one but the ease of working it with two hands for nymphing with an indicator is where the switch rod seems to come into its own in my experience.

Hope that helps and good luck no matter what you choose. The Z is a nice fast rod, I have it in a 9 for 8 and with an 8 wt. Rio Accelerator it is an animal. I also swing a 9143 in the Z and it is plain stupid with a Delta short 9/10, though I characterize the spey as mix between traditional and fast, but I am moving off the post so....:eek:!



Active Member
I have the Z in a 5 and 7 weight. Used the 5 extensivley for trout and whitefish nymphing (and even some swinging) and really like it alot. I spent all day overhand casting the 5 and never really got too fatigued. Hope to use the 7 more this fall as larger fish begin entering the rivers. I have even done a bit of spey casting with it (although I am very green at this). I have both rods matched up with Galvan Torque reels and Rio Outbound lines that are two sizes larger than the rod weight.
I have casted the 11' 7wt, and the 11' 8wt, both with spey lines (Windcutter), and regular single hand lines (Rio Steelhead Taper). They are great rods! Jerry Siems also designed a line for them, which I have yet to try, that is supposed to be great. I have yet to buy one, as I have the 11' 7wt Winston BIIx... I probalby own a dozen steelhead size rods, and a couple of Speys, ever since I got this rod, I no longer use any of them. I will say, that if you are planning on throwing heavy tips, the true spey rods work better. Although with some of the newer Skagit lines, you can get away with throwing some tips with the switch rods.

There are a lot of rods out that are called switch rods, that really are baby speys... If ya can't overhead cast it, it's not a switch, it's a spey. Even some of the so called originators of the switch rod trend, aren't really switch rods. So, be careful, if you wan't to be able to overhead cast it, try it out first and make sure you can comfortably do it.

any one know about winston's boron 11mx switch rod 11'6 ?? I met a guy on a fishing trip last week,that will sell his for a lot less then he payed for it...Thanks...
Ringlee -
I haven't fished the Z-Axis switches, so I can't comment on their performance, but I have been fishing switch rods quite a bit over the last three years. I think it all depends on what you are going to be using it for. For me, in a summer time, dry line/poly leader situation, where you don't need maximum casting distance - 75 feet or shorter - I think a switch rod is hard to beat. I have been fishing a Beulah Elixir and love it for that situation.

In the winter time, when I am fishing small/medium small rivers where I have little back cast room and am indicator fishing, I love the switch as well. I change the line to something with a short, heavy head, and a long rear taper so mending long distances is possible. I either water load with my indicator setup, or do a basic spey style cast, and the heavy head turns over just about anything I have thrown yet.

If you are looking at fishing heavy tips, or making long casts, or doing a lot of single hand casting, I would look elsewhere.

EDIT: I just realized that this thread is super old....and you probably made your purchase a long time ago....
I have the ZA 7 wt switch. Great rod for indy fishing. It does fine overhead but I prefer 2H casting. Yesterday, I did swing with the ZA rod and caught a 12# hatchery buck . Surprised me because the water was still like chocolate milk and the gear guys didn't touch any fish.


Active Member
I love my 11' 7wt and have 10' 7 wts axis for my client rods. I cast my 11ftr single had alot and swing streams and flesh for big bows in alaska and I would never sell the rod. The new Loomis switch rods are sick also.


Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
This post was from last year. I bought a 10' 7 Z Axis and Sold it soon after. Really didn't like it. I bought a 11' 8 Switch and I love that rod. Matched with the 320 Indicator Taper, it will turn over some serious rigs! I have a TFO 5 Switch and I look forward to using it in Alaska.

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