Your Comments on the Sage ZXL

Gregg Lundgren

Now fishing on weekdays too!
#1
I saw a couple of interesting comments on the Sage ZXL in the 5 weight shoot-out thread. The search function on this site doesn't yield much else. I Googled it, and found a few good reviews, but most were from sellers.

I haven't put that much money into my rods yet, but now I feel more committed. So, I am trying to develop a short list to go out and demo, to see what a greater investment might deliver. This would be for my "go to" 4 or 5 weight rod. At the present, I am primarily using Sage Launch and Redington CT rods (3wt - 6wts). When casting dries and unweighted flies, the medium action CT really matches my casting rhythm best. I use the Sage Launch for casting beadheads, nymph rigs, and trolling.

The Sage Z-Axis gets such high marks, but my affection for the Redington CT makes me feel as if the Sage ZXL might be a great fit for me. Again, I realize a good set of demos would be required to narrow things down. Still, I would appreciate any comments you might have.
 
#2
I really love my ZXL. I have both the Z-Axis and the ZXL, and the ZXL fits my casting style much better; its a good "tweener" stick. It is a moderate/fast rod and the reason I like it more is because you can feel it load and there seems to be more umph behind my casts. I've talked with guys at fly shops about both of these rods and I have been told that beginners like rods that they can feel load, and that may be true, but I don't find fishing with a broomstick to be enjoyable(not to say the Z-Axis is a true broomstick). Overall, if you have a more relaxed rhythm of casting and you like to feel the action of the rod then definitely try out a ZXL and see if it fits.
 

Blue

Active Member
#4
Man I wanted the ZXL sooooo badly. I went in to the local shop with the intention of buying right then, but made the mistake of casting the JWF...needless to say, I might still buy the ZXL one day.
I like that tweener description...but I use mine for everything including streamers then micro dries.
 

Mike Ediger

Active Member
#5
I have two ZXL's, a 9' 4wt and 8'6" 5wt and really like them both; actually like the 9'4wt better. If you like medium action, I would not consider the Z-A. I had a ZA 4wt and have fished a ZA 5wt, and while the ZA was really accurate, easy to cast, and could cast a mile, I didn't enjoy casting it much, just too fast for me. I even think the ZXL is a tad faster than I would like.
Both ZA and ZXL are great rods, no question. But even a great rod must be enjoyable to cast, which is why it is important to try any high dollar rod before you buy it. It has to fit you.
 
#6
gregg, I am one of those who enjoys the feel of a more traditional rod. One of my fav rods is an older Sage SLT. The ZXL is the rod that replaced the SLT in the line-up. I have cast the Redington CT a lot and think it is a great rod (think Sage LL deja vu) if you like your CT you will love the ZXL it is a little faster and when you need the extra horsepower it is there.
Cast it you will like it Besides its PURPLE!
jesse
 

Mike Ediger

Active Member
#7
One of my fav rods is an older Sage SLT. The ZXL is the rod that replaced the SLT in the line-up.
:beer2::beer2:

I agree. I love the SLT. I know you aren't saying this, but the ZXL is not an improvement on the SLT in my opinion. They took a great medium action rod and replaced it with a very different/faster rod for no good reason. :beathead::beathead:
 
#8
Gregg,

I would highly recommend you test drive a ZXL. I have one and I love it. It's really the only trout rod I use, and I use it with 7x tippet and dries as well as tandem weighted nymph rigs.

I fished for many years with a Sage 690 RPL+ and for small steam situations, a slower 4wt. 7.5' Orvis road. Over time as I became a better caster (everything is relative, of course) I found myself enjoying the slower action a bit.

So when I decided to get a 5 wt. all-around rod to be my primary stick, I did a lot of research and test casting. It was down to basically the z-axis, BIIx, & GLX. Then I tested the ZXL. I can't describe it other than it just felt right. It's put the other two trout rods I own to 'in case of emergency' status. So I'm very pleased with it and enjoy doing nearly all my trout fishing with just the one rod.

I too have noticed very little mention of the ZXL on this site, never mind the comparisons done by Yellowstone Angler. It's like the rod flies under everybody's radar. Maybe because people only think FAST action with Sage, and go elsewhere for something even slightly slower? I don't know.
 
#9
Mike I think your right the SLT was a great rod like the LL before it. Unfortunately manufacturers are driven by consumers and "everybody" wants a fast stick. Sage even made the TXL in the 00 - 4 wts "faster" this year. I think the fast rod race has reached it's zenith There are a lot of old guys like me that are trading in the qwik-stiks for more modrate rods maybe we will see a moderation in the race and some new more traditional rods next season.
jesse
 

JesseC

Active Member
#10
Stick with what you have for another year and cement your casting style and preference: then test drive a ton of rods without looking at the brands. Buy the one you like best.
 
#11
There are a lot of old guys like me that are trading in the qwik-stiks for more modrate rods maybe we will see a moderation in the race and some new more traditional rods next season.
jesse
I agree, just wish I would have learned this lesson earlier. Would have saved myself a more than a few bucks searching for the perfect "Fast Action with Feel" fly rod.
Back to the actual question Gregg. the ZXL is a great rod, just make sure you cast it a bunch first.
Mike
 
#12
:beer2::beer2:

I agree. I love the SLT. I know you aren't saying this, but the ZXL is not an improvement on the SLT in my opinion. They took a great medium action rod and replaced it with a very different/faster rod for no good reason. :beathead::beathead:
+1 or is it +2.
Somebody let this guy test drive a SLT.
I fish my SLT most of the time as well and when I want a faster stick I reach for my SP. Won't be long we'll be fishing Sage antiques, then we'll be really cool!
 

South Fork

Active Member
#13
The 3wt is awesome at landing chums and big trout. Has enough backbone to throw about 40-50 feet with no problem. A little slower action than the Z axis but I really like the slower action for smaller streams.

I don't think ZXL's are big river, big bug rods, but they are nice for smaller streams and such.
 

Gregg Lundgren

Now fishing on weekdays too!
#14
Thanks for the feedback so far! I am not in a hurry to throw down a bunch of money. I am patient, and I like to find value in my purchases.

The rods I have now are working alright, and that was the plan. That "go to" rod doesn't have to be new either, so the Sage SLT is duly noted, and added to the short list. I like Jesse's idea of a blind taste test. I just need to know which rods to invite to the rodeo. I plan to pick up the pace of fishing in 2011. I learn more each time out, as I reflect on a solo trip, or from fishing with friends both old and new.

Might be tough identifying the perfect "tweener" fly rod for my relaxed pace. I hate to bring up a golf analogy, but it took me awhile to determine I swing thru the ball with the club, and don't hit the ball with it. Moving to a regular flex golf club shaft, rather than stiff, meant better results with less effort.

South Fork... I hope you mean Chubs and not Chums on a 3 wt. My 8 wt. is enough of a challenge for handling those junk yard dogs! lol
 
#15
I'm fishing the 8.5 foot 5 wt ZXL. It is my go to rod right now. I fish small streams mainly and enjoy fishing with it. I also do a lot of pond jumping in my local area. The action of the rod is a bit faster than I thought it would be. I bought mine without casting one first after a local guide told me that it was an overlooked jewel of a rod. He suggested the 9 foot 4 wt actually. I ended up going with the 5 instead because I tend to favor 5 wts. This little rod quickly moved to the front of the pack and replaced the other 6 rods I had at the house. I've even had the rod out in the Gulf of Mexico chasing redfish and speckled trout. The other guys I was fishing with were laughing a bit, but the rod held its own.

The rod seems right at home chunking streamers, dropping nymphs, or delivering dries. In my honest opinion, it can cover a lot of territory. It does not have the power to deal with heavy winds.
 

Latest posts