7 Weight or 8 Weight Sage Z-Axis Spey

Allright I ordered the 8 weight I'll post a report on my thoughts. I talked to my father in law who is a spey master and he said the 8 is better for me (and the steel) and had a ton of reasons some which were listed on here. I wish i could buy both man, time to save up another few years....last big purchase for a while.
Happy fishing and casting... I got my frist spey last Nov.. a 8wt as well and truely love casting the thing..:) Next is the choice of a line for it LOL the search never ends.....


Well-Known Member

I didn't think anyone was discounting the role of the rod as a factor in how long it would take to play and land a steelhead. I think it would be hard, maybe impossible to be under-gunned with any Spey rod of 6 wt or up. I don't notice any difference in the amount of time steelhead are played to hand based on the rod I use. It's generally over pretty quick, regardless of rod, even bamboo. And since Spey rods of any wt tend to be about 2 sizes heavier than their single hand counter parts (i.e., a 6 wt Spey has the lifting power of an 8 wt single hand), any 7 or 8 wt Spey has sufficient power to play any steelhead in the world to hand within a reasonably short amount of time.

I think the one minute of play per pound of fish rule of thumb remains a good measure in regard to fish health. And it's an uncommon steelhead that takes more than 5 minutes to land in my experience, again, regardless of the rod employed. I think the upshot remains that one should choose their fly rod based on how well it suits their personal casting style. Any rod can land the fish fast enough to respect its health.


o mykiss

Active Member
I agree with Salmo. Before we all started fishing for steelhead, we mostly used 7 or 8 weight single handers, which are totally up to the task of quickly landing the typical steelhead. A "7 weight" spey rod has way more lifting power than an 8 weight single hander.

By the way, I recently got the Z-Axis 7110-4. Have not caught a fish on it yet (just been dinking around on Sky and Snoqualmie a few times), but I would say it is a perfect two-hander for steelhead fishing on small to medium sized rivers. Can't wait to try it out on the Methow (fingers crossed for opening this year), where I've felt that my spey rods are a bit more rod than is needed.
ED - It's been a long time since we've fished together, but I'm sure you are at least as good, or better caster than I am. Just curious to know what you use on the 8219?

I'm with Sg and o mykiss. I've never felt undergunned with the 7wt spey on any steelhead. It might be that on a huge fish i would put the cork to them, but I think it would be just fine.

O mykiss - I have the 7110 too (I know...) and I love that stick for summer work on smaller rivers like the Kalama. I have found it doesn't like t14 with big bunnies, but for the majority of work it's great. I have also landed a fair share of kings too, but that is what I would call being a bit under-gunned! I've been handed my ass a few times on that rod by some big chinook while fishing for steel. I'm going to try and two-hand overhead cast it in a couple weeks from the jetty by Longbeach and see what happens... If anyone has a good reccomendation on a good overhead line to use on that rod please let me know. Will be tossing some clousers with a light sink tip most likely.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Sg and Om are very astute. I think about the few fish I've landed and many I've watched other land. Never seen any of these guys undergunned.

Matthew, Steve Godshall of SpeyWerks made me a custom line. Unsure of the exact forumula but I'll dig it out and post it or PM you the lenght of the head and grain weight (it is heavier than he would make for an experienced caster and is perfect for my sloppy style. It really maximizes my capability and I'm sure that I'll be able to grow in skill with this line. The line lets me fish comfortably now and I know as I get better it will have virtually no limits.)
Matthew's probably right on this... However, I do use my 8129 for summer fish because it's what I have; and although I haven't felt overgunned in all situations, I have at times over powered fish that probably would have been more fun on a 6126 or maybe the 7136. My limited experience with these rods doesn't make that statement definitive, but more likely, just an observation. Keep in mind, that's not always the case though. As Matthew explained, there may not be the perfect rod for all applications and I continue to long for something a bit lighter for summer work.
I got the zaxis7136, hook into 4 chinook this summer, 3 of them over twenty plus pound on it, bought them in without a problem, not once fell undergun; and a 15lb summer steelhead this week plus couple smaller effortlessly.. If you you set on the 8129 for the winter, it's the right rod now... But as you process and got hook into this sport, your natural progression, will be going light and shorter, for summer... Good luck