Just posted this in a parallel thread (http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/board/showthread.php/70287-Sage-Rods
). Just bear in mind that fly rods are like any outdoor gear: Because of personal tastes, techniques and desires, everyone will have different experiences with the gear in question.
Sage Flight is a great rod series, but after field testing and reviewing a slew of 5-wt rods this spring/summer, I have to recommend the Redington CT (Classic Trout) series. In pure performance -- casting ability, casting accuracy, casting power -- the Redington CT, at $160 for most rods in the series (http://bit.ly/d0wrXA
) out performed the Sage VT2 ($475 for the 9' 5wt) and was nearly on par with the Orvis Hydros ($495 for 9' 5 wt). Our final results: If you can afford it, go straight for the Sage Z-axis. If cash is a concern, go for the Redington CT series. Note that testers included two Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife officers (one retired) and a couple professional guides (both unaffiliated with any rod company).
That said, the Sage Flight series is also an outstanding series -- I have two in my personal quiver. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I also have a Sage Z-axis rod, an older Orvis Trident, an Orvis Power Matrix rod, an old Orvis Rocky Mtn pack rod, and a couple St. Croix rods)