Re: redington ss or sage z axis???
Hi Daniel, I own several Sage rods and am a Redington dealer. I have not thrown the Z Axis, but have fished the SS. Both manufacture top notch rods. You may want to take a serious look at the Redington CPS. This rod has won numerous awards and was a top pick by Fly Rod & Reel Magazine among 54 8wt & 9wt rods, most costing 2-3 times as much. They are powerful and fast and have become my personal favorites. Here is an excerpt from the FR&R article:
The Redington CPS fly rods are sterling examples. Most fly fishermen recognize that these rods are special from the moment they first get their hands on one. That was certainly the unanimous reaction of our 2006 test crew. We were impressed by the smooth, progressive connectedness of the Redingtons action, which yielded a feeling of confident control at all distances. If that sounds like wine label talk, perhaps I should add that tester Scott Wood easily threw the whole line (even with a bass bug).We also observed that the flowing power in these rods noticeably enhances the capability to tighten loops and repair sloppy casts in mid-air. With these CPS rods, now in their third year of production, Redington has clearly achieved its stated goal of building the highest possible performance into a modestly priced fly rod. These rods are fast (but not ridiculously stiff), light in the hand, extremely durable and remarkably versatile. The 8- and 9-weights proved to be terrific choices for bonefish in Belize (where the wind howled at 35 MPH nearly every day). Yet, surprisingly, those same rods were perfectly at ease on ponds back home delivering bulky, wind-resistant bass bugs (before we took them back to the salt last fall to land dozens of albacore). And because Redington has successfully duplicated the same action throughout all the CPS rods (something of a rarity itself) you can expect to find that familiar feel in the lighter line rods for trout, panfish or whatever. There are 14 rods in the line, all 4-piece, ranging from a 3-weight, 81⁄2-footer to a 12-weight, 9-footer (and a pair of 7- and 8-weight 10-footers). With a retail price of $299, the CPS rods are an outstanding value, and while they're designed for the core of serious fly fisherman, there's nothing average about their superb capabilities.