Re: Sage XP vs. Sage Z-Axis?
The 7wt and above Z-Axis rods have a faster tip than the lower weight Z-Axis rods. That will help with line speed that results in longer cast and better wind performance. They are not as fast as the TCR and should be easier to cast. The XP may be a bit of a better all around performer than the Z-Axis. For those big water rivers I would choose the Z-Axis in a 7wt. The problem with the 10' rods is sometimes with the added length the dynamics of the rod change. So unless you cast a 10' Z-Axis rod I don't think anyone can tell you if it is your best choice.
I have several 8wt 9' Sage rods that I used in Alaska. They all cast the same and I liked the action. I bought a 9'6" rod of the same model and it was a dud. I think they just added 6 more inches to the 9' rod and the tip was too soft.
If it was me I don't think I would buy any 10' rod with out casting it first or had the option to return it if it didn't work for me. I suggest that you call Feather Craft and talk to Ed or Bob about the Sage rods. They have cast them all and will help you out even if you don't buy from them. The problem is they can only tell you how the rods cast for them, they can't tell you how they will cast for you.