I enjoy reading these shootout thingies. It's good that more rods were included in this review, and the nymph rig test was interesting as well. While George Anderson said that the Zenith was the clear winner, the other guys had some high praise for the Z-Axis and BIIIX (and other rods). George gave the Z-Axis 18 out of 20 at 25 feet, but Justin and James gave it 20 out of 20, saying the Z-Axis is what a rod should feel like at 25 feet. Alot of people have expressed their feeling that a rod as stiff as the Z-Axis wouldn't work well in close, even if they've never cast one before.
I'll look this up, but in case I can't find the info can you tell me where the Hardy Zenith is made? Is this going to put Hardy on the map in USA now (based on feedback you've received)? Are there other Hardy rods we should give attention to?
Problems with this Shootout:
-Anderson states that the St. Croix Imperial is made in the USA. Wrong. It's made in Mexico, and St. Croix makes that quite clear on thier website.
-Anderson states that Sage uses the finest cork, but I've seen some really awful cork on Sage Z-Axis and ZXL rods. It's sort of a hit or miss deal with the many specimens of these Sage rods I've seen. Some have fine cork, and others have been spackled with so much wood filler that it's hard to look at.
-Still using GPX line to test rods, while acknowledging (this time around) that a true 5wt would work better on some of the rods reviewed. Anderson does say that they were looking for an all-around 5wt, and I suppose he felt the GPX would toss nymph rigs better. Still.....
-Anderson states that Tom Morgan "makes less than 100 " rods each year. Tom Morgan doesn't make any rods, and I wish that people would give Gerri Carlson the credit she deserves for building these rods. Anderson says the Morgan rods are a "10+" in terms of craftmanship, so it would be nice to acknowledge the craftsman....