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Old 07-10-2009, 11:46 PM
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Default Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

I've found that the flylines suitable for two-handed Spey-type casting (which I'm just getting into) will not fit - even without backing - on my 7-weight Hardy Marquis reel (the line in question is a 6/7/8F [7S] Rio Windcutter, & the rod is a Sage Z-Axis 11' 7-wt. "Switch"). Of course, these vintage reels were no doubt made before Spey casting became popular. I've always liked these reels because I prefer "palming" the spool rim for drag rather than using a mechanical drag.

Can anyone suggest a reasonably-priced "value" reel that would work well with this rod and line, considering the Z-Axis' light weight for its length?
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

Rumor has it that Abel will have a two click drag reels for Spey and switch fishing. That will be interesting to see.

As for reasonably priced reels, consider an Orvis Battenkill Bar Stock V reel. It is designed for single handed lines in 9-11 weights, so fitting a WC 6/7/8 should not be a problem. It has a disc drag, but it isn't a very powerful one. If you hook into a pissy Steelhead, you would have to palm your reel anyways. On the Orvis website, the reel is on sale for $120. I know a guy who uses his 6 weight switch with a BBS IV.

Even though I wouldn't choose this model, I know a few guys who use Scientific Anglers Mastery System 2 reels on their Spey and switch rods. These aren't very high tech reels. Maybe the 8/9 model?

MP
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

Cabelas has the Ross Momentum reels on sale for $185. They weigh
close to 10oz, however.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

Hi Fly2Fish,

Here are my Choices:

1. Nautilus CCF

2. Ross Momentum LT

3. Ross Momentum

The Ross Momentum at close out prices is a very good choice from Cabela's. I just bought a Momentum 5 and it weighs 9.3ozs. It is on the heavy side but you may need some weight to go with the length of your rod. You can get the Spey capacity you need in all three of these reels. I think a large arbor reel is the way to go. You can cast a lot of line and you need the faster pick-up

Able and Tibor also make Spey reels but there are even higher priced. You might look for a used one.

In the budget reels you should take a look at the Orvis large Arbor Big Game. Also take a look at the Orvis Vortex


Nautilus CCF
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Ross Momentum LT
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Ross Momentum
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

I have a 10 ft 6 wt z axis and I went with the Sage value reel. It has a smooth easy working drag and is only $135. Spare spools are only $55 too. I think they work very well together.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

No disrespect to Packman. The largest Sage value reel will not have the capacity to hold a Windcutter Spey 6/7/8 line and backing. The proper reel should sized for a 9/10 weight single handed line. On my full length 6 weight Spey rod, I use a Bauer M5SL that has space for a Rio 425 grain Skagit Short line and a 100ish yards of 50 pound gel spun backing. The Skagit line takes more space than the Windcutter, so there should be ample space for line capacity.

I listed some value (sub $200) reels earlier.

MP

Edit: Since Spey lines take a lot of room on reels, there are three ways to gain capacity. First, you can use gel spun or thin braid lines to gain space. For example, Scientific Anglers 50 pound gel spun line is the same thickness of 12 pound dacron backing. The other way to gain space is to cut 10 to 15 feet of running section off your line. I have a 325 grain Skagit short on my 6 weight switch reel. I cut off 15 feet of running section. My shortened length of the line is 100 feet (line + tip section). My long casts are only 70 to 80 feet. Most of the time, I usually fish 40 to 50 feet. Or you can use both methods together.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

Oops, forgot about the spey line part.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

You can always go with a lamson Konic at 149$, in a 9-10 weight set up.

Note:
I do not own one of these reels. Im not likely to buy one because its cast aluminum, if you drop it or ding it to badly, it could mess up how the spool works with the frame.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:13 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

Thanks, guys, for all the great suggestions. At this point I'm inclined to go with the Orvis Battenkill Bar Stock V that MP suggested, although I'll first check around for used high-end models as Frank W. suggested. The Battenkill's 38 user reviews online at Orvis' website were unusually positive and it's on sale now for $125 - $25 off its normal price, plus they will include an extra spool free (normally $69). For that size reel, it's pretty light at 5 oz., partly due to being machined aluminum, instead of cast aluminum which I don't care for as ksbrowntrout2 doesn't either.

I also looked at the Ross Momentum which as Frank W. and FrankB2 both mentioned is on sale at Cabela's, but they were sold out of the two sizes closest to what I need; in any case, being twice as heavy as the Battenkill gave me pause anyway. It may be true as Frank W. says that I may need the extra weight for balance with my 11' Z-Axis, but I'd rather add weight artificially if I need extra instead of being stuck with it whether I need it or not. The Orvis Vortex was out of my price range, as was the Nautilus CCF and to a lesser extent the new Ross Momentum LT. I could not find the Orvis Large Arbor Big Game shown on Orvis' website; perhaps they have discontinued it?

Lot of great suggestions here. What other resource could give you advice of this quality.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Reel for Sage Z-Axis 11' 7 weight "Switch" rod.

I owned two Orvis BBS IV reels (Made in England). They were dandy, but....
drag increases dramatically as line is pulled off the spool. With a 6wt line
on, and as much backing to fill the reel to within a 1/4", pulling line off the
spool became a chore with 45 feet of line out. I did attach a 5X tippet to
a post, and then yanked on the rod hard enough to pull line off the spool, and
the tippet didn't break. I returned one and sold the other, however, as
my Ross reels have a much smoother drag. The drag mechanism can be
adjusted to make it more loose, but there's only so far you can go. The BBS
III reels I have are much more smooth in terms of drag. I know a shop that
has a few Made in England BBS V for $99. PM me if you're interested. The
English made BBS reels are nicer than the MIC reels.
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