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Old 03-04-2011, 12:38 PM
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Default Sage Z-Axis

I'm interested in comments regarding the all-around fishing capability of the Sage Z-Axis 9' 5wt. I know it will throw long distances with lazer-like accuracy and almost no effort. How is it in the short game? Anybody have direct experience? I'm talking 20 to 40 ft. casts. Also, is it limber enough for short range roll casting? What's it like to fish with (casting, fighting).
Also, Do you think the best all-around rod for Western streams is a four weight or a five weight? I've been told the current 4wt rods are the new 5wt.'s I would wonder if a Z-Axis 9' 4wt would handle well in Yellowstone, generally speaking, or if it would be underpowered in windy conditions. I don't want to fish heavier than I need to yet I don't want to be underequipped for circumstances I may encounter either.
I have cast lots of softer rods and they are all nice but seem a little bit drifty at longer distances. I'm wondering if the Z-Axis is really worth the extra dough but more than that, if it really is one of the best all-around fishing tools for the Western freestoners I fish.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:49 PM
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Default Re: Sage Z-Axis

I have the Saze Z-Axis in the 9 ft 7 wt that I use for throwing big streamers, so I can't answer your question, if you don't get any other replies you might send FrankB a PM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Sage Z-Axis

I own the 590 and I just bought the 490 this winter. I do a lot of things with the 590, from streamers down to small dry flies for at 20-25 feet. Truthfully, there are better rods for consistantly fishing that close, but it does about everything else very very well. I like roll casting this rod because of the quick recovery in the tip that helps to keep the loop from collapsing. For fishing out west, either one will work really well for you.

I don't know anything about the old 4wt being the new 5wt, but you can find the 590 on eBay for a decent price.

Last edited by ddombos2; 03-05-2011 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Double Post Craziness...Thanks iPhone.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Sage Z-Axis

My Western big water single handed trout rods are the following:
490-4 ZXL - dry fly/soft hackle presentation stick
590-4 Z-Axis - all around stick
691-4 Z-Axis - large fly/heavy nymph rig trout stick

I fish a lot of Northern California larger waters. Many outings are fished off of a drift boat. Some outings use a jet boat for wading access. That gives me the ability to take multiple rods.

A 590-4 Z-Axis is my main stick. It does a lot of things very well. I can fish a 22 BWO mayfly hatch with confidence. Even up close, the rod offers a soft presentation. It plays the distance game with #4 buggery streamers and sinktips up to 175 grains well. Where I find the Z-Axis best at is the middle distance (30 and 55 feet). As for roll casting, it excels from short to long.

I have noticed some limitations. From time to time, I push the envelope. I will pull out a streamer that is heavy (lead eyed, lead wrapped) and/or holds a lot of water. I might use a heavier sink tip (say up to 200 grains). The rod can handle the abuse, but the casting isn't pretty, and accuracy isn't where it should be exactly (at least it's in the zone).

I cannot comment on the fishing aspect of a the 490-4, but I can comment that it is a fine casting stick at a variety of distances.

MP
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Sage Z-Axis

I have a 9'0" Sage Z-Axis 5 wt. and it's been my "go to" rod for the past 3 years. For me, it does everything well. I fish dries, wets, nymphs and streamers with the rod and it has yet to let me down.

Take a look at the sidebar on the home page of this forum and read the shootout that George Anderson conducted on 5 wt. rods. The only rod that consistently comes out on top of the Z-Axis (which is now a 4 year old model), in all categories, is Hardy's new stick. Granted, the shootout has some flaws associated with it, and many of the forum members have pointed this out, but you can get a pretty good idea how the rods stack up against others; particularly from a casting standpoint.

Overall, I don't think that you can go far wrong with a Z-Axis.

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Sage Z-Axis

I think you'll find that the Z-Axis will get a lot of praise from its owners. I'll be fishing my TXL 4710 which is a light and feathery rod and it excels 20-40 feet casts, and I will need some extra distance out beyond 50 feet (particularly when I am in a lake and I can't quite reach the fish). I pick up my Z-Axis. I feel that thing load up and fire, and I just smile a big old cheesy stupid-looking smile.


Frank will weigh in shortly. He loves the ZXL, and if you like a little slower rod, they are really really good rods too.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Sage Z-Axis

I would say the Z-Axis is one of the best sticks Sage made. It has far more feel in close than the XP it replaced. If I was looking at Premium 9-5 weights the three I would consider would be the Z-Axis, the Winston B IIIx and the Hardy Zenith. I would say this much as a Hardy Rep, cast the Zenith before you decide. I am very impressed with them, and I've been a Winston fan for years. They are the real deal. In the trout sticks they are scary versatile, with great feel in close like an old WT, and tons of Power almost like a TCR when you reach back. I've never thrown a rod like them. Personally I think they are game changers, but in fairness Sage and Winston make great rods too.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: Sage Z-Axis

I was biting my tongue trying to stay with the original post. I will just say, cast a Hardy Zenith side by side with a Z-Axis. I will leave it at that.

MP
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Sage Z-Axis

Sage Z-Axis actually excels in the 30'-40' range, 20' being no problem either. That rod has so much feel you can fish tight streams or wide rivers and cover everything with ease. 5-90 would be my recommendation. 4wts can be kind of tough to fish heavy flies with/without wind.

The new BIIIx is very impressive. Noticeably more feel than the BIIx. Winston says it's a 'fast-action' like they said about the BIIx, but it's slower than the Z-Axis with more power in the butt due to the Boron.

Never have casts a Hardy rod and would prefer not to, seeing as how I can buy both the Z-Axis AND a BIIIx for less than the nice Hardy rods.



I've cast the 590 Z, fished the 890 Z, own a 10-4wt BIIIx and fished the 890 BIIIx, all are AMAZING rods.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Sage Z-Axis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benford View Post
Sage Z-Axis actually excels in the 30'-40' range, 20' being no problem either. That rod has so much feel you can fish tight streams or wide rivers and cover everything with ease. 5-90 would be my recommendation. 4wts can be kind of tough to fish heavy flies with/without wind.

The new BIIIx is very impressive. Noticeably more feel than the BIIx. Winston says it's a 'fast-action' like they said about the BIIx, but it's slower than the Z-Axis with more power in the butt due to the Boron.

Never have casts a Hardy rod and would prefer not to, seeing as how I can buy both the Z-Axis AND a BIIIx for less than the nice Hardy rods.



I've cast the 590 Z, fished the 890 Z, own a 10-4wt BIIIx and fished the 890 BIIIx, all are AMAZING rods.

At retail the Hardy is $50 less than the Sage and and $150 less than the Winston, where did you get the idea they were higher?

You might want to cast the Hardy.
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