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Old 02-13-2010, 08:48 PM
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Default Sage TXC vs Z-axis

I'm looking to get an 8 wt 9' rod for a Great Lakes Tribs for Steelhead/Browns/Salmon. I have a 5 wt Z-axis that I like for trout fishing. Just wondering what everyone thinks would make a better rod for this purpose? I was worried about the Z-axis being difficult to cast when I bought it, but got the hang of it in no time. I wouldn't classify myself as an expert caster, but I've been fly fishing for awhile.

Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Sage TXC vs Z-axis

The TCX is a faster rod than the Z-Axis. You would have to speed up your stroke to adjust for the TCX's ultra fast action.

For the purpose that you want to accomplish, the better rod is the one that you feel more comfortable casting with and suits your fishing style.

This is what I noticed on the rods based off my fishing styles.

890-4 TCX - Better at slinging heavy sink tips and flies into the wind.
890-4 Z-Axis - Good at slinging heavy sink tips and flies. Lots of backbone, but not as much as the 890-4 TCX.
896-4 Z-Axis - Great combination tool for nymphing and overhead casting.
8100-4 Z-Axis - Great tool for nymphing.
8110-4 Z-Axis - Great combination tool for both nymph and Spey fishing.

MP

Last edited by MoscaPescador; 02-14-2010 at 01:42 PM. Reason: added something
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Sage TXC vs Z-axis

Thanks MP,

I was able to cast both, and the TCX seemed really stiff for me. However this was the first time that I cast a rod that fast. We don't have much wind around here, and I do a lot of nymph with an egg indicator fishing. Would you say that the Z-axis 9' 6" would be better for nymphing?

Also I never used a sink tip. For trout fishing I keep hearing different stories on them. Some say a floating line works just as well as a sink tip? But then again our tribs don't have a lot of current.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Sage TXC vs Z-axis

The extra six inches will give you a bit more line control on dead drifts. Being able to mend more efficiently and being able to have less line touching the water while having more line out is key to longer drifts. Yes, the 9'6" Z-Axis would be a better nymphing rod than the 9' model.

I'm not familiar with the waters that you fish, but swinging streamers can be very effective for Steelhead, Brown Trout, and Salmon. It is an exciting way to fish because the take is felt. If there is enough current to push an indicator nymph rig, there is enough current to move a sink tip line. There are different tip lengths and sink rates. Let your local outfitter help you figure that out. Or you can get a wallet full of sinking leaders to use as quick change tips.

MP
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Sage TXC vs Z-axis

Isn't the TCX even faster than the XI-3? And I know the XI-3 is faster than the Z-Axis.

It's a personal decision, but as soon as I get the cash I'll have an 8wt Z-Axis w/ Sharkskin line for my bass rig. I've borrowed my friend's set up, and for a relatively new caster like me it's very easy and forgiving, but has the backbone for fighting bass.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Sage TXC vs Z-axis

Yes. The TCX is faster than the Xi3. The main difference between the two is that the Xi3 has a stiffer butt section than the TCX. This gives the Xi3 a bit more lifting and fighting power.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Sage TXC vs Z-axis

MP,

Since you mentioned the 8110-4 Z-Axis switch rod, would you go with the 8 wt or maybe the 6 or 7? I'm just starting to look at the 2 handed rods and think that a switch rod would be a great option. The problem is that I don't know what weight to get. How do I know if I need a 200gr or a 450gr skagit sink tip? My local fly shop says the 8110-4 Z-Axis, but they tend to try and sell what ever they have in stock.
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Sage TXC vs Z-axis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisu View Post
MP,

Since you mentioned the 8110-4 Z-Axis switch rod, would you go with the 8 wt or maybe the 6 or 7? I'm just starting to look at the 2 handed rods and think that a switch rod would be a great option. The problem is that I don't know what weight to get. How do I know if I need a 200gr or a 450gr skagit sink tip? My local fly shop says the 8110-4 Z-Axis, but they tend to try and sell what ever they have in stock.
With salmon as part of your original equation, I would lean towards the 8 weight. If you were targeting Steelhead, I would choose the 6 or 7.

As for lines, it depends on how you are going to cast.
Nymphing: Sage Nymph Taper WF8F (320 grains)
Skagit: Rio Skagit Short 475 to 525 grains. Use 10 foot Rio Spey Versileaders for your tip selection. You can use 10 feet of T-14 with the Skagit Short if you choose to dredge with big flies.
Scandi: Rio AFS 6/7 or 7/8. Use 10 foot Rio Spey Versileaders for your tip selection.

Skagit casting is the easiest method to learn. If you want one line to start out with, a Skagit style line should be the first one to go with. Since you are trying to learn Spey casting, I would err towards the 525 Skagit Short lines. The extra grain mass will help you feel the rod load.

Keep this in mind though. If you want to get into Spey casting and want the easiest learning curve, you should use learn with a full length Spey rod. You will have more length that will help you feel how a rod is supposed to load. Instructors have found that it is easier to transition to a switch rod from a Spey rod rather than the opposite way.

MP
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