This is my first post here and I want to say that I love this site. Everyone seems to be very kind.
Iím about to buy a 5 weight Sage Z Axis rod and was wondering if there will be a difference in performance between the 8' 8'6 and 9' rods. I have heard allot of good things about the 9ft 5 weight but didnít know if going to a shorter rod would hurt me. Also what reel would you match up with that rod? Are the Allen reels water proof?
On a side note, will the 5 weight be to much for pan fish and smaller trout? That is mainly what is in my area but I want the ability to catch bass and larger trout when I travel.
I can not talk about Sage because I don't have one. But I can tell you about 5 weight and the sleight length differences, namely 8 and half or 9 foot rod.
My first rod was 5 wt and I had a great time with it. As I was buying 4 wt and 6 wt I sold my 5 wt but now I regret the move. I believe that 5 wt is not too much for trout, although the caution is that if you are trying to get brook trouts from spring creek, you may need sometime short such as 7" 6 and 3 wt. But that is another story.
Some people may think that 5 wt is splashy for spooky trout, but my belief is that as long as you are casting properly you would not have any problem catching trout.
Speaking of the length of the rod, you want to compare these 8"6 and 9 foot rod carefully because sometimes weight and thickness of the rod may be different. I personally like 9 foot rod because many times people end up doing nymphing and I do believe that half foot can give you little bit of leverage. If you are going to try Czech nymphing which is very productive, their minimum requirement is 9 foot rod. I know.. there are some master in this forum who can do nymphing very effectively with a 8 foot rod. But for me, 9 foot rod was helpful.
I cast Z-axis about a year ago and it was an awesome rod and whatever size of 5 wt you buy you will never regret it. It is you who have to feel right about and love the rod. Good luck.
I just recently bought a 9' 5wt z-axis and love it. I'd recommend a 1/2 wt heavier line line Rio Grand or SA GPX. As far as length I'd agree with TTB that a 9' will work better for nymphing but if you don't plan on doing much nymphing the 8'6" will probably work fine. I was on a small river the other day and kinda wished I had a shorter rod but I mainly fish bigger rivers where 40ft casts are the norm and the 9' is perfect....sometimes 9'6" would work even better. The 9' 5wt will work for almost everything.
Unless you're going to be fishing where there are alot of overhanging objects; brush, tree, etc., where a shorter rod might make your casting easier, I'd go with the longer rod; the 9'0". It simply gives you more options to enjoy fishing.
Speaking of the second half of your question, which is about whether 5 wt is too much for bass and pan. Sage 5 wt will be enough for bass size up 4 to 5 wt.
I used to use 3 wt rod for bass and pan fish and I never thought that it was too much. Of course, if you go for a great big bass such as 20 pounder, you want to ask somebody here. But if you think of casting from the bank to catch bass, 5 wt will be enough. In this forum there are several guys who are using 4 wt to catch big bass.
I also used 5 wt for small size carps which were about 8 to 10 pounds.
Thank you for all the replies! I ended up ordering the 8'6 rod because I do a good bit of fishing under trees. Im pretty tall at 6'2 so I need all the room I can get. Will going with the shorter rod really hurt me when I nymph fish? I felt like I had to choose between two evils.
Speaking of nymphing, I used to use 8 and half and had lots of success. Well, the truth of the matter is that if you start to enjoy nymphing you may end up buying another nymphing specialty rod. But since you are tall and can reach little bit more toward spots that you want to nymph, 8 and half may work for you.
If you want to get a nymph specialty rod, I am talking about 9 and half or 10 foot rod, ranging from 3 to 4 wt. I do not want to endorse any company here. Just research and see if that style of fishing may help you.
Google and You tube Czech nymphing and see what they are doing, as well.
But if you are trying to catch small warm water fish and trout, the rod will be perfect. Lately I have been fishing around the spring creeks in Colorado with my 4 wt 9 foot rod and am having a great time, but I am wondering if I should have a shorter rod.
Well, as you can see, there is no such a thing as a perfect rod that suits everywhere. But 5 wt 8 and half is one of the greatest tools that you want to have in your quiver and so just enjoy it.
I do most of my fishing with 8'6" rods. I like them because they are quicker, and lighter in the hand. If I like a rod in a 9' length, I usually love it 6 inches shorter. I do own 9' rods, but they are brought along for fishing on large rivers, or when I'm nymphing across multiple current streams. In terms of distance, I can cast my 8'6" rods the same distance as my 9 foot rods. Let us know how you like the rod...Please. The only time I feel my rod is too short for nymphing is when using a 7'6" rod. I still do it, but an 8.5-9 foot rod is much easier to use for that purpose. I could see a 10 foot rod making a big difference when reaching across stream currents, but never notice a huge advantage with a 9 over and 8.5.
P.S. I'm not afraid to fish for any freshwater species with a 4wt. I've caught some crazy large bass (smallmouth and largemouth), channel cats, huge browns, and even my wife was able to land two 20 inch+ blue catfish in the past two days. The blue catfish took a Clouser and a # Wooley Bugger!
How do you like the rod? Have you ever hooked up any fish with serious shoulers and see if the rod protect 6x or 7x tippet? I love casting sage rods but I always worried that its stiffness may be conducive to protecting delicate tippets.
I don't often tie on much 6x or 7x with my 590 Z Axis, but my personal experience is that despite the backbone the rod has, it's plenty soft enough towards the tip to protect the smaller diameter tippet. There are rods in my arsenal that I enjoy and prefer fishing in certain situations, but for trout and smallies the 5wt Z is one that I can pull out and fish with the utmost of confidence. A rod that in my experiences can throw everything very well. That is, everything I would tie on anyway.