When the Z Axis was discontinued I was amazed and somewhat outraged that Sage could do such a thing. I have gotten over that and learned to appreciate the fact that it's my chance to get a great stick on closeout or maybe one second hand. I snagged one on closeout and recently added a 2 hander that was pre loved but new to me while in production. Great opportunities are there if you are willing to part with a few Franklins and that's how I look at this scenario these days.
I knew at some point the ZXL would go by the wayside, but am surprised that they did so in favor of the Circa. I figured they would use the newest technology and keep a similar action. From what I have read, the Circa seems to be a slower action rod than ZXL more different than ZXL than I first suspected. Really, I thought the Circa would be a niche rod with the likes of the 99 and ESN. Clearly I was wrong.
Winston does things different, they seem to keep some of the classics around--WT even if special order, but they too replace their previous versions as technology or improvement warrants--think BIIIX and the now discontinued BII-MX.
I don't have experience with ONE but am well aware of all the acclaim it has garnered. The Z Axis was the previous incantation and before that the XP. Both are still in demand on the second hand market. One thing Sage seems to do very well is create new rods that replace old models which many swear is the greatest stick they have ever thrown loops with. Think about it, how many guys and gals do you see on the hunt for LL's SP's, RPL's, SLT's, XP's Z Axis? Even if they are under-appreciated when they are in production, they are still very much in demand. Some models more so than others, but man that's one heck of a list of great rods I just rattled off. Assuming of course you are a fan of all rods Sage.
I'm convinced the folks on Bainbridge Island know what they're doing. I gladly support them as an American company employing American workers who make great products which I very much enjoy. Tackle companies are in the business for one reason: to separate you from the funds in your bank account. Years from now, I expect to be on the hunt for closeout deals on ONE and Circa. For now my sights are set on a ZXL and I'll gladly take closeout pricing over full retail any day