Help me understand a little something about my rod or me. In all honesty I am getting tempted to sell this rod. I have a Sage Z-Axis 904-4 paired with SA Mastery GPX WF line. I typically use this rod to cast dry dropper / hopper dropper, double, or triple nymph rigs with a strike indicator. This is 99% Colorado front range fishing. So I am using flies usually in the size 14-20 range. For a strike indicator I've been using the yarn indicator held on with a orthodontics rubber band.
Here is the problem, I can't get the dang thing to fully turn over 9' of 6x tippet. Literally the fly line turns over and the leader gets about 1/2way turned then falls like a sack of doo-doo to the water. I don't have this issue with my 710-4 TXL or my 904-4 Legend Ultra. I don't even have this issue with my other fast rods such as 904-3 ONE, 6wt Orvis Hydros etc etc, just this Zaxis. I don't have this problem with my Circa, ZXL, or TXL in 1 and 3 wt, just this rod.
I use the GPX line but ill be darned if I buy a 5wt line for this rod, I would just as soon cast the legend ultra. It is to the point fishing on Saturday I hike my fat arse back to the truck. Dismantled the rod and strung up the 3wt ONE and enjoyed the rest of the day. I would think with my recent affinity for more medium fast rods than sat maybe my casting rhythm has changed but my other fast rods still work just fine.
I'm really half tempted to sell it before relegating it to a back up rod. Here is the wrinkle I also managed to get a tiny slice in my GPX line that has been used twice. I don't want to put $80 in to another floating line if I don't love the rod.
Sounds you need to go to a heaver butt leader more transition of power, try a 3X or heaver tapered leader. If you are using a 5 or 6 X leader the butt section is not heavy enough for good turnover.might start with a 7.5 3X and add Tippett to desired X to fly.
I am not sure if you are using the factory welded loop at the end of the fly line or not, but I generally cut them off. The line becomes weak in back of the loop and the line hinges rather than roll out properly.
I have experienced the exact same situation (although I don't try to roll out 9 feet of 6x and a leader) with a line I purchased for a new Zenith rod. I was just excited to try the rod so hooked up a leader to the loop and headed out the door. The tippet was piling up so I snipped the loop off, nail knotted the leader and the problem was solved.
I thought it was just my way of casting that caused them to hinge as I am often a little aggressive on the transition but it might be something to check. Is it possible the cut in the line is causing some hinging as well?
The Z is an awesome rod and it will not be on the used market long. It will be your loss as I think you have a line issue not a rod problem.
I think what both of you are saying makes perfect sense. In the 3 years I've had the rod I have always used Rio or Frog hair 6x mono leader and don't ever remeber this problem except for one time when I used a more true weight line and cast just a size 20 dry. I couldn't get anything to work until I got out 35' of line and horses the cast.
Oh, and I agree with furnacefella--I think you'd regret parting ways with it somewhere down the line.
I've fished it a few times this year, I will admit I found myself grabbing my legend ultra more this spring. I find I can roll cast the LU a little easier in small streams where I don't have much floating line out. Although I have used my ZXL , Circa alot more this year than my TXL rods. So possibly my rhythm has slowed.
I did find the leader would turn over if I really leaned on the rod , but those casts wound up in a violent bounce back when line ran out, ie needed 15' more feet of line out to soften the bounce back.
My line has a little split about 10' up from the welded loop. I bet a little Loon UV knot sense would do the trick but its irritating to have a flaw in a $80 line that's been used twice. I might send it to SA and see what they have to say. I have used the rod with SA mastery trout stalker and it just was to light for the rod. I had to really horse it around to make it semi functional
Does the line seem weak and flimsy in back of the loop?
I know you are not excited about blaming the line but 70-80 dollars is a lot better than a 700 dollar rod given up on. If it is weak at the loop it will cause this problem and is a quick fix for zero dollars.
Try the line on another rod as you seem to have a great selection and see if the problem goes away. Even if it is not a perfect match, it may reveal the flaw.
I once bought a Rio Gold line that just sucked right out of the box. Thankfully I had just removed what was suppose to be the exact same line so I knew something was up with the line. I believe it was simply a mislabeled line as it was too light to load the rod and quickly replaced without question at the local fly shop.
I've actually had a similar problem with my 9' 4 wt Z-axis. It casts OK when I'm using a two fly rig, but when I try to go to three flies (or two flies and an indicator), it doesn't turn over very well. I have decided that I'll just reserve the Z-axis for lighter rigs, and when I want to go to heavier stuff I'll use a bigger gun, such as my Hardy Zenith 4 wt..
I think that the comment about a heavier leader butt makes some sense, too.
Thanks everyone for all the input, I just sent SA customer service an email, we will see what there response is. I do have rio gold on a 3wt ONE and it works well. If SA doesn't offer any assistance or discount on replacing the line I will buy a Gold or Grand 4wt and give it a shot before I get rid of the rod.
I do love the Zaxis though it can move some line on bigger water and Saturday I caught a 17" rainbow and a couple 15" rainbows and they bent the rod to the cork, it was a blast. It's a cannon with great feel.
I did get to use the 3wt ONE on bigger water and man that thing is great. I didn't love it when I used it on smaller water but on bigger water , holy cow it's awesome.
---------- Post added at 10:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:12 AM ----------
Originally Posted by rockriver
I use Rio Gold on my 4 wt. Z and it turns 6x with 16 to 20 size flies. I use the loops for hooking together. I'd try a different line.