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Old 09-16-2013, 10:08 AM
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Default Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

I'm kind of combining three threads here, but what started out with me vacillating in my regard for my 590 Z-Axis, and love of the Radian has shifted into total confusion. As you may have read on other threads I got my new Z-Axis as a Sage factory replacement for my broken SP, I went with a fast action rod as a change of pace from my two old Scott G series, nine foot four and six weights. Before I made the decision to get the Z-Axis (Sage wouldn't give me a few One), I read a lot of reviews of both the Sage One and Z-Axis. There were quite a few who preferred the Z-Axis with it's softer tip, so I pulled the trigger on the Z.

After lawn casting and fishing the Z-Axis three times I didn't love it. Even though it was obviously easy to cast, accurate and fished well, it was just sort of meh. I hate using vague clichés, but it lacked feel, I felt like I was just waving a stick in the air and the fly line shot out there. That's when I tested a new radian against it and fell in love with the Scott. It was just as fast and accurate, yet I could feel the rod load. That was it I was sold on the Radian and just waiting to put my Sage on ebay to help fund the sale until I found myself down in Sun Valley Idaho running a dog trial. During a break in the day I got to test cast my Z-Axis against a Sage One and Scott Radian.

That's when things got confusing; from reading reviews of the Z versus the One, I assumed the One would have less "feel" than the Z due to the stiffer tip, yet this rod seemed to me to match the Radian. It is definitely fast, but I can feel that rod load much more than my Z-Axis. I have owned Scott, Sage and Winston but always had a soft spot for Scott, so was leaning toward the Radian and really wanted to believe all the hype I was reading about it. After testing the three rods side by side by side, I still prefer the One and Radian over my Z-Axis, but it is basically a tie between the two. The two store salesman thought I was crazy as the Z-Axis is their all time favorite rods and would buy mine if they each didn't already have one.

No real question for you guys as I have now tested all three in person. I'm just confused how a slow action guy like me can prefer the feel of the faster One and Radian over the still fast, but softer tipped Z-Axis. I would be curious if there any out there who prefer the Z-Axis over the One, and if so, why?

Thanks, John

Last edited by glacierjohn; 09-16-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

Im in that camp. Although fairly different rods I have the Z-axis in 6wt and just picked up the One in 7wt for streamer fishing. I really like the One for chucking large articulated flies but I think the Z-axis is my all time favorite rod.

I picked the One after throwing the Xi3, TCX, and BIIIX. I actually had a hard time deciding between the TCX and the One. Oddly I loved the Winston in 5wt but not so much in 7wt. Some day the BIIIX in 5 wt will have to be added.

I use the 6wt Z-axis to throw big streamers with a sink tip when wet wading, nymph tandem rigs, and occasionally dries. I also love it for hopper fishing. I prefer the feel of the Z-axis and think it's a more multipurpose tool. For a fair comparison I would obviously have to test it against the One in 6wt instead of 7wt but I still feel I would pick the Z-axis. However, I don't like all ranges as I picked up a 10' 5wt Zaxis for nymphing and hated it. Used it twice and resold it for a profit. It felt like an unresponsive telephone pole to me. I replaced it with a 10' 4wt Helios and couldn't be happier.

I think the One is a great rod but if I was forced into a one quiver rod I would take the Z-axis every time.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

Well, I still have yet to even see a Radian so I must limit my remarks to Z-Axis and ONE; both in 9'/#5 configuration. I love(d) my Z- ; it was my primary dry fly big river rod for a few seasons. It is remarkable in its ability to have a relatively soft tip yet recover quickly with almost no oscillation for precise presentations. But then the ONE was released. At first I wasn't so sure; clearly the ONE was more classically Sage in its fast taper but it was so light, slender and responsive. Can one say fast and delicate in the same sentence about a fishing rod? ONE has the kind of sensitivity that emanates from super low mass that crisply and unambiguously transmits every subtle movement of the assembled outfit. Transparent communication. It took a few trips to the river but ONE won me over with the purity of its responsiveness, it blackness, its anatomically superior cork grip providing a purchase for my thumb superior to a tapered Western style grip, its remarkable ability to form the tightest, straightest, fastest line speed loops to facilitate in-air and on-water articulate line management beyond compare...ONE is a big water, dry fly specialists ultimate presentation implement. If Radian is the same but more so, I'll rave about it next season. If it is its equal, perhaps it is my next 8 1/2'/#4 as the quest continues.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
Well, I still have yet to even see a Radian so I must limit my remarks to Z-Axis and ONE; both in 9'/#5 configuration.

If Radian is the same but more so, I'll rave about it next season. If it is its equal, perhaps it is my next 8 1/2'/#4 as the quest continues.
I went into the Silver Creek Outfitters expecting the Radian to win over both the Z-Axis and Sage One, but walked out think that I would be very happy with either the One or Radian, but if you put a gun to my head I would probably take the One. I expected a faster-lighter version of my Z-Axis but it is way more like the Radian (or the Radian is like it), than the Z. The only thing I don't like about the Radian is the tangerine colored wraps, just a personal preference color thing. I do prefer the unsanded gray blank on the Scott over the pure black One, but am not put off by the black. I don't get that Sage blasting thread, I thought both rods were very high quality with excellent cork. I also like the reel seats on both rods. As for looks I love my Z-Axis too.

I have time and am going to wait to hear more about how the Radian fishes, but at this point I would be happy with either rod.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
the ONE was more classically Sage in its fast taper but it was so light, slender and responsive. Can one say fast and delicate in the same sentence about a fishing rod? ONE has the kind of sensitivity that emanates from super low mass that crisply and unambiguously transmits every subtle movement of the assembled outfit. Transparent communication. It took a few trips to the river but ONE won me over with the purity of its responsiveness, it blackness, its anatomically superior cork grip providing a purchase for my thumb superior to a tapered Western style grip, its remarkable ability to form the tightest, straightest, fastest line speed loops to facilitate in-air and on-water articulate line management beyond compare...ONE is a big water, dry fly specialists ultimate presentation implement.
Very descriptive analysis on the One. My vote for use in the next print advert for the SAGE One
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

My 590 Z-Axis is my favorite rod. I believe/know I have a special connection with this rod. I can feel her load, her cast, I know where my backcast is. I know where the sweet spot on my rod is. I know exactly when to push forward, easy off, or pull back. She is my favorite gal. I am a bit biased.

When I cast the Sage One, I did not like it in the 590. It felt "dumb" to me. Not sure if I can describe it better than that. No matter what line I tried to throw it with. I fell in love with it though in the 490. Just enough butt section for power, but enough tip to really feel what is going on.

The Scott Radian is damn sexy. I have only test casted her in a 5wt, but know I will love her at any weight. I can feel her load and cast with incredible accuracy with her. I am willing, and have thought, about getting rid of my Z-Axis. I feels like cheating though. I don't know if I could do it. But I need to. She is not yet in my quiver, but soon maybe.

I am also a Scott G2 fan boy. I have the 884. My second, very close second favorite rod. This rod makes me warm and tingly all over. Like my first love. When I dream at night, I am casting my G2.

Just my observations...

Randy
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

Well my local sporting goods store just broke the tie for me, they are having end of season closeouts on the Sage One at $629.00. I like the new Radian a lot, but for $170.00 less I am putting a 590 One on layaway tomorrow. I can take my time deciding what to do with my Z-Axis, seems like there are still a lot of Z-Axis fans out there who might want to buy it.

I'm not looking to this new rod for a lot of short casting with feel, I have my Scott G 904/4 or Winston three weight WT for that, this will be my big river, big fish power rod.

John
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

Glacier, There are two lines I consider ideal on ONE; the one it was designed with, RIO Gold and SA's Mastery Expert Distance Taper, which I currently have rigged for it on its perfect weight matching, Nautilus FWX 7/8. With an Orvis medium (#6 - 7 line size) Braided Butt leader, spliced (not looped) and speced out with 0X blood knotted down to 5' of 5X (about a 16' total leader); this outfit is the technical dry fly man's #1 choice on the big Delaware, Fork and Missouri. It does take some adaptive learning curve and engaged focus to realize any % of its astounding performance capability but with the possible exception of Radian, which remains to be seen, no other rod from Sage or any other rod maker, and there are many fine ones, casts and fishes like aptly named ONE.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

Quote:
Originally Posted by glacierjohn View Post
...seems like there are still a lot of Z-Axis fans out there who might want to buy it.
Yes, I concur. Lots of people love the Z-Axis, but I'd remove the word "still" from your quote, because I think there always will be.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Z-Axis versus One versus Scott Radian...

Though I allowed I had been won over by ONE, this in no way detracts from my opinion that Z-Axis is anything less than a terrific rod. With its much more flexible tip it will remain a rod with devotes extoling its virtues for years to come.
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