I collect some money because I want to buy high end rod. I hesitate between: Sage Z-Axis and Winston Boron IIx.
I need universal rod, #5 and 9' lenght. I know that there are no uniwersla rods but I want rod I could use in different conditions whem I go for trip and I have to take only one rod. What would you recommend? Which rod of these two? Or you could recommend some another one?
As I think everyone will tell you, the two rods that you mention are both very good choices. There are others, and I think that you'll hear about them on subsequent posts.
But within the context of the initial question that you pose, for me, if I was looking only at one high-end 9' 5 wt. rod, then I would chose the Winston BIIx.
I, myself, use the Sage Z-Axis 9' 5 wt. as my primary rod for medium to large water. My wife uses the Winston BIIx. Overall, it's much easier for me to cast here BIIx than it is for her to cast my Z-Axis. I refer to my Z-Axis as "the cannon". It's definitely an "into the backing" type of rod, with gobs of reserve power to put large bushy patterns out into the stream. But, for smaller stream fishing, the 15-30' range isn't, for me, very sensitive. The BIIx, in my hands, won't match the Z-Axis's ability to cast long distances, but I like it better in close. There's also something to the "lore" about the feel of a Winston rod for pure casting pleasure.
So, if I was going to be doing primarily big water fishing and if I wanted to do a little occasional "show-boat" casting for my buds, then I'd take the Z-Axis. For other water (which is what I fish most of the time), if I had to do it over again, I'd take the BIIx.
The BIIx is about the best all-around rod I've ever used, cast or owned. It's really that simple. The test I do with 'fishing' rods is to see if they work close-in and at normal fishing ranges. When I got my first BIIx (a 6 weight) my first casts were in the 20-30' range. It worked and felt so nice and alive at those ranges, I just knew it couldn't handle long casts. Boy was I wrong! A haul or two and the line was in the backing. That right there sold me on them.
I have no problem getting distance out of them either. The key there is SMOOOTH! Horse those rods and they'll tail every time.
If you like rods that are very light weight, have range up the wazoo and are drop-dead gorgeous, the choice is easy!
There is no substitute for trying the two rods yourself because your casting style and rod preferences might be different from the people who post on fly fishing forums. If you do not have any rods available to try, then refer back to Pocono's post - that is a good summary comparison of the two rods.
For myself, I find the Z-Axis two stiff. I don't need a rocket for casting in the areas where I usually fish. The BIIx handles flies of various sizes vary well and is perfect for what I need for casting 15 - 40 feet. If I did more lake fishing or if I fished on really wide rivers, I would probably have a Z-Axis.
I just spent this fall trying most all Scotts G, G2, SES, SCS, S3, Z axis and the Borron IIx ( I purchased all 8 rod on ebay over 4 months)
Borron and Z are two different rods. Try them on stream first and you will see.
The Borron is absolutely the lightest rod you will ever pick up. And it can lay out a top water presentation like dropping a feather on a cotton ball. For a light rod it can actually cast like no other also.
However, I love the Z. I actually got a 10' Z and am enjoying long cast and nymphing pickup like no other (except the Scott G2)
It is all about you, your technique and what you want to fish. For nymphing I found I snagged hooked more with the Borron than I did with the Z. If I just cast this rod on the lawn I wouldn't have known.
PS.. I am about to try to Resell all but 3 of the rods in the classified. Drop me a note if you are interested. The Borron is a 4wt.
Thanks for answers. For that moment I unfortunately can't try both rods. None of my friends has these rods and I can no possibility to try them. I hesitate between these rods because I read a lot of good words about them and more people think that B IIx is better. But... few months ago I purchased in Winston Vapor. Rad was quite nice but it was badly made - guides were not in the same line - they were badly aligned. I wrote to Winston but they did not want to resolve this problem - I would have to pay additionally for shipment and insurance, what was bad idea for me. Producer is responsible for quality not customer I found it unjust that I would have to pay additionally for somebody's mistake. So I am afraid of rod with mark of Winston.
I think I will try to find another of my colleagues - fly fishermen who have one of these rods and I think I will nave to visit them for tests. And additionally it will be good occasion to met them.
.. few months ago I purchased in Winston Vapor. Rad was quite nice but it was badly made - guides were not in the same line - they were badly aligned. I wrote to Winston but they did not want to resolve this problem - I would have to pay additionally for shipment and insurance, what was bad idea for me. Producer is responsible for quality not customer I found it unjust that I would have to pay additionally for somebody's mistake. So I am afraid of rod with mark of Winston.
The Vapor and the BIIx are vastly different types of rods. When you look at both of them, you can tell that the Vapor is clearly an inexpensive rod, while the BIIx is clearly an expensive rod. Also, I have not heard of anyone having problems with repairs. If you want to get more opinions, go to the Winston forum and ask the folks there - people on that forum are very honest about anything they don't like or want Winston to change Winston Rods :: Index
I have a BIIX, and got it for a sweet deal, but love it non the less. I have wanted the Z for years in fact I also wanted the ZXL. While at the fly tying expo in I.F this year, I got to try both......I WANTED A SAGE AGAIN. But, I tried ST2, Gold, Ridgeline, Windcutter on both rods and have to say I am glad I went with the BIIx and the JWF. I was surprised and a little disappointed with the Sage, but, maybe if I had cast them first, the story would be different.........naw!
The Vapor and the BIIx are vastly different types of rods. When you look at both of them, you can tell that the Vapor is clearly an inexpensive rod, while the BIIx is clearly an expensive rod.
I think that inexpensive rods should be inexpensive because of material used for their production.
I think that workmanship should be on the same level as other rods. You can use less expensive blank, guide, thread etc. but You should build rod in right way.
Basic mistakes with guide alignment should have no place in such a exclusive rod producer. That's my opinion.