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Old 04-24-2009, 10:21 AM
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Default 2nd rod

Hello All,

I have a sage 486-LL that I thought was going to be my only rod that I would buy. I trout fish in Wisconsin on small to medium streams. I mostly fish double nymphs with weight and an indicator and this can be challenging. I've been looking at a 5 or 6 wt, sage z axis or zxl, 9' or 9'6". I have a couple of questions and I was wondering if you guys could help me with my choice. I've tried the z axis but not the zxl.

1)I've been told that a medium action is better for nymphs because it doesn't throw as tight of a loop. But wouldn't a faster action like the z axis be nice to have the horse power if needed and you can always open the loop with your cast? But I've also been told the z axis can handle double nymphs with and indicator pretty well?

2)Do most multi-rod people stick with one kind of action? Or is it better to have some fast and some medium? Having both would be nice to choose from. I'm worried that it will be difficult changing back and forth from my medium action LL to the z axis.

3)Is a 5 wt too close to my 4 wt?

4)I've always thought that fast action rods were for experts. I've been fly fishing for about 12 years and in now way would I consider myself an expert. I got the medium action as my first to mask my mistakes. I'm afraid going to the z axis would be frustrating.

Thanks,
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: 2nd rod

2) i am definitely a multi-rod person. at the least, i have different rods with different actions for different fishing conditions. sheltered canyon small stream with dries and small weighted nymphs, i use medium or medium-fast actioned rods from 3wt and up. lakes and reservoirs known for wind and throwing big weighted clousers with fast sinking lines for bigger fish, i use fast tip action rods. and everything in between.

3) you'll probably get the general consensus that a 4 is too close to a 5wt but i generally disagree with that. for instance, a medium action 8' 4wt is very different from a 9' tip action 5wt. people tend to forget the differences in action and lengths when it comes to generalizations.

4) beginners MIGHT have problems with a fast action rod but the human species in general is very adaptable and if that's the only rod that person has, they could learn to cast it fine with time and/or advice. i think you might be falling for the advertising claims from companies since in your case 12 years is more than enough time flyfishing to be able to adjust to a different actioned rod.

*** now, a fast action rod may not be the best or right TOOL for small to medium sized streams. that's a different subject altogether. since i don't fish double nymph rigs i'll let those who do suggest rod sizes.

i'm a bit surprised that after 12 years you still only have 1 rod. that LL series is one of the best so i understand. on one hand i congratulate you for not feeling the need to spend Spend SPEND and accumulate rods but on the other hand, i see how gluttonous and weak i myself have been. you've shown me how much of a gear ***** i've become and i don't like you at all right now. lol but seriously, if you fish double weighted nymphs and have found it challenging with your rod, yes, a 2nd rod may be in store for you. hopefully those with knowledge of similar fishing setups can suggest something that would work better for your style. and if you want to get rid of that LL, let me know. ;-)


eric
fresno, ca.
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: 2nd rod

The Z is as easy to cast a fast action rod as you'll find. Great rod in my opinion. I have only been fly fishing for 2.5 years and was scared I wouldn't be able to "handle" a rod with that fast of an action. I was wrong, and that has nothing to do with my ability and everything to do with the rod.

As far as getting a 5 or 6, I would get a six. Ezamora brings up a good point about a medium action 4 and a fast action 5 being different enough, I just still think a 6 would be more versatile, especially if you ever encounter wind in your fishing. You can open up your loop easy enough on a fast action rod to handle that rig you often fish.

Check out the new Flight from Sage as well. It handles very close to the much more expensive Z. I have cast both side by side and ended up buying the Flight.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: 2nd rod

Sisu,

This may seem a bit hard to follow but awhile back I received a question similar to what you are asking in this thread. The question was complex and the answer somewhat wordy but if you take the time to read them they may help you to decide what to buy. After all, this stuff is expensive.

The question;

A member wrote; “Thanks for your advice but I am stuck and appreciate your feedback. I have a 4Wt. St.Croix Avid matched with an Orvis CFO II 2-4Wt with 4Wt line. I then have a Orvis Mid-Arbor reel 5-6 with 6Wt. line matched up with my G-Loomis 6Wt rod. I had just purchased a TFO 5 weight and am still having problems deciding on a reel. My thoughts are if I get the 1.5 which is for 4-5Wt and put the 5Wt line on it then it can be used for both the 4Wt rod and the 5Wt rod. And my mid arbor could be used for both the new 5Wt. and its original use of the G-Loomis 6Wt.
BUT: I find my mid-arbor reel to be quite heavy of a reel on my 6Wt rod already and could definately go with a lighter reel, being the Velocity 2 with a possible spare spool so that I could use it for both the 5Wt and 6Wt, or will I regret not having the option to possibly putting a reel in the gap so that I can use the 4Wt rod with 5Wt line the odd time when wanting to throw some heavier nymphs. BUT I think that was the main reason for getting the 5Wt rod anyway. Sorry if I rambled too much but I would love your input.”

The answer;

[Please remember that these are only personal observations based on my own experience and I make no claims of being a certified expert regarding fishing or tackle. I’m just some guy who tries to share real stuff with others.]

The issue seems complex but perhaps you are caught in the mindset created by either marketing or too many articles that split hairs when it comes to the 4, 5, 6Wt. rods. I have a few rods and one is a 6’ 6” Orvis flea cane rod. It was intended for 4wt line but I have used a #3 DT on it since I got it 17 years ago. My take on a three or four weight rod was that they would be used for light trout in relatively small stream conditions. The soft action of the little three allows for slow motion casts with pin point accuracy so the niche was filled with that choice. On it I use a Hardy Featherweight and it balances at the winding check.

I do not have a 4wt currently but did. I bought a St Croix 7’ 4wt ultra and quickly found (after I had bought a Flyweight for it) that I had no real need or application for the rod or the line weight. I sold the rod and the reel on eBay two years ago.

Now the five weights, this is a very useable rod & line combo for general trout fishing. I have two of them. One is an old 7’9” Far & Fine and the other a 9’ 4pc. PM10. I was working too hard with the Far & Fine on Big Pine Creek in Pa. when I was waist deep in the water so I bought the longer rod to make me tall again when in the creek. The 9’ #5 will throw streamers very well even with a 48” lead head attached especially in a power roll cast situation. It also will make great work of dry fly fishing with a variety of sized flies.

Next we move to 6wt. rods. I have one but I have one because it too is an Orvis cane rod. It is an 8’ 2pc. Battenkill 6wt. I have it because I always wanted a mid length wet or dry fly cane rod and it satisfied that want for me but sees relatively little use because I can do anything with the 5wt. 9’ graphite that I can do with the cane 6wt. and the graphite is more powerful with less effort being used to propel the line.

Speaking in terms of graphite now, in most cases you will find that the difference / advantage experienced between a 9’ 5wt & a 9’ 6wt will be minimal at best. If you are an accomplished caster you will choose one rod over the other and use it for most of your fishing. So where is all of this bantering about these rods going? I believe that if you are fishing for trout most of the time you should have a good 5wt. and a good 7wt. both 9’ long. The five will handle all or most of your needs for dry fly fishing in the east or west and for those windy days or when you expect to use heavy streamers or other types of flies the seven will be hard to beat. Furthermore when you decide to try your hand at steelhead or light salmon you will not have to go rod shopping.

When it comes to the actual weight of the reels for any of your rods I’ll stick to the theme of making sure they balance out at or near the winding check and that they provide enough backing capacity to allow for that particular time when you hook something allot bigger than you planned on in water allot faster than usual.

So there you have it, if you find yourself having rods that can actually share the same reel then you have too many rods that are way too close to one another in line weight, length and performance capabilities. Not a pleasant thing to be told or to read. If you actually like each rod and have developed a sentimental bond to them then I would say that each piece of your collection needs to have its own dedicated reel to match that individual rod. If no such bond exists then perhaps it is time to rethink the situation before you have yourself in a quandary that requires for executive decision making before going fishing leastwise you could find yourself carrying them all in your car or truck because you feel that you must be prepared for any number of conditions you may encounter. The worst case scenario is that while you are away from your car some deadbeat breaks in and takes all of the equipment that you don’t have in your hands while fishing.

I know this may not be as exact an answer as you were hoping for but given the number of rods, lines and combo’s that you described in your question it is what I came up with. The important points are as follows; get a good short rod in light weight for those little mountain brooks with lots of trees and laurel, have a good 9’ 5wt. for all the medium to large dry fly applications and a good 9’ 7wt. for all other conditions that will no doubt come along.

Let me know your thoughts on this dissertation,
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: 2nd rod

Ezamora I'm definitely a gear ***** too, so don't feel too bad. I have a lot of other hobbies and it's hard not to run wild. I told myself that if I was going to spend that kind of money on a rod then it would be my only one. Now I'm thinking maybe one more....ok maybe two more... tops You are right the LL is a great rod, I love it. I just think that I'm asking to much of it to do every thing. I was able to try the zxl yesterday and I could definitely cast it better then the z axis. But maybe with practiceI'm thinking if I go with the z-axis it will be the 9' 5wt. If I go with the 9' zxl I don't know if it would be a 5wt or 6wt.

Hardyreels, I also have a featherweight on my sage 486-LL and love it. Where is the winding check that you are talking about?

I understand the importance of using what feels best for me, but the 9' 5wt z-axis seems to be a very popular rod. It makes me think that "they" know something I don't?
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Old 04-25-2009, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: 2nd rod

The ZXL is superior in my opinion. The 6wt is a very versatile rod. That's all
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: 2nd rod

I have two 6wt rods a scott A2, and fly logic FLP and there both medium fast rods, and use tandem rigs alot fishing for G.L steelies with them. I tried out a sage z axis and didnt care for it MYSELF but can see were a fast action might come in handy. So hope this helps out!!!!
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: 2nd rod

Okay.....My wife and I were fishing with 6wts this afternoon, and were targeting crappie and samll LMB. She was using a 9' ZXL, and had a blast with
some decent size crappie caught on a wooly bugger. Something was bulging
about 20 feet away, and when she cast her bugger over there, she hooked
into a HUGE carp. She went bananas (not unusual when she hooks into a
big one), and retrieved the line by wrapping it around her left hand . Anyway, by the time I was able to grap the 3X leader,
it was taut as a guitar string, and there was quite bend in the rod. I'm just
about back to using 6wt's for anything bigger than a small trout stream.
The ZXL is a fast action by 1990's standards, and a moderately fast action
compared to a Z-Axis. The ZXL has a supple tip, but it's not wimpy or bouncy.
It's made my wife's casting about 1000% better, and she's happy as could be,
even with the high cost.

So where's the pic of the huge carp? I netted it, put the camera in my mouth,
and tried to hand her the carp. She wouldn't take it, and I was mumbling "It's
okay. They don't bite." When she finally took the fish, she squeezed it
too hard (I was protesting with a camera in my mouth ), and it popped out
of her hands before I was able to get a shot...LOL!
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: 2nd rod

a winding check is the (usually) metal ring right in front of the cork grip on a fly rod, largely a cosmetic flourish/finishing touch.

eric
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(pretending i'm hardyreels)
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: 2nd rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisu View Post
1)I've been told that a medium action is better for nymphs because it doesn't throw as tight of a loop. But wouldn't a faster action like the z axis be nice to have the horse power if needed
Therein lies the problem with having only 1 or 2 rods!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisu View Post
2)Do most multi-rod people stick with one kind of action? Or is it better to have some fast and some medium? Having both would be nice to choose from. I'm worried that it will be difficult changing back and forth from my medium action LL to the z axis.
Yes, you can learn to use the same rod for nymphs and streamers, but it is so much more fun to have multiple rods....and they are much easier to cast when using them for what they were designed. I used a Sage SLT (precursor to the ZXL) for nymphs, larger dries, and larger streamers. It is not easy to cast that rod with large, heavy, wet streamers but I learned to do it. This year, I bought a TCX specifically for streamers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisu View Post
4)I've always thought that fast action rods were for experts. I've been fly fishing for about 12 years and in now way would I consider myself an expert. I got the medium action as my first to mask my mistakes. I'm afraid going to the z axis would be frustrating.
Casting style is more important than "expertness" in determining whether you would benefit from a fast action rod. You have been fly fishing longer than me and I do not have trouble going back and forth b/w slower and faster rods. Also, if you think the Z might be frustrating, be sure you give the Z a good test before buying one. Many/most people do well with the Z. I am not one of those people. For some reason, the Z is more difficult for me to cast than anything else made by Sage. When I started looking for a streamer rod, I really thought I would end up with a Z-Axis. Even though I do very well with the SLT, the TCX (labeled as "ultra fast") turned out to be a better rod for me than the Z.
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