I'd pour as much into the rod as possible. There is a difference between the
Sage rods...quite a difference. If you don't want to spend too much money,
try the ZXL 5wt's.
Honestly, I'd give the Flight and a St. Croix Avid the first shot. The Avid is
going to have a more true mod/fast action, and is a supple rod. The Flight
is going to be quicker, and a more stiff rod. Not opposite ends of the spectrum, but an indicator of what's available in terms of rod actions without
going to the extreme in either direction. Grap a Sage ZXL/Z-Axis and a VT2,
and hold one in each hand at the same time. Swing them around a bit, and
you're going to find the Z rods feel lighter in the hand. I don't feel like using
a rod that feels heavy any longer, so that might be another factor.
Like Mosca said, try to eliminate the contenders quickly, buy the one that
feels best to you, and then master it.