My question was based on the recent thread about fast vs. medium action rods. Some people, including myself, think it is important to have at least one fast rod for windy days and for heavier flies. Based on that, last summer, I added a Sage TCX to my quiver to use as a streamer rod and for casting from a kayak on smaller lakes. I prefer using slower rods, like the Winston BIIt/WT or the Scott G2.
The TCX does its job, but I am not able to cast as accurately with it as I can with slower rods. The guys at my local shop say I just need to practice with it more (but I don't like it as well as slower rods, so I don't practice with it ). So, I am wondering if I should sell the 6 wt TCX and buy a slower action 7 wt. Would a slow action 7 wt give me the power I need/want for windy days and big flies? Or should I quit complaining and just practice more with the TCX?
If I were you (be glad I'm not), I'd just try some more rods. I have found, through a very expensive process of elimination, that some rod brands or models within a brand just don't suit me. You will likely find a fast rod that DOES suit you. A case in point from my experience - I love Loomis NativeRun GLX's. got a batch of 'em. Wicked fast and wicked light. But I got a 10 foot 7 weight in that series that I just couldn't get a handle on (pun intended). However, the 9'6" 7 wt suits me to a T. I would just try some different brands of faster rods rather than giving up on the concept based on your experience with only one rod.
Happy Hunting, Gary
While I agree that you can slow the TCX down with a heavier line, that seems to sort of defeat the purpose of having the 6wt in the first place. If you're going to have to hang a 7 wt on a 6wt rod to make it work, why not just use a 7wt rod? I'm sure its just me, but every time I've had to overline a rod to make it "work" for me, the rod just felt clunky...and off to ebayland it went.
gt, rod weight/action is such a personal thing that I think it might be worth BlueDun's time to try a heavier line. It might not work, but if it does, the solution is rather inexpensive.
Personally, I've played around with overlining and have had mixed results:
Scott A3 3wt. w/ a 3wt line: the rod would work ok with dries & hopper/dropper setups. As soon as I added a bit of weight, the rod seemed to just collapse. A knowledgeable shop owner suggested I overline it and it just didn't work.
SAGE Z-axis 3 wt. An amazing rod w/ a 3wt line but it always takes me a while to get used to it, especially after using my TXL ooo or Winston IIt 3wt....
So, I loaded it up with a SA GPX 3wt line that supposedly is a 3.5wt line and I think it takes me less time to get used to the z-axis.
Anyway, the bottom line is that all that "feel" stuff is a personal manner so I would say experiment (more than once) before making a decision such as getting rid of a potentially perfectly fine rod.
Uplining is a great way to fine tune a rod. Does it work for every rod? Maybe. Maybe not. That's for the caster to decide. The rod weight designations are just designations. What Jerry might think is a six weight may be something that Tim or Steve might think is a seven.
Back to the original post. Will a slower seven weight work just as well or better as a fast six? In my experience, yes and maybe. It will work just as well or better in terms of casting comfort. It should feel like an old friend. It might work as well in the delivery for power, but I would be concerned about how tight of a loop that you could create with the flies that you may be using. Remember that anyone could throw a tight loop with a tuft of yarn on the end of leader. The situation is different when one ties on a fly that is heavy and wind resistant.
Back to lines. What kind of lines are you using? Floaters? Sink tips? Shooting heads? When it comes to casting streamers, grain mass of the line is everything. The heavier lines have the mass to help load rods more for those bulky, waterlogged, wind resistant flies. I rarely use a floater on my fast six weight. I mostly use sink tips with 15 to 24 foot sections. The head mass varies from 185 grains to 225 grains.
You bought a special rod for a special purpose and discovered it doesn't cast as accurate as other rods probably made for accurate casting. You wanted a streamer rod and went to a Very Fast action that should be a dandy streamer rod. If you decide accuracy is more important than bucking wind then the TCX may not be the best rod for you. You might want to consider a Sage Z-Axis. I would cast one and if it doesn't measure up I think you need to drop back to a medium to fast action rod.
It has been my experience that streamer fishing is not an accuracy game like dry fly fishing is. I have never been a really accurate caster but still catch my share of fish. I have never thought of a steamer rod in terms of accuracy.
I sure agree that fly rod "fit" is a very personal thing...I suspect that's why there are quite a few companies making rods!
Its too bad fly lines are so darn expensive because, as several have noted above, a change of line can really change the way a rod works for you. For years I used Orvis lines, then a couple years ago a guide turned me on to Sage (made by Rio) Performance Taper II fly lines - I switched every floating line I owned, 2 to 10 wt, over to them. All my rods got better and my casting got better. BUT, Orvis made (mebbe still does) a line that they stated was a half line weight heavier than everybody else's standard line; it is still my go to for bass fishing.
So there's a thought: maybe try a bass or pike taper on that TCX. As Frank noted, you said you were going for a streamer rod; accuracy isn't incredibly critical in most streamer fishing situations.
Regarding the Sage TCX, here's Sage's description: Evolved from our popular TCR Series, TCX rods redefine the extreme distance category, as we continue to push the outer boundaries of fly rod performance.
I suppose some people fish with TCX rods, but like others have said it's a specialty rod. The Sage Z-Axis is a fast rod, but still fishes well. Moscapescador sells these rods, and if he says you can slow it down, he's probably right. OTOH, you might never like the rod given the other rods you have a preference for. Go to the store, and try some more. Leland Outfitters
has a program that allows you to trade in your rod for store credit: they sell it on ebay, and apply the proceeeds to your purchase. Angler's Habitat does the same thing. With so many different types of rods available, struggling with a rod you don't like isn't necessary.
P.S. A Sage Z-Axis 5wt will toss 3" Clouser minnows into the wind all day, and dead-on using a SA GPX line.
Wow! Lots of great info in everyone's responses! I am going to have to experiment with line. I usually use a sink tip line, but have to dig out the box to be more specific about grain etc...
Re: the Z-Axis, I have tried just about every wt from 3 thru 8 at various times, but simply cannot cast that rod. The TCX, ZXL, TXL, SLT (my other 6 wt) and Xi2 are all far easier for me to cast than the Z-A.
Also, interesting point about accuracy with a streamer rod....something else I had not considered! I think some of the issue with accuracy was in sight casting to carp, but that is a different issue than my initial intended purpose of using it as a streamer rod.
Actually, thanks to all of your responses, I am looking forward to playing around with the TCX in by backyard to see what I can do with line to make it work better for me. It really is a great rod and despite the stiffness, it is very sensitive to even the little nibbles from small panfish.