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Thread: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Tucson, AZ winter, Durango,CO summer

    Default SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    Today I stopped in at my local fly shop and test cast the Sage Z-Axis and ZXL rods in size 864-4 with a DT-4-W line.

    I thought that I would like the Z-Axis better as I thought I prefered fast action rods. Well, I ended up buying the ZXL which I would call a medium-fast action rod. Anyway, its slower than the Z-Axis and fits my casting style better.

    So, the moral of the story is to test cast rods before buying them.
    "I hear voices, they tell me to go fishing"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    Congrats on the new rod! I couldn't agree more about testing before you buy and there is nothing like a side-by-side test.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    Bingo! I was fishing that exact rod on the Delaware River today, and threw a#6 foam hopper, the foam hopper with a weighted Green Weenie dropper, and
    finally a 3 1/2 inch Clouser Minnow (bead chain eyes, not lead). I caught several smallmouth, and 3 small stripers. The rod makes catching bluegills fun, but rose to the occassion with a very large smallmouth in May, and an equally large brown trout in April. The Z-Axis does blast out line, but the ZXL handles wind just fine. Today's wind speeds were in the 12 mph range, and certainly more windy on the river. No problems.

    I use SA's GPX line on my rod, and have also used SA's Mastery Trout (WF). The GPX delivers the line in all conditions, but allows for a delicate presentation. The Mastery Trout hasn't been tried in wind, but is even more delicate....maybe a bit too delicate for my tastes, which is why I've only used it twice. This is the rod I use 99% of the time, and for a wide range of fish.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Merrimac, MA

    Default Re: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    I agree with Frank, the ZXL blank is really nice to fish with.

    My 9'0" ZXL 4 wt. has become my go-to "5 wt.". It will do everything that my 9'0" Z-axis 5 wt. will do (except casting the long ball; where the Z-axis really excels) and it's a much more sensitive blank.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    Quote Originally Posted by gbanker View Post
    So, the moral of the story is to test cast rods before buying them.
    So true. Enjoy your new toy.


  6. #6

    Default Re: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    I just bought a new 490-4 Z Axis... but I REALLY liked the ZXL. I wanted the Z to fire out a lot of line, which is why I picked it up. But I still think about that ZXL... It's a beautiful rod too boot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Murchison, South Island, New Zealand

    Default Re: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    The ZXL has a very sweet action - a classic dry fly rod !
    Felix Borenstein
    General Manager & Owner
    Owen River Lodge
    South Island, New Zealand

  8. Default Re: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    I now have both a Z-Axis 9' 6wt and a ZXL 8'6" 4wt and absolutely love them both. Z-Axis can send tight loops well into the backing and yet is still very sensitive to strikes and just a dream in general. The ZXL will also cast nice loops but just wont throw heavy nymphs into the wind very well. The ZXL is my go to rod for dry fly fishing unless Im fishing some of the larger rivers here in Maine like the Saco,Kennebec and Androscoggin. Ive landed landlocked salmon in the 18-22 inch range on both rods and even the ZXL had no problem bringing them out of the current and into the net. In my opinion both rods are equally great at what they are intended to do but the Z-Axis is a do everything rod.

  9. #9

    Default Re: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    It ought to work fine in the riffles on the South Fork fishing PMD's.

  10. Default Re: SAGE Z-Axis vs ZXL

    Even better would be to be able to fish both rods before buying. I find test casting in a parking lot in no subsitute for the real thing. The difficulty is finding a shop that will let you check out a rod for a few days.

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