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pdq 5oh 07-02-2009 09:26 PM

Which Rod
Well, I made the mistake (glad I did) of casting a 4wt Sage ZXL. I'm now an owner. What an incredible rod. So, I've decided to get a new rod for steelhead, bass, and throwing bigger flies at trout when necessary. I'm considering a Z-Axis (6wt, 9.5' with fighting butt) and an SLT (7wt, 9' with fighting butt). I don't have the opportunity to cast either. As I understand it the SLT was replaced by the ZXL. Given that I expect the action should be somewhat similar. I tend to prefer a med/fast rod. The Z-Axis, from what I hear, is a fast action rod that's more forgiving than one might expect. What I'm looking for are recommendations from people who have fished these two rods. I realize the 7wt may be the better rod for steelhead but, I've had little problems with them using my current 6wt rod, with no fighting butt. I suspect I'll fish most for the bass in my ponds, and steelhead next. Thanks for any input.

MoscaPescador 07-02-2009 09:54 PM

Re: Which Rod
The 697-4 Z-Axis isn't as fast as other rods on the market. I still consider it fast, but it is not as fast as the XP that it replaced. The Z-Axis in this configuration generates as much, if not more, line speed as the XP.

The Sage 790-4 SLT is a true medium fast rod. If you want to use it as a Steelhead rod, you are going to give up a few things. It is 6 inches shorter. You lose some reach for high stick nymphing. Its natural flex is more towards the middle, so it won't pull indicator, split shot or putty, and a nymph or two as well as a stiffer rod. Being a softer rod, it won't be able to cast tighter loops into the wind.

If you really wish for more of a medium-fast feel, upline the the Z-Axis with a 7 weight long bellied line (Rio Atlantic Salmon/Steelhead Line, SA Mastery Steelhead Taper). It will cause the rod to flex more towards the midsection rather than the tip during a cast.


I own a 9' 4 weight ZXL. It's my dry fly/soft hackle rod. The rod rocks!

pdq 5oh 07-02-2009 10:36 PM

Re: Which Rod
MP, thanks. That's exactly the info I'm looking for. Everything you say makes perfect sense. One thing, given the SLT is a 7wt, do you think the Z-Axis will still be handle more weight on the line (weighted nymphs, indicator, etc)? Thanks.

MoscaPescador 07-03-2009 11:12 AM

Re: Which Rod
Hmmm... I thought that I responded to this. The 6 weight Z can handle plenty of weight on the line.


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