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Fly rod preference?


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#1 sight_nymph

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 03:49 PM

It's been a little while since I've made any major upgrade to my equipment. I was looking for a 5 or 6 weight trout rod that was a fast or faster action. I discussed rods with Walt one day for quite some time. I'm listing my current rods below and would like to get some opinions from other guys as to what they like and has performed well for them.

St Croix Ultra 7'6" 3 wt
Sage (prior to LL series) 7'9" 3 wt
Ross Essence 8'6" 3 wt
Cabelas LST 9' 4 wt (don't laugh, it's actually a pretty nice rod... broke 2 though)
Reddington (from their 1st or 2nd year in business) 9' 4 wt
Sage XP (Clouser autographed) 8'6" 6 wt
Sage RPL+ 9' 6 wt (at Sage for repairs)

I was looking at getting a Z-Axis or a St Croix Legend Elite in a 9' 5 wt model. I've never cast either and would like to hear from someone that has. I may be open to a Scott, Loomis or other brand. People have a tendancy to get stuck in a rut.... like me using Cortland 444SL for 20 yrs. I was torn apart by a guide from Oregon that my line was using technology from the 70's and I don't know what I've been missing. I've now bought some RIO Gold and it has worked well.

If this thread doesn't seem to get any responses, maybe we could chat about what type of rod a mtn lion would prefer using. :D

#2 Guest__*

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 03:58 PM

Between the two that you have listed, I'd go with the Legend Elite. I've heard a ton of good feedback on them, and have gotten to fish a friend's 9' 5 wt. a couple of times. My go-to 5wt now is an Orvis T-3 (discontinued, but I fantastic), if that goes, then I'm definitely going with the Legend Elite.

#3 rdemarsjr

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 01:49 AM

I own all z-axis and xp rods, my 5,6,and 8 wts are z-axis and all 10ft rods. They are awesome. Dennis should have a 9' 5wt z-axis in stock if you want to test cast one. I fish the Delaware & Beaverkill quite a bit, if you want to try a rod out let me know and we can meet up. I have broken a few sage rods, always my own fault, and their customer service is outstanding! If you go to the flyfishing show in January in Somerset, Sage has a booth and brings all of their rods and you can test cast any of them

#4 dooberhoopa

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 02:03 PM

I got the TFO axiom in a 5 wt at the beginning of this year and i absolutley love it...i can fire a shot across a stream to a rising fish and it lays down nice and quiet or drop a cast a few feet away with the same effect...my fishin buddy uses all albright rods and loves those just as much as i love my TFO

#5 Del Gue

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:09 PM

What ever you choose think of the 4-piece version.

#6 Guest__*

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:03 PM

Doober,

Glad to hear that about the Albrights. I was thinking of ordering one b/c of the price, but wasn't sure since I haven't heard of anyone that uses them. TFO's are hard to beat for the buck.

#7 dooberhoopa

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 01:00 AM

yea he almost swears by em...has one in almost every wt up thru 12...he has others...but thats the one i always see in his hand

#8 John B

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:32 AM

We currently use TFO"s tirc and the x. Like whats been said for the price they are great and we really do not care if they get banged uped. I do find that the x is a little tuff on a short case. Maybe its my casting stoke. But jacqueline is picture perfect in casting the Ticr, you can ask Walt or Dennis. We teamed them up with SA flylines, alittle overweighted fly line helps. We nymph and dry fly, they are good doing both, but are a little sloppy with 3 nymphs and a lot of weight. A water haul usually fixes that. We have been using the same rods for 3 years but do change the fly lines. we did cast a few sages with bob jaclyn a few years ago and there is a difference to the better with a higher end rod. But the best rod of all is the one that catches fish on a dead drift and most of the time its the angler and not the rod even if its a VW or a Mecedes. Good Luck
PS the rods are 4 piece 9' 5wt.

#9 sight_nymph

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 02:15 PM

Now I'm even more confused. Didn't consider a TFO but need to do some checking into it. Anyone ever cast a Reddington CPX? Below I put reviews for the 2 rods that I had originally considered getting. Both reviews were by the same person....

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Sage Z-Axis, The BEST fly rods made!, August 26, 2008
By Zugbugz from Avondale, AZ

"I own two Z-Axis fly rods, a 590-4 and a 696-4. Both are awesome rods. I was the previous owner of an XP 586-4, and although I think the XP was a beautiful rod to fish, the Z-Axis is even better. It has all the advantages of a fast action rod, with none of the drawbacks. To be specific, the Z-Axis 5 weight handles like an 8'6" 4 weight on the stream, but has a lot more power and to top it off, like a good 4 wt, it has the delicacy to drop a small fly with nary a ripple. Many fast action 5 wts can't do that. You might get the power, but a broomstick-like feel up close. Or you might have great delicacy, but no power. With the Z-Axis you get both! I use the 6 wt for float tubing and nymphing and it has never failed to make me smile. It has tremendous power to chuck buggers, big dries or double-nymph rigs all day long without fatigue, but feels no heavier than the average 5 wt and has the "feel" of an SLT with the power of an XP - the best of both worlds! I love these rods - they aren't cheap of course, but in my opinion are worth every penny of their price. Check one out, my belief is you will love them too."

Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

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Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
St. Croix Legend Elite EFW865-4, September 2, 2008
By Zugbugz from Avondale, AZ

"I recently purchased St Croix's Legend Elite fly rod, model EFW865-4. I was unable to test cast one before purchasing, as our local Cabelas didn't carry it in stock. From prior experience with St Croix's wonderful fly rods, I had high expectations and went ahead and made the blind internet purchase. I had a Legend Ultra in the same size on hand and was anxious to compare the two. The Ultra is a fine rod and is rated as fast action. The new Elite is also rated fast, but its rendention of fast is indeed on another level. Having cast the Sage TCR before, I was taken with how similar this rod felt to it. Like the TCR, it feels extremely stiff in hand, but when you cast it, the rod really comes into its own, especially with more line out for a longer cast. This rod is a Ferrari in a sea of sedans. Its got the racy looks, is very light (both in weight and in the hand) and extremely high performance in nature. This rod is a loaded cannon! I wasn't expecting it to cast well up close but it does about as good as the Ultra, which is to say, very good. It will really throw some nice tight loops and has more feel than you would expect before casting it. At distance, it blows the Ultra away and has more power than any rod I've cast except maybe the Sage TCR. It will pull a big bugger, bunny leach etc out of the water with ease and cast it as far as your skill allows. This is a great streamer rod, which is why I purchased it in the first place. It feels stiffer than a Z-Axis, but loaded with a fish on, it bends in about the same place and plays a fish about the same. I haven't really tested it for tippet protection with a light tippet and dry fly, but I didn't purchase it as a dry fly rod. I suspect it will do OK, but I don't think it won't be as good in that regard as a softer rod. I also think the 8'6" will be just a bit stiffer in feel than a 9 footer would be, but I bought this for medium streams and fishing streamers, so the 8'6" seemed the better choice. If you are in the market for a TCR, you might also try the Elite (if you can find one) and test cast it beside the TCR. For about half the price of the TCR, you might just buy the Elite! Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase and recommend the Elite wholeheartedly, especially if you like to throw the big stuff!"

Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes

#10 sight_nymph

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 12:45 PM

Screw it. I got a 9' 5wt Z Axis.

#11 kflies

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 03:10 PM

You made the right choice! That review you had was right on IMHO! The 9'5wt Z has been excellent on WB type water...

#12 troutsmith

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 05:00 PM

XP vs. Z-Axis?

I'm also looking to upgrade my 5 wt with a Sage. I'm stuck between the XP and X-Axis. Any feedback from experienced Sage users would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

#13 sight_nymph

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 05:53 PM

I will be fishing the Catskills Th, Fr, Sa with my XP 6 wt and the new Z Axis 5 wt that just was delivered. After using both, I'll give you my feedback. ** Disclaimer ** My opinion will be based on my ability and may not be valid in all areas. :) If you are around those days, you're more than welcome to cast them side by side and see what you think.

I have a 9' 6wt Sage RPL+ that I've used for a while now. I under line the rod with a WF 5 and it works very well. PM me if you will be up and want to try them.

#14 troutsmith

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 06:11 PM

Thanks for the offer, unfortunatly, I'm stuck in CT this weekend. Hoping to fish the Housy on Sunday.

I'm leaning toward the Z-Axis based on feedback I've gathered and a try-out with a demo rod. With that said, it seems like there are quite a few die hard XP users out there that swear by them. I believe the XP has a faster action than the Z-Axis? The XP also happens to be $200 cheaper. It's been years since i've purchased a new rod and spend very little money on gear in general so I don't want to make price the determining factor.

#15 BrooklynFlyGuy

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:29 PM

I usually don't give advice on telling people what to purchase, but speaking as a "BIASED" XP user,I cannot think of a better Fly Rod and don't know how the Z-Axis can possibly any better. If the XP sells for $200.00 less as you stated then I would go with that.
Also know that the XP is being discontinued (again) and that is the reason why they sell for cheaper. There are quite a few fly fishers out there who know this and are picking them up.

#16 troutsmith

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 02:02 PM

Thanks for the feedback!

#17 sight_nymph

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 04:59 PM

Well, we fished the Esopus on Thursday with "EsopusGuy", Beaverkill and upper East Branch on Friday and the Lower East and Main Stem on Saturday. I used both the XP and the Z Axis. At first I wasn't impressed but as the trip wore on, I began to change my opinion. The new rod performed great in the wind. Long casts or short casts. It felt lighter in the tip than the XP. If you wanted to throw it longer, just pick up you tempo a little and it responded. If you have a very quick tempo or jerky stroke, the XP may work better for you. Unfortunately, didn't get to test the fighting ability on big fish but we caught quite a few in the 10-15" range. I didn't like spending that kind of $$$ but what a nice rod.

#18 troutpunk

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 08:31 PM

Personally I don't think the XP is a great rod for eastern trout fishing. It is very fast, I like something a bit slower for fishing small dries. It is also a great rod for longer casts, but I personally don't think it loads all that great when you want to drop something short.

The z-axis is a really nice rod, but I think the top of the line Scott (can't remember what it is) is a slightly better rod.

#19 dead drift

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 03:06 PM

I would not buy a rod until you have casted a Scott rod. The decision will be easy!

#20 Anthony Haskell

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 02:45 PM

Fellas:
Last year my buddy bob bought a 9' zero axis sage for a 5 from Walt. I have fished this rod and for me it is one of the nicest rods I have ever casted. That being said it ought to be because it is very expensive. I have a legend ultra 8 1/2' for a 5 which I like almost as much. It was much less expensive and if were a 2 piece rod instead of 4 I think it would be every bit as good as the sage.
Tight Lines Tony




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