SeabassLove

Sage Z Axis 12'9 8wt

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Hi,

 

I flyfish for seabass in France usually with an 8wt single hand and want to try overhead casting two handed rods.

I can have a Sage Z axis 12'9 8wt at a decent price and wonder if this rod would do the trick ?

kind regards,

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Depends.

 

If you wish to fish open exposed places then the 8 wt is not ideal no matter how good the price. I fish  for EuropeanSea Bass in the Uk and we have similar conditions to you.

 A 9 wt or better still a 10 wt will work much better.

 

Dont throw good money on a rod which nice as it is for the application it was designed for is not going to cut it in the salt.

 

You would be better off with a 10 wt single hand rod by a long way.

 

Mike

 

 

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Thank you a lot for the answer.

I would like to use this kind of rod to blind cast farther in calm condition. This would work with this one ?

I looked at the Beulah opal surf in 7/8 but they seem dificult to find in Europe.

Have you got any rod recommendation for two handed overhead cast in the salt in moderate wind ?

I fish really well with an 8wt but want to try something else.

thank you.

Edited by SeabassLove

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1 hour ago, SeabassLove said:

Thank you a lot for the answer.

I would like to use this kind of rod to blind cast farther in calm condition. This would work with this one ?

I looked at the Beulah opal surf in 7/8 but they seem dificult to find in Europe.

Have you got any rod recommendation for two handed overhead cast in the salt in moderate wind ?

I fish really well with an 8wt but want to try something else.

thank you.

Z-axis should be fine casting 450...500gr line and perform somewhat like a 9wt single hand setup so better than your current 8wt. Opal 7/8 is not stiffer and obviously would not like heavier line and when it is shorter you need to cast shorter line head so Z-axis is slightly better.

 

Mike would not recommend his rod and blank design but I can :)

 

Performance comes from the fly line weight! Hauling roughly doubles the line energy but when TH casting without hauling the line needs to be heavier. For me 1.5 times heavier to about same performance. When I cast to head wind and fly is small my SH casting wins because of higher line speed and narrower line loop. But when fly is big a TH setup wins because heavier line momentum comes higher and when line speed is lower its wind resistance stays lower and when casting to tail wind using a longer rod I can launch higher and wind effect lasts longer.

 

Esa

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1 hour ago, SeabassLove said:

Thank you a lot for the answer.

I would like to use this kind of rod to blind cast farther in calm condition. This would work with this one ?

I looked at the Beulah opal surf in 7/8 but they seem dificult to find in Europe.

Have you got any rod recommendation for two handed overhead cast in the salt in moderate wind ?

I fish really well with an 8wt but want to try something else.

thank you.

Echo 2 scandi 9wt - 12'6" would work (you could look for one used for under $200 USD).  Fits the bill for light to moderate wind, especially with the right line.  Grain weight range for overhead IMO is 450 - 550 or so.  Way more grains can be used for traditional spey usage.  I line mine with a Tarpon 12w or 13w line or Rio Outbound 11 (465g) or 12 (530g).  I also use a full sink integrated line (Sci Anglers Coastal Express), or shooting heads (Sci Anglers skagit intermediate at ~460g - 480g) on that rod.  The rod comes with two tips.  It is 1 1/2 feet longer than the Beulah surf 9/10 and takes essentially the same lines, maybe a bit more grain weight.

 

I seem to remember that there is also a Greys scandi rod - the XF2s - in 9wt that is very similar to the above in specifications and is lighter than the Echo2.  Can maybe find new old stock for around $250.  They are not as sturdy as the Echo rods IMO but may be more available in Europe.

 

Other options,  including the usual rods discussed here (Beulah surf, CND, TFO Pandion) in "off the shelf" TH rods are not that much better than the above IMO, unless you are willing to pay 2-3 times more or get a rod specifically built for TH/OH in wind (but you actually specified light to moderate winds so I feel highly confident that the above two rods would work in those conditions).

 

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57 mins ago, SeabassLove said:

thank you so much for the answer, I will try to find the rod you told me.

If I can't find any of this rod would you take the 12'9 8wt Sage Z-axis  ?

I haven't cast one, and all my two hand rods are between 11' and 12'6"  The three extra inches won't matter much.  I probably would look it and try it out first with a line or two.  But if you could get it for a decent price (maybe $300 or less) then I guess it could be useful enough to buy it for light to moderate wind.

 

I probably am of a different opinion than Mike and a few others here.  Rods that are 11' -11'9" are just fine for me doing what I do and going where I fish (includes air travel and luggage issues).  I do have a longer rod or two but these get used for traditional spey (water loaded casts) near home water more than used OH on warm beaches.   It's a logistics thing for me...primarily, but also the performance characteristics of 11'-12' rods appeal to me more than some folks here.

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As you wish to fish in calm conditions then no probs with the Z Axis. In fact most 8wt TH would be fine. It will also double as a fine fresh water salmon rod.

 

As a general statement I like the Z Axis family of rods. Sage make excellent rods.

 

 Not all of us here fish the same water so have different gear requirements.

I think you have enough info now to make an informed decision.

 

Mike

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3 hours ago, SeabassLove said:

thank you so much for the answer, I will try to find the rod you told me.

If I can't find any of this rod would you take the 12'9 8wt Sage Z-axis  ?

 

 

Yes for the conditions you say you will use it for.

 

mike

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Spey/scandi rating for the three rods (published ratings are not always accurate):

 

Sage 12' 9" 8w Z axis - 600g

 

Greys XF2s 12' 8wt (scandi version) - 600g

 

Echo 2 12' 6" 9wt - 660g

 

The reports on another web page indicate that the Sage rod is fast, with a thinner tip.  The Echo2 is a beast of a scandi rod, a bit more moderate in flex than the other two and is heaviest and most durable of the three rods.  The Greys XF2s is a shorter rod, lighter but similar action - but perhaps has a stiffer tip than the Sage.  Any of these three rods will perform in moderate wind with large flies.  For overhead casting all three should be able to throw 450 to 500+ grains easily. 

 

Caveat:  I have only had casting experience with the Echo2.  I am not a TH/OH casting expert like ESA or Mike.

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Killie

 

Never did like that verb expert. I think it could be reasonably applied to ESA but not to myself. I have a pragmatic approach to TH casting. I found it necessary to develop my own style and cast and let the conditions guide me plus taking the essential elements of a cast from people like Simon Gawesworth and ESA.

I do cast and fish single hand fly rods a great deal and what struck me was that within reason any single hander could be made to work for you in clement conditions to inclement. Talking 9 and 10 wts.

In the years that I have been involved with TH rods I have rarely found the same  level of adaptability.

Mainly because the vast majority of TH are simply not designed for salt water use.

This thread in common with a great many of them in the past is centred around trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole.

It only seems to happen with TH rods for salt water use. Most of us for instance would not dream of taking a  River Trout fly rod and expect great things from it as a general purpose salt water fly rod. We are likely to end up pretty disappointed and frustrated.

If the OP always manages to find calm water and calm conditions he will be fine with the Z Axis.   That’s a tough call as the fish don’t always habit such places. For a while I fished a 12 foot rod which was supposed to be a ten  weight and later we established it was a seven. We fished a 550 grain line on it and with side winds it was amazing. Anything from behind or in front and it was a pack of playing cards.

This is what leads me to think is the reason for the often quoted statement that some guys can cast a SH 10 wt in windy conditions better than their TH.

I fished a TH Scandinavian  designed rod in the  Cape last year rated for 410g by maker. In the conditions in a back bay it struggled and my SH rod was much better throwing 280g.

I appreciate your view that my focus is on rods for Out Front useage which really is no different to a Fisher who wants a SH rod for general purpose use. They need Out  Front the capability to when those conditions prevail. They don’t carry two SH rods . One for calm and one for not so calm. It is just not practical.

The message I have been trying to convey for a long time is that if you do use Fresh water designs and you find the going difficult it is not because TH rods are bad per say it’s because you had the wrong stick.

Esa has seen the potential for using spinning rods and carp rods before anyone else. Without doubt in my mind this is the lowest cost way to acquire a general purpose TH rod. Now multi piece rods of this kind are available it makes transportation of them easier.  I suspect the better versions will be two piece. That is where I would start looking. To test a finished rod it is very easy to simply tape on a sliding winch fitting Fuji do one onto the butt and make casts.

If the test rod is available in a blank and you like it easier of course to build than have to tear down a finished rod and re build.

But I wonder how many would bother to make the effort.

 

Mike

 

 

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Mike, I didn't mean any offence with the label of "expert" - quite the opposite. 

 

I agree that a two piece rod blank would be a better and cheaper place to start than a complete rod.   I don't know of any company except Century though that makes 5 piece blank for surf.   My need is for a heavy travel surf spin rod that I would use maybe one or two times per year.  Not really that great a need so I won't spend more than $150-200 total.  The Century 5 piece surf blanks alone are over $500.

 

The rods mentioned above are compromises that I would live with for the kinds of fishing I like to do more frequently (~ 10-15 times a year or light to moderate windy conditions).  As long as they work well with an 11w or 12w Outbound line or a 12 or 13w Tarpon line they meet my needs.   I only own the Echo2 but consider it the best of the three for heavier flies.

 

For a cheap way to get a travel ready rod that can go over that rating (essentially a 13w or 14w rod if single hand rated) I simply don't know how one would do this, but on a lark I will try anyway.  I am willing to experiment but won't put that much money or effort into it because it's not my main focus to end up with a dedicated fly rod solution for high winds.

 

Re: the rod Esa and I were discussing.  For $99 I will take my chances - most likely I will use that 2-6 oz five piece rod as a spin travel rod, but if it holds up for a season (pieces fit together and stay put properly under strain) I may try to adapt it to a spin/fly rod eventually.  Oh, and for sure I will tape the ferrules with friction tape.

Edited by Killiefish
fix stuff

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I know the Z-axis 8129.  I do not much care for this rod for river fishing, as it is very fast and stiff.  Those qualities would make it a fantastic rod for overhead.  It is one of the stiffest, fastest rods that Sage has made.  It received an "8 wt" designation because the tip section is flexible enough that the rod can be tip-cast with lighter lines.  However, the rod overall is quite firm and fast.  It will readily handle being pushed into a wind (if you are the "pushy" sort rather than relying on good timing to cast).  This ability to handle "pushing" would make it a great starter rod.  

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