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Thread: Sage Z-Axis in a 6 wt for big Kenai Bows?

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    Default Sage Z-Axis in a 6 wt for big Kenai Bows?

    Okay, instead of getting a flight I'm set on getting a Z-Axis 4 piece. Would be my first top of the line rod. I would like to get a 6 wt and was wondering if I could get some input on how well these handle the bigger Bows such as a 30"er on the Kenai. My 8 wt GL3 has handled a couple of these fine however never had the chance to hook into a hog yet with my 6wt GL3. The 6 sure does awesome with the mid 20 fish. Fly shop was thinking I might want to bump up to a 7wt, what do ya think as a go too rod for Dollies and Bows?

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    Quote Originally Posted by akarrow View Post
    Okay, instead of getting a flight I'm set on getting a Z-Axis 4 piece. Would be my first top of the line rod. I would like to get a 6 wt and was wondering if I could get some input on how well these handle the bigger Bows such as a 30"er on the Kenai. My 8 wt GL3 has handled a couple of these fine however never had the chance to hook into a hog yet with my 6wt GL3. The 6 sure does awesome with the mid 20 fish. Fly shop was thinking I might want to bump up to a 7wt, what do ya think as a go too rod for Dollies and Bows?
    Can't go wrong with the Z-Axis, I love mine. I have it in a 7wt, its a pretty versatile rod. I've got everything from dinker trout to some pretty big chums. These were in the valley and not on the kenai though...

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default Kenai rod

    Are you talking upper or middle Kenai? I use a 10ft 7wt z-axis for the upper, it is a great rod. I think the 6wt would handle most trout in the upper, but it won't get the bigger fish as fast as a 7 or 8wt, which could be more stressful to the fish. Just something to think about. Did you cast the 6wt at the shop? Everyone will tell you how great this or that rod is, but that is a lot of money to spend on other people's opinions. Try it out first.


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  4. #4

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    I agree with Jake, test drive a few sticks before you buy, especially when it comes to 6 bones or more. The ZAxis has a very nice progressive tapper that is designed to fit a broader range of casting styles over it's predecessor the XP.

    One thing to remember when selecting a rod size is to consider one the size of fish you are targeting and two the type of water you will be fishing. When it comes to the Kenai, you are dealing with Mid 20's and up fish with a lot of current. Fish know how to use the current to their advantage, so they will seem even heavier than they are. Over playing c&r fish is bad on them, it just stresses them out too much.

    My recommendation would be a 7 or 8wt.

    Another thing to consider is what you will be throwing. If you are throwing big articulated flies and in the wind, the 6 is going to be under gunned as well.
    "The Tug is the Drug"

  5. #5

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    I own the 6, 7, and 8 wt, z-axis, all in 9.5 ft:

    The 6 (model 697, saltwater butt) is my favorite rod; significantly better roll-cast and single-spey cast performance. If you examine these rods together, you'll see that the 7 has a much thicker and stiffer blank, most similar to the 8. So I would say the "go to" for me for larger dollies and most rainbows is the 6. I have tried the 10' z-axises, and while some people like them, I didn't.

  6. #6

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    I'd have no qualms with it for the bows. I regularly use mine for silvers and it's tops.

    But it's going to depend on what you're tying on the end of the line and your casting style. It doesn't particularly like bulky sculpins or flesh flies if they're packing much weight. That's easily solved with the right line and leader, but "standard" lines don't cut it for me with heavy, bulky flies on the 6. Line-up to a 7 Windcutter and use a stiff leader, and it will do just fine with those. But wimpy lines and leaders? Standing in fast water? Nah.

    I make my own heavy-fly leaders for it. This will sound heavy, but go for it if you're turning heavy flies: I use P-Line florocarbon end to end. 18" of 40#, 15" of 30#, 15" of 25#, 12" of 20#, 12" of 15#, and 15" of 12#. I don't go lighter than 12# when turning big flies.

    Others formulas and products will be different, but don't lose sight of the main point: Aggressive lines and aggressive leaders for heavy, bulky flies and you'll be fine.

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    Thanks for the input guys.

    I have cast the 696-4 and love it. However just on a gravel road and with a pretty beat up line. I've got the Bug bad, can't wait to get one out on the river! Dreaming of standing in a river waving my new rod and it's still January. After trying it out was told might not want to get one as I'd probably be wanting to replace all of my rods, and it wasn't the first time I'd heard that.

    Hmm, 3 or 4 wt for mid summer Grayling? Crap!

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    buy a st. croix ultra and have some gas money

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt26 View Post
    buy a st. croix ultra and have some gas money
    I agree with you Matt!

    For what you pay for a Z-Axis you could almost buy two Ultras. You could buy a six and a seven weight, or you could buy a six weight and a four weight for grayling. http://www.stcroixrods.com/product/legend-ultra Mt.View Sports is a St. Croix dealer. If they don't have what you want in stock they can order it for you.

    I've had two six weight Z-Axis rods and I sold both of them. They are good rods, but I had others I liked better. I have the 9' six weight St. Croix Ultra and it is an amazing rod for the money. My Ultra would throw streamers for me better than the 9' 6 weight Z-Axis.

    If I were you I'd build your collection a little more before paying the price of a top of the line rod. That way you have backup rods and you have a better assortment of rods to fine tune your rod selection for different fishing applications. Then when you do get your Z-Axis or GLX you will still have the Ultra as a very good backup rod.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    I can't jump on a brand. Instead, I'll ask a question: What rod/reel/leader are you accustomed to fishing? How much time have you spent with that rod in hand?

    Rods are a very personal thing. I have witnessed skilled fishermen fish inexpensive 5 weights with success and long time Kenai guys swearing by very expensive 7 weights.

    How much time do you have to cover the water that you intend to fish? 5 days? 25 days? Full season? Years?

    My take is contradictory to many. Find a combination that you enjoy fishing! Earn the ability to land fish on your setup by spending time with it. If your landing isn't this year, maybe next.


    As long as your day is spent rejuvenating the spirit with which you purchased your particular rig(s), the day is fruitful.

    If you don't want to miss a single fish, line up. If you are OK with a progression, line down.

    Lining down will cost you a few fish.

    Grayling should be fished with a 3 wt or less unless you have a serious honey hole!
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesch View Post
    I own the 6, 7, and 8 wt, z-axis, all in 9.5 ft:

    The 6 (model 697, saltwater butt) is my favorite rod; significantly better roll-cast and single-spey cast performance. If you examine these rods together, you'll see that the 7 has a much thicker and stiffer blank, most similar to the 8. So I would say the "go to" for me for larger dollies and most rainbows is the 6. I have tried the 10' z-axises, and while some people like them, I didn't.
    Why don't you like the 10' Z-Axis man? I don't fish one, but was considering one in that length.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigby257 View Post
    Why don't you like the 10' Z-Axis man? I don't fish one, but was considering one in that length.
    slightly better loading and balance in the 9.5 than the 10.0; which had no advantage imo.

    no one has mentioned the new series "99", for 9'9". The shops all have them now, but I have not tried them; I wanted to at the ISE in Sacramento, where they had a casting pond set up; but most fly rod manufacturers didn't show (just Scott and TFO); Sage was listed as a cosponsor for the casting competition. Lean times, I suppose.

    Anyway, the 99 does look attractive - some kind of brushed metal finish (instead of nickel-silver) in the seat, and a reddish wood spacer; darker green blank color too. A bit stouter in the butt end of the rod. I suspect these aren't going to be showing up on e-bay anytime soon. It is about the same price as the z; 699, if I recall correctly.

  13. #13

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    Test drive a few different sticks and see what feels better and what you cast better. Your casting style and feel should dictate what you buy.

    The "99's" were made for indicator fishing. They have a powerful butt end with a softer tip, the purpose of this was to create a wider loop instead of a tighter one. With a wider loop you have room for the indicator and split shot to pass by without touching the other part of your line. I have cast them, they are a little different but I really like it. Defintitley test drive one before you buy to know what you are getting.
    "The Tug is the Drug"

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    Default Cast it!!

    I use a 9.5ft Z-Axis 6wt with the fighting butt for rainbows and have caught some big silvers with it. To me, it handles well for throwing big streamers and leeches not to mention indicators.

    I love it, but cast it before you make the purchase to see if it fits your casting style.

    My two cents.

    T/L
    Caught and Released

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    Quote Originally Posted by akgloomis View Post
    Test drive a few different sticks and see what feels better and what you cast better. Your casting style and feel should dictate what you buy.

    The "99's" were made for indicator fishing. They have a powerful butt end with a softer tip, the purpose of this was to create a wider loop instead of a tighter one. With a wider loop you have room for the indicator and split shot to pass by without touching the other part of your line. I have cast them, they are a little different but I really like it. Defintitley test drive one before you buy to know what you are getting.
    Wouldn't the 99 be a good rod for fishing beads? The length would be nice for it as would the action.

    The powerful butt and softer tip description sounds like a Winston DL4 which is a rod that I really like.

    I wonder if that new fly shop in Anchorage will carry the "99"? What's the name of it, Moosey's or something?????

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    i would use a 6wt for float tubing or lake fishin but on a river vs. lake fishing, i want more power when fishing a river. if your in a boat, not much of a problem. from shore, you will want to turn a big fish if you don't have a lot of room.

    i would go for an 8wt and u can use that rod for everything else. reds, silvers...your gonna get a good feel no matter what with a Z axis. Be on the safe side, get some back bone and fish with confidence

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Grayling View Post
    Wouldn't the 99 be a good rod for fishing beads? The length would be nice for it as would the action.

    The powerful butt and softer tip description sounds like a Winston DL4 which is a rod that I really like.

    I wonder if that new fly shop in Anchorage will carry the "99"? What's the name of it, Moosey's or something?????
    Yes, that is exactly what the 99 was made for, indicator fishing. The longer length makes mending a breeze.

    And Yes, Mossy's Fly Shop will have the 99's in, not sure when quite yet on the exact date I will have them but they will be in!!
    "The Tug is the Drug"

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    Default St. Croix, TFO, GL3

    Ditto Matt26 and Arctic Grayling. If you want spend big bucks go for a numrero uno reel ... Abel, Tibor, Hatch, and the list goes on ... a reel with a superb drag. I hate to rain on your parade but in the Kenai your just casting to a hole. The Kenai isn't flats fishing. A St. Croix, TFO, or GL3 is perfect for the Kenai. Strike up a good deal on a Sage XI2 now that the XI3s are out, hell the XI2 will throw a fat sculpin in the wind like you read about. And go with a 7 or 8 wt, it's all about protecting the species.

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    I have a z axis rod in a 7 weight. I fish the upper kenai with it. After using a 6 weight for years and switching to a 7 weight two years ago, I will never go back to 6. The 7 handles the big fish better, it will also handle silvers, and reds. Awesome rod.

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    Default Custom

    I made a 9' 8 wt z-axis with a lamson lite speed reel and love it. Works great for everything.

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