I just fished the 10 foot five weight Sage Z-Axis rod for the second time after this morning’s float, along with a 11 foot 6 weight Sage Z-Axis Rod with a Spey grip. These rods can cast a mile, but more importantly, the ten foot rod length manages every inch of twenty to thirty feet of line anglers routinely fish on Maryland rivers.
The common response by anglers is why do you need all that rod for smaller fish and shorter casts?
Consider that using a shorter rod may mean not catching anything of size, because it is unable to effectively cover the water with as much efficiency as a long rod. If you have to cast three or four times to get the right drift down a seam you may be spooking the fish, instead of hitting the seam on the first cast. On a whole, these ten foot rods put a soaking wet size 6 Zonker a few feet off the bank every time at forty feet away with one false cast. The long rods work well for in-close high stick nymphing, and large hopper dropper rigs, too. I felt the Sage ten footers were lighter but stiffer than the Scott E2 ten footers, 1004-4 and 1006-4, I typically fish. If you enjoy heavy streamer fishing and look for extra distance in casting, the Sage is great. If you want the ability to throw heavy streamers, but prefer to nymph and toss the occasional dry fly, the Scott ten foot rods load more quickly and have a slightly softer touch.
Check out a recent video titled; Monster Brown Trout on the Gunpowder River, of a 5100-4 Sage Z-Axis in action on the Gunpowder River near Baltimore, Maryland.