Sage Z-Axis 14'3' #9 4 Piece
Review by Simon Young
Appearance & First Thoughts
New from Sage comes the Z-Axis range of rods to replace the popular XP Series. The range covers rods from 9' #3 single handed through to 16' #10 Double Handed.
Here we are looking at the 14' 3" #9 Double Hander.
To quote Sage's rod designer Jerry Siem "We wouldn't have replaced the XP Series if we didn't believe that we had created something substantially better".
Sage has used the latest version of their Generation 5 (G5) Technology that covers the entire rod building process from the ground up. Exclusive analysis software evaluates every single inch of the rod blank to reduce unnecessary weight whilst still retaining power to punch flies into the wind. Indeed new construction techniques were developed to take advantage of the lighter more responsive graphite fibres that have replaced the more traditional glass hoop fibres.
Performance & Opinion
So what does this Technology mean out on the water?
Firstly the rod feels very light in the hand at just under 9oz. The 4 piece Dark Olive gloss finished blank is a fast tip action design that is incredibly smooth and forgiving which will suit the majority of anglers, even those that are not highly proficient casters will like this rod it seems to "iron out" minor casting errors.
I set this rod up with my old Redington A/L loaded with a Rio MidSpey Interchangeable Tips 9/10 line. Starting off with the floating tip and adjusting the amount of line outside the rod tip to the colour change area I was surprised how much line could be lifted from the water with ease. This rod does indeed have hidden power. Simple overhead casts were very easy and the resulting loops were tight and well controlled. Changing the tip to the fastest sinking one made very little difference to the cast, only a slightly longer pause on the backcast was needed. The blank provided a lot of feel and feedback to let me know what was going on with the line.
I can only offer 2 minor criticisms of this rod and its purely on the cosmetics, it would have been nice if Sage had put line up marks or dots on each section at the joints of the blank as many other manufacturers have started doing and also included a fly keeper ring just above the handle.
I have to agree with Allan Shephard's recent review in Trout and Salmon magazine (Aug 07) where he voted this rod his personal "Best in Test"
Model No. 9143-4
Length 14' 3"
Special 10% discount Sportfish offer to Fish & Fly readers only!
If you'd like to enjoy the feel of this rod for yourself or have been thinking about a new Salmon rod anyway all you need to do is visit the Sportfish website and enter the promotion code of 'promo661' as a separate entry on the order form to claim an exclusive 10% discount on this exceptional fishing rod. This is only valid until the end of August so please take advantage of it now while it lasts.
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