Sage 690-4 Z-Axis – 5 Things to Like

Don’t use a 4-weight on me.
Photo: Cameron Miller

We like the Sage 690-4 Z-Axis. Why?

  1. It’s got the backbone to land giant Kanektok River leopard rainbows. If you can only bring one trout rod to Alaska West, we’re going to recommend a 6 weight. We fish big flies on heavy tippet for big fish around a lot of structure…and that means your 4 weight isn’t going to cut it. A 9 foot for a 6 weight works great, and the Z-Axis rods have a nice meaty butt section that helps you put the wood to Walter once you’ve hooked him.
  2. Its tip is sensitive enough to feel what’s going on down there. Backbone is great, but the thing about today’s rods is that they have both power and feel. Let’s say you’re presenting something fairly reasonable in size– maybe a bead or a small flesh fly– this rod is not a broomstick and you’ve still got a sensitive tip to alert you to the fact that a resident fish is snacking on your fly.
  3. It really is more accurate. Sage has things like this to say about the development of these rods – “To start with, our exclusive analysis software helped us to better evaluate the performance requirements of every inch of rod blank, allowing us to eliminate all unnecessary material. At the same time, we made significant advances in our Aligned Fiber Technology, which, most significantly, replaces traditional glass hoop fibers with lighter, more responsive graphite. This, of course, required us to develop new construction techniques to align and compress these rods for maximum strength…We think you’ll find it’s the lightest, longest-casting, most accurate fast action fly rod you’ve ever tried. It might not be magic, but it’s pretty darn close.” OK…we find that, when we cast these rods, the fly lands pretty darned close to where we want it to land.
  4. It can throw a lot of lead. We’re not embarrassed to say that, when we fish for rainbows on the Kanektok and Arolik Rivers, there’s often a fair amount of lead involved. Our rainbows live on dropoffs, around snags and generally in places where the fly needs to get down quick – being able to throw some lead is pretty important, and the progressive feel of this rods helps a lot.
  5. It’s light, in a good way. There’s a lot of talk these days about who’s got the lightest rod in any given configuration, and after casting a few of them we quickly realized that weight is not the only variable that matters. There are some rods out there that weigh as much as your average toothpick, but have neither the feel nor the power that you want to actually…go fishing. This one is a great, light fishing tool.


  1. […] The Windstopper Softshell Hoody is our new favorite jacket, on-river and off. More Gear Reviews Sage 690-4 Z-Axis Sage 8134-4 Z-Axis Simms Headwaters Backpacks Simms Dry Creek Flats Pack Simms Dry Creek Boat Bags […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *