Last year Sage released the 8129-4 Z-Axis spey rod, and it quickly became a popular choice for anglers looking for a powerful, versatile rod in a somewhat shorter format. In case you’re not familiar with Sage’s nomenclature, 8129-4 translates to “8 weight, 12 feet 9 inches, 4 piece”.
This year Sage released the 8134-4 Z-Axis. Come on now, do we really need another rod that’s identical other than being 7 inches longer? It turns out that’s not the right question to ask – the 8134-4 is a completely different animal.
Relative to the 8129, the 8134 has a much more progressive feel– while the 8129 has a stiff, powerful butt section, the 8134 loads easily and bends throughout. This is one of those rods that you can feel load ‘between your hands’– right down through the cork.
Despite being longer than the 8129, the 8134 actually throws a somewhat lighter line. In the Skagit format, we like something in the neighborhood of a 550 grain head on the 8134, and 600 or more on the 8129. The 8134 still has plenty of power– fishing on the Skagit River last week (known for its giant, broad runs), the 8134 was more than up to the task of hucking a big fly and a sinktip way across the river. If you’re heading to a spot like the Dean River this year, this is your does-it-all and feels-good-doing-it stick.
So add the 8134-4 Z-Axis to your list- easy loading, great feel and plenty of power. She’s a sweetheart.