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Discussion Starter #1
but it's not for me. I may be the only one that doesn't like it, but I'll be posting a Z-Axis 7136 in the classifieds soon.

Don't know enough about rod building/design/action to describe what I like but I have a Scott ARC1287 that I have owned for years. Only two hander bought and never sold- love it. Gone through several others as backups and I have yet to find another rod to my liking. I'd like to own something else to compliment the Scott and take on trips as a backup. Worst case, I'll be looking for another 1287 unless someone has a suggestion what might work.

What I don't like about the 7136: top heavy; the handle is too short; the handles to skinny; it takes too much effort to cast. I'm not rod-bashing, just trying to relay what I feel when casting it.

Don't need fancy but I do appreciate a quality build. I'd like a 7wt rod around 13', grain window of compact skagit @ 575-625, easy casting, well balanced so it feels light in the hand and can be fished all day, no hassle warranty to subsequent owner if it breaks. Ideal budget $400 or less.

Appreciate any input to help narrow and quicken my search (what to look for/what to avoid).
 

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Funny to hear this. I too was very unimpressed with the Z-axis, though granted I really only cast if for a few and I think I was expecting something much more immediately gratifying. I wouldn't go so far as to say I didn't like it; just that I expected more...

One thing that catches my eye though is the grain window you're looking at. I would think 575-625 would be pretty solid 8wt territory, and possibly poking into 9w?. Obviously depending on rod specifics, and casting style, preference, etc... I only mention this, as I would be curious to at least try a bit lighter line with the rod before passing it along (or maybe you already did this?)
Cheers,
JB
 

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I have a Z Axis 7136 and an ARC 1287. I'm curious about what lines you have tried with yours and what your conclusions were regarding line choice.

I can understand how you might prefer the 1287 handle to the 7136 handle or vice versa. They are quite different and personal preference trumps all in this department.

As far as a backup rod goes, it sounds like another 1287 might be a great solution and you may get lucky and find a nice one (there's a 1308 in the classifieds right now). I just bought a second ARC 1196 that I found at a dealer. It's new with plastic on the handle and a blank warranty card and it was on clearance sale.
 

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What you are looking for would be found in most manufacturers 8 weight rods.

edit: I have heard of people overloading the 7136 z-axis with 600 grain skagit lines and I think it just squashes the heck out of it. For reference I use a 575 skagit with the 8129 z-axis, a much faster, beefier rod than the 7136 and I think it's pretty dialed. I liked the 7136 a 510 skagit and the 7/8 AFS.
 

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I too wonder if you've overloaded the 7136 Z-axis, I find optimal load at 510 skagit comp, even a 480 for lighter tips and smaller flies. Granted this rod has large grain window, it will feel top heavy and sloppy when overloaded IMO. I should also say the 7136 Z didn't blow me away at first, I even casted friends rods at that time such as Beulah 7132 and thought wow I wish my Z was as light and crisp. However, after I spent some real time with the Z 7136 and tried many different lines, I grew to appreciate its performance over all others, but it took some time. As many have said in previous posts, 510 skagit or 540 for max load, 450 scandi, 480 rage, 6/7 delta 470 gr. @ 51ft or 7/8 delta for max load w/ mid-belly. Maybe give some lighter lines a try?

Although, maybe the Z just isn't for you and that's cool. From what you've said regarding your preferences in a rod, I would suggest trying the new sage accel 7126 or 8136. I gave these rods a test ride, and I was pleased in how light & smooth the casting stroke was, as far as swing weight is concerned, much lighter than the Z in both models, they might just strike ur fancy. I could go on with rod suggestions, as could pretty much everyone here, so I won't mention the usual rod suggestions :) Anyway, I hope this helps you a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input

Okay. So it sounds like I may be asking this rod to perform at a level outside its capability and what i really need is to find an 8wt with performance/action to my liking. But before I do, I'll definity take the advice offered and try some of the lighter lines suggested. Here is my experinece with the 8wt route:

Started out with the the Windcutter 6/7/8 for the 1287 before Skagit lines came to market. When the RIO Skagit 27ft cigar style came out, I found the 550 to be ideal for me. Nirvana over the Windcutter.

I now use a 540 Compact Skagit 99% of the time and when fishing the OP, a 600 Compact Skagit with 125gr sink tip when I use large flies that I don't use anywhere else. This rod has no problem handling this. So this rod really serves as a regular 7wt 99% of the time but can perform at 8 wt level when called upon.

So I purchased an Anderson Steelhead 1338 a few years back but that was waaaay too much rod. Stiff, powerful but required a lot of effort to cast. Felt like a 9wt to me. That's when I sold it an purchased the Z thinking it would be a small step down and be THE rod.

Anyway, that's a bit more of my journey. Appreciate all the input.
 

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FISHIN' FREELANCER
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"Okay. So it sounds like I may be asking this rod to perform at a level outside its capability and what i really need is to find an 8wt with performance/action to my liking. But before I do, I'll definity take the advice offered and try some of the lighter lines suggested. Here is my experinece with the 8wt route:

Started out with the the Windcutter 6/7/8 for the 1287 before Skagit lines came to market. When the RIO Skagit 27ft cigar style came out, I found the 550 to be ideal for me. Nirvana over the Windcutter."


I'd say your pretty well on track with the 1287. Sounds pretty familiar within a few grains on upper end of Skagit heads. The 6/7/8 WC was a terrible match, needed to have entire head out the tip to get any kind of load. Frustrating in most places I fish. My 'nirvana' was the Delta 7/8.. a match made in heaven.

What's up, as I see it, your at two extreme ends of the 7wt spectrum. The 1287 is a easy 7.5wt with the Z being more of a 6.5 (my opinion) or ARC 7/8wt - Z-Axis 6/7wt, etc..

Just guessing here, I'd say your rod action preference leans towards progressive with a fast recovery, the more you ask the deeper it loads (easily) into the blank, with reserve power.

If you like the ARC action and don't mind 3pc blanks keep eyes out for one of the 1308.. deeper bending blank with a little more power in the butt. Lines not much different than the 1287.. and they're usually bargain priced.
 

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575-625 is not a 7 at


7wt should max out at 540.


You are looking for an 8/9
 

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but it's not for me. I may be the only one that doesn't like it, but I'll be posting a Z-Axis 7136 in the classifieds soon.

Don't know enough about rod building/design/action to describe what I like but I have a Scott ARC1287 that I have owned for years. Only two hander bought and never sold- love it. Gone through several others as backups and I have yet to find another rod to my liking. I'd like to own something else to compliment the Scott and take on trips as a backup. Worst case, I'll be looking for another 1287 unless someone has a suggestion what might work.

What I don't like about the 7136: top heavy; the handle is too short; the handles to skinny; it takes too much effort to cast. I'm not rod-bashing, just trying to relay what I feel when casting it.

Don't need fancy but I do appreciate a quality build. I'd like a 7wt rod around 13', grain window of compact skagit @ 575-625, easy casting, well balanced so it feels light in the hand and can be fished all day, no hassle warranty to subsequent owner if it breaks. Ideal budget $400 or less.

Appreciate any input to help narrow and quicken my search (what to look for/what to avoid).
From reading this and your response below, it sounds like you're pretty set on that grain window? It also sounds like you really want a nice light crisp casting rod. While those two aren't completely mutually exclusive, I think I'd really ponder which of those two qualities is most important and skew my search accordingly. Particularly on the budget mentioned, since that will limit a lot of the choices. I would question the "need" for that heavy of a skagit; not trying to sound critical of your criteria or anything.

If it's about getting down, I would think a skagit intermediate paired with 12' of T-11 or T-14. A skagit head in the 510-540gr window should be able to handle those tips; combined with a sparse fly and a bit of weight that set up can really get down pretty fast in some respectable currents. Just food for thought, and pardon me if you've already considered/done that route before...
JB
 

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I recently wiggled a high end rod that had a really short upper handle and really disliked it!!
I don't think I could like any rod that has a handle that is too short for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Agree with a lot said. I agree the Scott is a 7-8 and the 7136 a 6-7. So I guess what I'm looking for is another 7-8. I want it to fish/feel/handle like a 7 but be able to cast a typical 8wt fly when called upon.

Here's the thing. The grain window isn't for getting down, it's for getting the fly out. I have a Z-Azis 6126 for light and crisp, like it a lot. But it's not bunny leach launcher. If I'm fishing sparse flies, I even enjoy a scandi line, but most the time I'm using compact skatgit 420 and 10ft/95gr sinktip because it's so much more versatile. However, my favorite fly is a bunny leach, 3"-5" and I've not found a subsitute for grain weight over 540 to cast this type fly. The paradox is that, with the exception of the 1287, every rod I've tried that's capable of casting it is a whole lot more rod and usually an 8wt. And every 8wt I've tried is like an 8-9wt. I'm not expecting light and crisp, but I don't want a rod that feels I as I've described the 7136. Maybe the Z-Axis 8129 or the Scott 1308 is worth trying as suggested.
 

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a thought to ponder. I see what you would like in grain windows and fly casting wants, I know it is not a sage or a Scott but try the ECHO TR 7130 it launces a 540 with ease and does it with both T11 and T14 up to 10' and I cast sculpin patterns and bunny type flies with it pretty easy. and is very affordable.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks. I'll be on the lookout for a TR.

Also looking for a Sage Z-Axis 8129.

I've owned the 1308. My very first spey rod years ago. Didn't like the handle. Felt like a fat club, not a thing ergonomic about it. Bought the 1287 and never looked back.

The Sage One sounds like it would fill the bill, but way out of my budget.
 

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This rod appears to be on 'One off' where Sage got it wrong?

Posting by the bucket full on 'How to make this rod work.' Versatile? Maybe, a clinker? Probably?

For me, and a new rod, its cast a full on dry line (head length has little to do with it).... Magic? Or not? Then you start playing with other lines/head/sink tips/what the hell ever. But the dry line will tell you just about every thing you need to know from the 'Git Go.'

Just my .02 cents.
 

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About your line choices, my Loomis PRO 4X 13' - 8/9 wt. is rated for a 580 Skagit. The 14' - 9/10 version is rated for 640 and would no doubt cast your 625 with no problem.

If you want to use those lines, realize that you're operating in the 8/9/10 rod range.
 

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Posting by the bucket full on 'How to make this rod work.' Versatile? Maybe, a clinker? Probably?

For me, and a new rod, its cast a full on dry line (head length has little to do with it).... Magic? Or not? Then you start playing with other lines/head/sink tips/what the hell ever. But the dry line will tell you just about every thing you need to know from the 'Git Go.'

Just my .02 cents.
The 7136 z-axis is absolutely stellar when paired with a Vision Ace or Rio AFS 7/8.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
casting the 7136 today

Went down to the river and fished the 7136 today. Started with my 6126/420 compact skagit... lovin' it. Fires a tight looped line out with little effort. Then switched over to the 7136/skagit 500 (changed from a 540 compact since a few commented 540 was max). Immediate impression... thought I picked up a club. Totally different casting required. No easy back and go, no bending to the cork... unless you hammer this rod. It sucks at short casts, but if you put a little something into it... it throws a nice line. But you have to hammer it every time. Casting rods back to back has given me some insight on the dynamics of the design. The 6126 bends fully with little effort, the 7136 seems to have a stiff tip and mid section, which requres a lot of oompha before it performs. I enjoyed casting it more today than I have in the past, but it takes a lot more effort compared to my other rods.
 
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