A decade or so ago, I got a Sage Z-Axis as a birthday gift. It was, at the time, the most expensive fly rod I’d ever touched, let alone fished. In those 10 years or so, that fast 7-weight has been all over the world and helped me catch fish ranging from steelhead to tarpon. It’s a staple in my travel bag—I simply adore it, and I quietly thank the folks at Sage who, years ago, crafted what I believe to be the perfect big-water fly rod.
Then I saw the video below and listened to Jerry Siem, rod designer at Sage, talk about designing trout rods while fishing one of my home rivers, the Henry’s Fork.
Siem’s description of a good trout rod—and his obvious love of his craft—struck me. No rod is going to truly make you a better angler, but they can help enhance your skills by making casting more efficient. If you’ve been fishing for a long time, you know when you pick a quality stick, and, for some reason, you innate worries about your casting faults melt away. It’s about confidence. I haven’t yet fished the Sage MOD that Siem describes in the video, but I will. If it’s as good as Siem says it is, it might be the next rod in the travel bag.
— Chris Hunt