This year I added the Sage Z-Axis 6126 and the Nautilus CCF 10 to the lineup. Quite a sick little setup if you ask me. According to the stats so far, it’s carrying a lot of mojo at this point.
For now, I have it paired with a RIO Skagit 400. It worked well but I had some trouble launching bombs with a squirrel tied to the end of my tippet. I made some onstream adjustments with cheaters and various lengths of T-14 which helped a bit. The only way to stretch one out there though was to change the fly to something less bushy. It was amazing how much of a difference the fly made.
On the next outing I’m thinking of going a bit heavier to help lift some of those furry critters out of the water better. I’m planning to load up the Nautilus with a 450. I’m hoping the extra mass will help me launch that squirrel.
As far as specifics on the Sage…what can I say? The Z-Axis is very nice! In addition to the 6126, I also have the 7136. Both rods are very light and if you work with them they will work with you. I learned this one the hard way…trial and error and error and error. First couple of outings my casts looked like crap. Crumpled piles of just ugliness. Unless the fish were just at my feet, what I was doing just wasn’t going to work. Then I remembered how smooth and relaxed the big dogs looked on the RIO video. I mimicked that and WHOA BUDDY. I ain’t cured but at least I’m fishing.
The Nautilus CCF 10 has made the cut for sure. Loaded with about 150 yards of 30# backing and the 400, it balances well with the 6126. I like the fact that it has a silent retrieve and only makes noise when a fish is running for the horizon. Good looking reel too.
What does it for me is that I submerged the reel in the freezing water for a minute or two, took it out and exposed it to the subzero air temperature, grew some ice on it, and it still performed. No fade on the drag. Tuber’s reel on the other hand lost all drag when he did the same thing, took him a while to recover.