Livin Fly

Fly Fishing is a lifestyle for those
willing to acknowledge and accept it.

Sage Z-Axis 7136-4

We will keep this short, "One of if not the BEST Spey rod we have ever fished with".  This is not a beginners spey rod and most aren't as we would recommend first learning with a switch as they are much more forgiving.  If you are looking for a work horse spey rod that can do it all and cast a mile look no further.  We consider this the ultimate Deschutes River Steelhead or general North West River steelhead tool, without question one of if not the BEST we have ever fished with.

Ross Worldwide Reach Spey Series

These are the newest additions to Ross Worldwides Fly Rod line up, and it seems that Ross is really targeting the moderate fly angler with this new division.  We love their rods for one reason, they are easy to work and easy to teach with.  We would not recommend these rods to anyone who is a spey junky "unless you are broke and looking for a good rod with a great price point, which lets be honest most of us are", but if you are looking to get a solid spey rod at an unbelievable price these just might be your best option.  The 7 wt & 8 wt are great rods for chasing Steelhead, Stripers, and Salmon.  These rods have a more forgiving action than most, if you are looking to play around and learn on your own these would be great rods to start with.  We will comment on the 6 wt Reach Spey, Spey fishing for large rainbow trout has become a huge success especially in Alaska and certain locations in the lower 48, this rod is a great one for just that.  We have enjoyed swinging streamers with the 6 wt as well as running bead and nymph rigs on large rivers when distance is needed.  The 6 wt can throw a large open loop keeping everything from collapsing on itself, or nice tight loops for distance.  These rods tend to cast a little better with a slightly heavier grain rate than recommended, especially if you are using Skagit style heads.  This rod series is extremely versatile allowing for the casting of light traditional spey flies as well as the heavier intruder style flies with sink tips to get down during winter swinging for steel.

If you are looking for a decent rod at a great price or are looking to learn how to Spey cast, these rods are great.  If you are looking for a backup rod to have on your trips to AK, the Northwest, or Great Lakes Drainages we would recommend these as they are fun and extremely easy to cast.  Again, if you are an experienced spey fisherman these rods will most likely come up a little short in the trick department and leave you wanting a little more from your rod.  Overall they are responsive, versatile, moderately priced, and balanced for a variety of spey casting techniques and styles.

Redington CPX Switch

When you pick up the Redington CPX rod series whether it is a single hand rod or a double hand you will immediately realize that it has great looks.  As we always say looks don't mean anything unless it performs as well as it looks.  One of the other things that you will immediately notice is the price tag, with everyone wanting to keep every last penny these days Redington has really made it affordable to purchase a great two hander.
The CPX switch rod has moved to the top of our rod list quickly and quietly, it is a versatile rod series.  Just for your information we have the CPX 8 weight as well as the CPX 6 weight.  This rod series has a great action with plenty of power and reserve when you need it.  The 8 weight is a perfect NW small to medium river steelhead rod, it will dominate any smaller coastal system that you would like to swing.  These rods did surprise us with their weight, when you drop into the lower price points "especially with two handed rods" you generally find that rod weights go up.  This is not true with the Redington CPX series, they remain light and make it easy for you to cast all day without wearing out.  THe 8 weight makes a great steelhead setup and the 6 weight is a fantastic two handed trout, half pounder, or smaller steelhead setup.  We really enjoy the 6 weight setup for swinging flies in AK to large and aggressive rainbows.
We have paired these rods with multiple line setups, "a reminder, what works best for us might not work best for you".  We really think that Rio's Skagit Short in a 425 - 475 grain line makes this rod whisper sweet nothings into your ear while fishing for the 8 weight.  Again as mentioned earlier this is a great small to medium river rod, main reason being you don't loose any distance in the medium casting range and it gives wonderful feel in the short casting range but it lacks the power to really push a lot of line for ultimate distance.  In reality though, if you are looking for a big gun that can cast miles of line you are not looking for a switch rod.  For the 6 weight we like a 275 grain skagit line with a 6 - 10 foot sink tip, but we preferred a 7 weight nymph line like rio's nymph line or the sage nymph line "the sage line was great because of the orange color, really allowed us to track the line when fishing in canyons or river bottoms while targeting trout."
This rod series does require a little quicker or faster casting stroke, but really all switch rods do.  Switch rods do have a tendency to get used as overhead rods, even though people buy them to cast in both fashions it is common place for us to take someone out and see them revert right back to what they know.  Take our word for it, spend the little bit of time it will take to get comfortable with this rod in both fashions.  It will make your fishing and presentations much more effective.  Don't take our word for it, get to your local shop and cast one of these rods.  We will say with confidence that you will be impressed, it is great to see companies such as Redington placing reasonable price points on great equipment.  We like to call the CPX 8 weight switch the silent assassin, reason being, it quietly became our go to rod.  Without even realizing it we found ourselves casting this rod 90 percent of the time while our rods costing twice as much sat in the boat.