Loomis, Sage or Winston- 5wts [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Loomis, Sage or Winston- 5wts

01-02-2007, 07:37 PM
I'm in the market for a rod in the $600 range. I mainly fish medium to large limestone creeks, so a rod that can handle the occasional 50-ft cast but still be able to gently present small (size 20 and above) dries with short roll casts is what I'm after. I have a St. Croix legend ultra 3 wt, but I just can't manage good casts in the wind with it. It does really nice roll casts, but the line is simply too light for windy conditions. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has experience with: G. Loomis StreamDance GLX 5wt 9ft, Sage Z-axis 5wt 9ft or Winston Boron IIx 5wt 9ft.

Which brand of ~$600 rods is most widely used? The Fly Fishing Insider poll said Sage...

Sorry for another "can't decide" thread, but I'd like to get all the info I can before I make the purchase.

01-02-2007, 11:13 PM
not as oxymoronic as it first seems. there is a range of 5w action out there. probably more so than any other weight size as most beginning sets are in the 5w realm. one does not need fast action for 50 foot casts. 60-80 with a decent sized streamer is another discussion as i do think its easier with a faster action or tip flex rod. you may loose some of the fishyness inherent in some of the moderate or progressive action rods. for instance really short casts and fighting fish on 8x etc favour softer rods.

personally i fish as light as i can and have a t+t 9 foot vector 4 w for my general river trout excursions. this is a very fast rod: i in fact overline it by one when on a floating line. it absolutely shoots my streamers almost to the backing with the sink tip. It does more than any 5w ive held in my hand to date. i think its a lil too fast for an ultimate all purpose 5w but i would never pull it out of the rotation as it has created a lot of mojo for my trout game. if i could recommend any 5w for your perceived endevour i would be most satisfied with an sage sp. the rods you mentioned are formidable and at 5w your list of exemplary is a lil short. winston, hardy, and orvis make real nice wands as well. the secret is to try as many as you can and buy the one that smiles back at you. just buy it from a neighborhood fly shop if you can.

01-03-2007, 09:05 AM
im biased for sage but i would go with the z axis i dont own one right now but ive cxast several of them and they are so smooth its unbelieveable. the action is nice and fast so those long casts wont be a problem and they roll cast well.

01-03-2007, 04:55 PM
The loomis expediter warranty thing is nice. I'm going to cast the sage and winston at a fly shop sometime this month. I've seen and handled a sage Z-axis and it was nice and light. As for buying from local shops, I definitely agree. In fact, when I bought my legend ultra, Cabela's tried to sell me the display model, for full price, b/c they didn't have any others in stock. I certainly don't want to buy a rod that has been handled and dirtied/ scratched for $600.

Of course, the best choice would be to buy all 3...:wink:

Tim D
01-04-2007, 12:13 PM

I have not casted the new Z-axis but have hear great things about it. If I were you I would consider getting the XP. It's been discontinued but a lot of fly shops have ones left and are selling them for around $400. I have two 9' 5wts and I can honeslty say they are the best all around rod I've ever owned.

Tim D

01-04-2007, 09:20 PM
Try several rods and before you make up your mind, test Winston 9' wt. 5 BIIX !!!!!!!!!!


01-04-2007, 09:55 PM
check out yellowstoneangler.com. they did a comprehensiv study/test of 5 wts

01-05-2007, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the link, nmbrowncom. It looks like the StreamDance GLX and the Z-axis were neck-in-neck for #1, with only a 2 point difference out of 200. Again, Loomis' warranty got it extra points in the shootout. It's nice to be able to get a new rod for $50 if you slam it in the car door.

01-05-2007, 09:20 AM
Are you going to fish with 9' wt. 5 rod in 60-70' distance?
Do you want great distance casting rod, or fun to fish, very versatile fishing tool?
Most of the fishing for trout is done within less then 45' distance.

For some reason the yellowstonanglers has sold more Winston BIIX then any others rods.
Again, the best for your is to try several rods, with dry fly leader, mini sink tip, ligther and heavier fly within 45 distance.
Also, try to cast at longer distance 50-60 in moderate wind, to see if the rod which excels at longer distance is really so accurate.

01-05-2007, 09:32 AM
I've got an old RPL 5wt only 8.5 ft but it throws a crappy street line over 100ft with ease.

It's also great in tight spots, single hand spey and roll casting as well as normal presentations. The one time I wish I had something else is float tubing, where I think a 9.5 would be better for casting, but certainly not for landing nice sized fish :Eyecrazy: rodeo style

What I like about this rod is that it loads well into the blank but fires that load out quickly (modulus and taper) when stopped. I cast a lot of 5wt rods at shows and have to say I love a lot of them, as long as they accept the load during the stroke into the 'heart' of the blank and are not sluggish about firing it back out when I stop.

I also like a stable dampening feel in the blank while in motion, I hate rods that have a reverberating bounce to them - ugh. Some tapers have soft spots in the middle of the blank that seem to load ahead of the rest, I hate that.

What I like is that as I increase load and acceleration the rod matches me smoothly and when I stop I get a dampened and tight power shot of energy, no bounce.

If that sensation is distinct and the hardware and trim is appealing and durable I would be more than happy to own the rod no matter who makes it.

Saltwater, two-handed and Spey rods get a little more scrutiny but for the meat and potatoes 5wt it's about feel first, then acoutrements like cork quality, guides and reel seat and such.

Man all this talk is making me want to go trout fishing.

01-05-2007, 11:37 AM
I'm surprised there has been no mention of the Scott S3.

I went through the same process about a year ago, worked with many different rods, and ended up going with the Scott.

I looked at the results but didn't read the Yellowstone angler article. Why did they use top of the line rods from some companies and mid range rods from others?

Anyway, everyone's casting stroke is different and the idea is to pick a rod that compliments you specifically. For the most part, all of these rods are high quality. The trick is to not rush in and work with all of them until you find something that works well with your particular style.


01-05-2007, 12:37 PM
This sounds like a job for the 4 or 5 weight Sage SLT. It reminds be of a cross between the old LL and the classic GLX. The Z Axis is nice but maybe a little brutish. If you were fishing bigger rivers, I would give the nod to the ZAX.
Check out the classic GLX while you are looking (I see that they are only two pc. a deal breaker imho. Still a fantastic series).

02-11-2007, 10:40 PM
you owe it your self to try the winston. and not just the B2x. give the the LT 8'9" 5wt a try, its not near as fast as the other sticks said above, but it give much better feel and presentation at what you said. its also a 5 pc and travels well.
the 8 1/2' WT 5wt is also a superb rod for what you have discribed. again its not a rocket cannon like the z-axis or the loomis, but its out of this world smooth.
the 9' 5wt B2x is bar none my fav fast action 5wt ( its really not even fast compaird to the S3, z-axis or the loomis,) but its such a nice rod. its more powerful than the other two winstons, and still has fantastic feel/touch.
the sage slt is a very nice rod, but i persnally think that sage couldn't make its mind up on this rod, its both fast and slow at the same time, ( yes i realize how that sounds) and i did not care for it, howeve others sware by it.
the z-axis is fast, powerful, and has a very smooth power curve. it much faster than the b2x when casted beside each other. its almost as fast as the xp but not near as stiff. i like it alot, but still i find it to fast for most trout fishing.
the s3 is a nice rod, its a blend of the xp and z-axis but dose not have the feel of the z axis. its wondful rod but i like the G2 much more for trout.
the G2 is almost as nice as the winston in my book. its softer than the b2x but faster than the WT, and much closer to the action of a sage SLT or winston LT.
it has a very nice feel and its wonderfully smooth.

don't take my 2 cents try all the rods you can. there is Orivs ( not a fan ) T&T very nice, and a host of other companys like T.L johnson that have nice casting sticks. i always find slower rods work better for trout, but that is just me, however they do have more feel and offer more bend when catching normal sized trout ( 8"-16" inches) than fast rods. rods like the WT, G2, and LT have no problems casting 50 (which is along cast for MOST trout) and have better feel for inclose work. again for what you discribed, limestoners with cast up to 50', the slow rods really shine. that being said out west were big dries, and 2 droppers are the norm along with drift boat fishing and lots of wind, a faster rod is easer to use.

like i said before, cast as many as you can and most importanly think of how the rod will peform on stream and when fishing in conditions you fish most. so just casting in a parking lot won't do it. try aming for tires, and underneeth cars ETC. and get the rod YOU LIKE BEST, not me or anybody else. have fun, and i do envy you, its always fun going for a new rod.

02-12-2007, 12:24 AM
I can't delve into or describe all the specific actions and feel of the Winston, but I have used an LT 4wt five piece for several years now on everything from 10" cutts to 24" browns and I love it. Winston warantee replaces/repairs at no cost, no questions asked - which in two cases for me, saved me embarrassing explainations.

02-12-2007, 03:53 PM
I can't delve into or describe all the specific actions and feel of the Winston, but I have used an LT 4wt five piece for several years now on everything from 10" cutts to 24" browns and I love it. Winston warantee replaces/repairs at no cost, no questions asked - which in two cases for me, saved me embarrassing explainations.

I use the same rod for a most of the wade fishing I do. Fantastic Stick!! Didn't think a 5pc could ever fish like the LT. It's simply the most fun trout rod I have ever owned.