my 7136 is the older softer version. It is a very soft noodle that is a blast to fish with. I do not launch huge casts off this rod. I would say it is effective out to 80 feet or so. In the hands of a better caster it could probably fish farther.
I tried a mastery spey 8/9 on it but that was overkill. Now I'm fishing the Midspey 6/7 w tips. This line is a great match for this rod. The only comment I would have is that the type VIII tip is actually an 8 wt. Thus it is a tad too heavy and you can feel it when you cast. This is the line I use for summer fishing. If I was back home in Ont I would consider using a windcutter as I would be fishing more tips.
Although this rod is soft, don't think it has no guts. Last winter I brought some nice winter runs to hand and this summer it subdued a surprise spring that attacted my fly while fishing summer runs.
From my understanding the 7136 was not designed as a shooting head rod. It came out well before that. It is a rod designed for light dry line fishing. The 7136 green (2001) and the following lt brown model were of the same action just a different colour.
When fishing my rod with a midspey I cast in a traditional style using both my upper and lower hands (probably using too much upper hand but I'm working on that). I use a mix of casts: single, double, circle, and spiral speys.
One of my friends Mark McAneeley is a guide here in BC. He was pictured holding a 26lb steelie in the last issue of Flyfisherman. The fish was caught by Lani Waller using Mark's 7136. Mark has the newer 7136 and he was using an Airflow line. He says the newer 7136 launches the Airflow Delta(can't remember the weight).
Like MJC I own a 9140 green that I built. I really like this rod. An 8/9 midspey fishes well on it. This winter I've been using an 8/9/10 windcutter modified to Ed Ward's instructions to create a Skagit line. I have been blown away by the way this outfit fishes. I can only imagine the new GLoomis rods matched up to proper Skagit lines! The 9140 will do it all from summer to winter. Again like the 7136 it is a softer rod. The 9150 is a completely different beast that is much faster. While still considered slow by many it is much faster than most traditional sages. When it comes to big water I love my 9150 but I can see few uses for this rod on the GLs besides the Niagra.
My point is not that Sage rods are the best out there. There are lots of great rods and lots that are cheaper. Just don't rule the Sages out. If I was moving back to Ontario tomorrow my rod of choice would be my 7136. I really wish Sage hadn't discontinued them.