As use of Skagit-style spey lines continues to grow and become more refined, rod manufacturers are pushing the envelope on some of the basic variables of rod design. One of the biggest trends is that towards shorter rods that are still plenty powerful.
Earlier this year Sage introduced a new rod into their TCX lineup that really typifies this movement – the 7126-4 TCX. As you probably know, the 7 means it’s a 7 weight, the 126 means it’s 12 feet, 6 inches long, the -4 means it’s a 4-piece rod, and the TCX means it’s really, really fast.
We had the opportunity to fish the rod in prototype form at BC West this past August for the better part of a week. The butt section on this thing is incredibly powerful – matched to a Skagit-style line in the 525 to 575 grain range, it’s perfectly capable of launching a T-14 tip and a big fly to the far side of the broad runs on the Lower Dean. It’s light so fatigue isn’t a problem, and its short length is particularly well-suited for those of us with relatively compact casting strokes.
Yes, in prototype form this rod quickly became known as the Death Star due to its ability to calmly deliver blasts to the far side of the galaxy. So who wouldn’t like the Death Star? Well, most anglers would agree that the 7126-4 has more power than it has feel. If you really like to feel a deep bend in your rod or if you just like a slower action, this is definitely not the rod for you.
On the other hand, if you like short, fast, powerful rods, the Sage 7126-4 TCX is a game-changer that you need to get your hands on.
Have been reading your comments and recommendations re the Sage 7136-4 Z-Axis. It sounds like a great rod for BC dry fly fishing. Can you recommend a reel that balances well with it.? Thanks.
Hey Chris, thanks for stopping by. Absolutely, the 7136-4 is a great rod for fishing a dry. I fish a Sage 6010 on mine – that reel has maybe a little extra capacity for the 7136, but it’s really light for its size so I think it balances great.
Have been reading your comments about the 7126-4. I am a Spey rookie and think about my first spey rod. Is the 7126-4 also a fine toll in Scandi style? In single-hand fishing I like the TCX’s a lot. Thanks
I personally have not fished the 7126-4 with a Scandi line – I’ve used only various flavors of Skagit heads on it. My one comment would be that learning spey casting on a ultra-fast rod can be a bit of a challenge – you tend to feel the load less, and have a much smaller timing window with each cast.
I happen to like very fast single-handed rods, but two-handers that are a bit slower – I like to feel the load more with a two-hander. But that’s just me!