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I have a number of reels but my favs are Sage. I have the 3400 and 3200 and they are bullet proof. With the sealed drag mud and saltwater while fishing stripers is not an issue. The only Sage Rod I have is the Smallmouth Rod and I like it. Neither of the rods and reels I have compare with what you are considering so I guess the only useful info here is Sage makes a great product and you should be satisfied.
 

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I have the TCR which used to be the top of the line from sage my brother has the Z-axis. They are both fantastic rods and I would recommend them both. The Z-axis is an easy rod to cast and has the backbone to fire a lot of line.

I've never had a problem with the sage reels, but for an equal amount of money there are a few reels I perfer. I really like the Lamson waterworks reels. They have a nice drag system that is sealed, and if you get it with the "hard Alox" finish they can take a lot of abuse.
 

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Thanks for the comments guys, make me feel a little more comfortable dishing out the extra cash. Now I have to come up with a pretty good story to convince the old lady that I paid $99 at Cdn Tire.........
 

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Weim, where are you located? I have the Z-690 (same as 691 but with a different cork) and the 2560 reel. Your going to want the 2560 reel with the 6 weight rod. The 2550 is for a 5 weight line. You can try mine if your in Sydney,
 

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Sage 110%. I have the Sage XP 9 wt 9'6" 4pc. I absolutely love this rod. It has a fast action and can throw a heap of line without effort.
 

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The 590 is also an option, just a little light for big streamers and in wind. If your not a streamer fisherman consider the 590.
 
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