But it is. I began, tentatively, with #5. Now I own all three of the freshwater models. Use them in Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, New Zealand and leave my Sage, Loomis and other graphites home. Amazingly powerful and accurate, throwing laser darts at exactly the spot you're looking at. The first time I took one to the Big Horn my guide of many years complimented me on the hours of practice I must've put in, my accuracy was so much improved. I said it wasn't me, it was the rod. He scoffed. I handed him the rod. He was blown away. It was the rod alright. At the full price they're a bargain, at the sale price a steal.
I'm not sure why these aren't more popular! I recently bought a 5wt and 4wt for me and my wife to use for our backcountry fishing adventures. I love that I don't have to carry a reel separately while backpacking. The rod itself feels like a major competitor to all the high dollar brands that are out of my price range, plus it comes with a great reel. I am very happy with both rods and excited to catch more fish on them for many years to come. I am thankful that my first quality fly rods and reels are from an Idaho company as I am an Idaho native. Great work Waterworks Lamson design team!
It's the system! Excellent rod design married to an attractive light weight large arbor reel with a great drag. Can't get any better!! I have fished a 4 wt center axis for over four years. It can handle 7X tippet with finess and a 30" rainbow with authority. Five stars are simply not enough!
I have both a 4wt and 5wt Center Axis and use them regularly on the San Juan River. Both rods are easy to cast, have great weight distribution and have the power to pick up a lot of line for recasts off a boat or wading. Casting with a strike indicator, split shot and a two-nymph combo, even in the wind, is no problem with the 5wt. Probably the most impressive aspect of these rods, is even the 4wt has the power to play bigger fish and steer them away from weeds and swift current. I have a 5wt G-Loomis NRX and a 4wt Orvis Helios and I would compare the Center Axis to both of these rods, and the nice thing is that the Center Axis already has an excellent reel.
I have been fishing this rod/reel for two seasons. I really like the design and function of the combo system. I never have to tighten the reel onto the rod, not drop my reel by accident. I also like the single case which holds both products together for faster set up and really easy to carry on backpacking trips without sticking up to hit trees. I liked it so much bought my wife one this year as she has started to fly fish as well.