In 1995, when Lamson was taking a critical look at fly reels, they were also looking at rods and reels as a system. What they saw didn't seem optimal. No matter how great the rod, one key fact compromises it: 2/3rds of the total weight you're casting is the reel. And that heavier object hangs off-center from the rod's axis.
Lamson realized that if you shifted the mass of the reel along the rod's axis, most of the twisting force generated during casting would be eliminated. Lamson did that, and in 1997 licensed their concept and design to Sage, calling it Center Axis.
Some ideas are ahead of their time. In 1997, Lamson was very busy promoting the strange idea that fly reels should have large arbors, so it's understandable that a complete re-structuring of the rod-reel system was a league too far.
But ideas find their moment. For the Center Axis, Lamson thinks that moment has arrived.