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LIVE ICAST 2018 COVERAGE from Orlando Florida
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Selecting the right Rod, Reel, and Line for Your Walking Bait Arsenal

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TackleTour Exclusive: On the Water with the New G.Loomis Conquest Rod Series
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Ready to Combat the USDM : Evergreen International's Jack Hammer
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First Look Inside the New Shimano Curado K Series Baitcasters
 


 


Rod Preview:


Return of “Phenix,” a first look at the company’s new line of bass rods (continued)

 

Ultra Swimbait rods cont'd: Cal tossed over 20 different swimbaits on the Ultra Swimbait 711H which is rated for 2-8oz, and found the rod handled everything up to 5oz with little difficulty. At the higher end of the rating spectrum he felt the rod was a bit strained, and while it could toss 8oz lures it felt a bit strained. Robert confirmed that the rods were still undergoing some changes, but that cosmetically they were close.

 


No more messing around, Cal grabs the bigger baits

The 711ML is the lighter version and proved to be very good at tossing lighter topwater swimbaits. This rod felt crisp and catapulted lures at around 2-3oz with ease. Phenix rounds out the offering with their full sized 8’6” 866H swimbait rod. This rod weighs in at 9.4oz and is rated to throw lures up to 8oz. in length.


Cal launches a 3:16 Armageddon with the Phenix swimbait rod

While the rod comes too late to be included in our swimbait wars reviews Cal’s quick synopsis of the rods were that HE felt as though the lure ratings on each rod needed some adjustment, the two Phenix Ultra Swimbait sticks Robert brought along (models 711ML & 711H) casted very well and he could actually feel the movement of the 22nd Century Triple Trout and 3:16 Lure Company 2-up while retrieving them in the water.


The heat (and lack of sleep) get to Robert as Cal keeps slinging

The rods did not feel cumbersome thanks to their relatively light overall weight. Overall, they were nicely built and all we needed was the explosion of a worthy fish to validate our feelings of both rods' power, but that validation did not come today.


Cal loads up with a 12" (11oz) Castaic Snap on Tail Real Bait

Preview Impressions: It might be the heat that got to us but we found it oddly appropriate that our one day preview on the water had been an absolute scorcher. The dictionary describes a “Phenix” as another name for “Phoenix” a mythical bird of great beauty that would burn itself on a funeral pyre, and rise from its ashes in the freshness of youth and live through another cycle of years: often an emblem of immortality or of reborn idealism or hope. Another definition describes a Phoenix as “a person or thing that has become renewed or restored after suffering calamity or apparent annihilation.”


The Phenix rod survives

The fires of Phenix burn bright as the company comes back from the vestiges with a surprisingly healthy offering that makes use of years of experience blended with new blank materials and a renewed commitment to modern day design. Our single day field test confirmed the rod’s excellent weight, above average sensitivity, and quality casting ability, but we were unable to pit the rods against quality fish. To formulate a final conclusion we need to further field test the rods, but for now we do feel like Phenix has stepped in the right direction in regards to design.


Cal and Robert work a steep drop off

Price and Availability: All the Phenix rods will retail approximately 170-250 dollars depending on the model and the rods will become available within the next month or two leading into ICAST. The same timeframe holds true for the company’s saltwater rods, and Robert hinted that later this year the company will also introduce a refreshed trout rod series.

 
Phenix is back, and Robert holds up an array of the new rods that make up Phenix's new bass lineup

Though not fully determined we did verify that all Phenix rods will carry a limited lifetime warranty and rods within three months will be replaced free of cost, and after that period the rods can be replaced for a small fee. The company is also considering offering an upgrade program for owners of pre-rebirth Phenix rods, the details of which are not yet final.


With the sun setting Cal gets in his last few swimbait casts, unfortunately we were not able to get that big fish but with the return of the brand future tests of Phenix's rods will allow us to test the true fish moving power of these rods

Conclusion: By the time we finished comparing the rods the sun was already on the decent. We had caught small fish while testing the rods but didn’t have a big fish that had tested the limits of the rod’s fish moving power. On top of that we had consumed pretty much all the drinks we had on the boat, and with the water in the lake starting to look appetizing we knew it was time to get in our last few casts and head home. Though the company’s logo and ownership have changed the commitment to truly custom rod designs has remained true. If the price point that Robert described holds up through mass production the Phenix rods should make a big splash in the market. Though the custom rod market is among the most crowded Phenix hopes to regain the devout following it once had, and should be able to do a whole lot more than that with the lightweight rods we tested today. The latest Phenix offerings do the namesake proud, and anglers have yet another choice when they consider their next application specific bass custom rods.

For more information about Phenix rods and availability email Phenix directly here.

Stay tuned for actual in depth reviews of Phenix rods in the future where we put the rods on our RoD Wrack and rate the rods in all categories.

                                   

 

 

   

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