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Rod Review


Cranking It Up with Phenix's X13 Composite Cranker (continued)

Features: Aside from the afore mentioned composite blank, the X13 features a split rear grip made of cork. Two different kinds of composite cork are used as decorative pieces on either end of the butt end as well as the main grip. Something I found interesting with this rod was Phenix's use of Fuji Alconite guides. We're used to Phenix sourcing their own proprietary guides, so it's interesting to see them using an industry standard on these rods.


For once, Phenix is using name brand guides...

This goes double for the reel seat which is also a standard Fuji ECS reel seat. Lastly, the X13 comes with a hook keeper installed on the underside of the rod just above the reel seat. The rod does not come with a rod sleeve.

Features Ratings for Phenix X13 Cranking Stick

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
4
4
1
16
25
6.4


The X13 comes equipped with Fuji K-Series Alconites with SS frames.

Design/Ergonomics: I mentioned previously that I find the handle of this stick too short for two handed casting. A longer handle would move the reel seat further up along the blank and also help balance this rod out a little better as it is very tip heavy.

Lab Results for Phenix X13 Cranking Stick

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Phenix X13 Cranking Stick
2.02
Moderate
5.3
12
0.33
Shallow Crank Avg
3.00
--
4.8
5
0.17
Medium Crank Avg
2.30
--
5.2
8.5
0.21
Deep Crank Avg
1.90
--
4.9
8.75
0.23


And a standard Fuji ECS reel seat too.

Given most people retrieve their cranks with the tip of their rods pointed down, balance is not a top priority, but still is important. The rod's weight, for a seven foot, six inch stick is about average and colors and graphics are very subtle and subdued.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Phenix X13 Cranking Stick

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
2
3
12
20
6.0


The hook keeper is located on the underside of the rod, just above the reel seat.

Application: The X13 is a wonderfully versatile stick for moving baits within its rated lure range. It's good with lipless baits, spinnerbaits, large rip baits like Lucky Craft's Pointer 128, and of course, medium to deep diving crankbaits. This stick would not be a great choice for jigs and soft plastics but it's not designed to support these techniques either.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Phenix X13 Cranking Stick

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
2
2
3
16
25
6.4

Ratings:

Phenix X13 Cranking Stick Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Another clean build from Phenix 8.95
Performance Just another inch or two in the handle would help with two handed casting 7.8
Price A good price considering components but the upper limit of what many are willing to spend on a cranking stick 7.5
Features Phenix uses Fuji components on this stick! 6.4
Design (Ergonomics) The short handle also makes the rod more tip heavy than it should 6.0
Application A versatile stick for moving bait applications 6.4

Total Score

7.17
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Name brand components - Handle is a tad short
+ Versatile stick for cranks and large jerkbaits  
+ Composite blank is best of glass and graphite worlds  

  


Need a stick to handle medium to deep diving cranks? The X13 is worth consideration!

 

Conclusion: Phenix's X13 Composite Cranking Stick is big, but not too big, powerful, but not too powerful, and very capable of supporting your medium to deep diving cranking needs. My only real complaint is with the rod's short handle. I like longer handles for two handed casting and moving that reel seat further up the blank creates a much more balanced stick which makes chucking and winding more comfortable over the course of a full day on the water. I've always been a fan of glass blanks for cranking but the composite blend delivers that soft, buttery power at the beginning, and the graphite backbone gives you power when you need it. If you're looking for a stick to handle both medium and deep diving cranks, the X13 is worth some serious consideration.

 

Looking for a Phenix X13 Cranking Stick? Try TackleWarehouse

 

 

 

 

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