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Rod Review


Flipping Week : Phenix Rods Mocks the Demon (continued)

Power: Try as I might, I wasn't able to hook any real monsters with this stick to test how its taper behaved under load. In the lab against our RoD WRACK and out on the water against three to four pound fish, the C796H was more than adequate. In fact, if you look at how this rod fared against the average of some of the more popular flipping sticks we've reviewed to date, you'll see its deflection curve is lower than the average suggesting this stick really does have good power behind it.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our
Phenix Recon 2 PHX-C796H against the average values of flipping sticks we've reviewed over the years. Note how its curve (orange) sits slightly below the average (red). This suggests the C796H is slightly more powerful than our average data points.

Judging by the baits it can handle, I'd say what we found in the lab was quite representative of this stick's capabilities. It's plenty powerful for handling everything from flipping and punching duties to throwing umbrella rigs and medium sized big baits.

Performance Ratings for Phenix Recon 2 PHX-C796H

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
3.5
5
5
22.5
25
9.0


The decorative butt cap on our PHX-C796H.

Features: The PHX-C796H features a full rear grip made of quality Eva foam. The guides are non-name brand but do feature SiC inserts. Its reel seat is the love it or hate it Fuji ACS reel seat and it comes with an open ended hook keeper (effective for Texas rigged plastics) but no rod sleeve. Overall, it's a pretty standard list of features with the highlight being the no-name SiC guides.

Features Ratings for Phenix Recon 2 PHX-C796H

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
4
4
4
1
18
25
7.2


This is the little detail to which we referred and is reminiscent of a stick more than three times the price of the PHX-C796H.

Design/Ergonomics: One of the really nice things about this stick is how well it balances for something of its length. Balancing torque works out to better than average as does the rod's actual balancing point. This all comes at the expense of a weight that's slightly more than average so ratings wise, it's about a wash.

Lab Results for Phenix Recon 2 PHX-C796H

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Phenix Recon 2 PHX-C796H
1.32
Fast
6.6
7.5
0.25
Flipping Rod Average
1.52
---
6.0
8.5
0.27

Colors and graphics on this stick are very stealthy with the only one highlight - red. The rod's Eva foam grip has very subtle sculpting that works out to a very comfortable grip to hold either with one hand while working the bait, or with two hands for casting.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Phenix Recon 2 PHX-C796H

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
5
4
4
2
15
20
7.5


Looking for a big stick to handle a variety of applications? The PHX-C796H would be a good choice.

Application: Looking at most seven foot, nine inch (7' 9") heavy powered sticks, the first thing that comes to mind is flipping/pitching/punching applications. Not far behind that thought these days is a stick for big baits. The PHX-C796H strikes a very happy medium being suitable for all of the above applications and more.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Phenix Recon 2 PHX-C796H

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
2
5
5
5
4
21
25
8.4

While that relatively short rear handle of eleven inches makes two handed casting slightly less comfortable than sticks built for that purpose, tie on a Black Dog Baits Lunker Punker and you'll be happy about that short handle. That's because after sailing that bait on a cast, the rear end of the rod doesn't dig into your ribs when working that bait on a walk-the-dog, twitching type of cadence.


Crazy Eight fish courtesy of Hi's Tackle Box, Abu's Revo Winch, Sunline's Supernatural Nylon Monofilament, and of course, Phenix's Recon 2 PHX-C796H!

Ratings:

Phenix Recon 2 PHX-C796H Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A very well crafted stick 8.95
Performance More multi-purpose than technique specific, but an excellent all around performer 9.0
Price Checking in at a hair under $200... a good price for a rod of this quality 7
Features The highlight on this stick are its SiC guides 7.2
Design (Ergonomics) A very comfortable stick to fish 7.5
Application Pretty versatile for a big stick 8.4

Total Score

8.01
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
+ Very versatile for a stick of this length and power - We prefer the original unsanded, unfinished blank. It gave the stick the allure of raw performance and a much better JDM feel
+ SiC guides for a rod under $200 is big plus  
+ Comfortable full rear grip  

  

Conclusion: So is the C796H from Phenix's Recon 2 series built for flipping and punching or for tossing big baits? It honestly has characteristics suitable for all of the above. Remember the days when rods came with simple line and lure rating specifications minus all the extra labels suggesting techniques and applications? In other words, when manufacturers gave consumers credit for either knowing what a stick would be suited for, or being able to figure it out for themselves. Afterall, that's half the fun of checking out a new rod is seeing what baits and techniques it can handle.

 


From umbrella rigs, to swimbaits, to flipping, to punching, the PHX-C796H can handle it all - heck it might even suit as a rod for deep cranking if you're in a bind!

 

Surprisingly, the PHX-C796H comes with no such technique specific labeling. Instead Phenix tells you it's length, suggested power, line and lure specifications and lets you decide. To that end, we've decided this stick is quite versatile and able to handle flipping, punching, and big bait duties. Come to think of it, with that forgiving tip, it might even suit as a deep cranking rod if you're in a pinch. If versatility in a big, powerful stick is what you seek, do a little recon on Phenix's PHX-C796H. You might be happy with what you discover. I know I was.

 

Looking for a Phenix Recon 2 PHX-C796H? Try one of these reputable sources:

 

Tackle Warehouse : Hi's Tackle Box Shop : Monster Fishing Tackle


 

 

 

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