Phenix Axis Rods – 2017 Best Saltwater Rods Review

Phenix Axis Rods – 2017 Best Saltwater Rods Review

When it comes to fighting bull dorado, marlin, and tuna, your fishing rod can make or break the deal. Certain brands like Seeker and CalStar construct premium rods that offshore anglers instinctively go to. Phenix is joining those ranks due to their excellence in craftsmanship. The existing Black Diamond series review is enough to make an angler giddy. Now the review focuses on Phenix Axis Rods and reveals the imminent threat they pose to big ocean game fish.

Phenix Axis Rods

Phenix Axis Rods – Intense Offshore Performance

Product: The Phenix Axis line of offshore fishing rods contains 22 models in total.

Overall Ranking: 92 out of 100.

Price: Mid to High Range.

Owners: Phenix Rods is privately owned, held, and is based out of Bellflower, CA.


Introduction To Phenix Axis Rods

Phenix Axis RodsAll rods start with a blank and Phenix puts its best foot forward right away in the Axis series. Salty anglers have a whopping 22 models to choose from, each one starting with a helix blank design. A blend of S-glass, T-16 carbon fiber, and graphite gives each blank the sturdy bend that keeps fish off their fins.

The wide selection of rods in the Axis line provide uses for most saltwater encounters. You’ll find a good selection of lengths, power, action, and line ratings while you peruse the selection of Axis models. Phenix Axis rods combine into powerful offshore setups when matched with reels the likes of the Okuma Makaira or Penn Torque. Stay tuned for a complete listing of models and their specifications, followed by detailed coverage of rod features.

Models, Specs, & Features Of Phenix Axis Rods

Phenix Axis Models

• HAX-620X4H   • HAX-680X3H   • HAX-720H   • HAX-720MH
• HAX-720X2H   • HAX-720X3H   • HAX-720X4H
• HAX-720XH   • HAX-780H   • HAX-780MH   • HAX-780X2H
• HAX-780XH   • HAX-820H   • HAX-820MH   • HAX-820ML
• HAX-820XH   • HAX-907ML   • HAX-908MH   • HAX-909H
• HAX-909HJ   • HAX-1008   • HAX-1009

Phenix Axis RodsThe HAX prefix stands for Helix Axis but the key to reading the models lies in the numbers and final letters. The numbers correspond to the lengths of each rod. For example, HAX-720 means the blank is 7 foot 2 inches long and HAX-907 is 9 foot 7 inches. The ending letters carry extreme importance because they represent the power rating of each rod. Here’s a quick key:

  • L – Light Power Rod
  • M – Medium Power Rod
  • H – Heavy Power Rod
  • X – Extra Heavy Power Rod

Note that rod power abbreviations mix to show in between powers like ML for medium light and 3X for triple extra heavy. Rod power usually appears in the specs of each model though Phenix only shows them in the model numbers.

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Specifications Of Phenix Axis Rods

The 22 rods in the Axis line offer variety in specs to cover a wide range of fishing situations. Rod lengths begin at 6’2″ and move up as high as ten feet. As far as power goes, Axis rods focus on heavy with a couple medium light models in the line. Jig casting anglers turn their focus to the 9′ heavy jigging stick, model HAX-909HJ.

Line ratings on Axis rods start at 12 pounds in the medium light power models and go as high as 200 pounds in the X4 heavy sticks. Talk about putting the wood to world class tuna! The taper or action on Phenix Axis
rods is either fast or moderate fast and they are all one piece blanks.

Features Of Phenix Axis Rods

Phenix Axis Rods

Multi-Helix Construction

Phenix Axis RodsHelix design involves a complicated pattern of curves that keep a constant angle in relationship to a fixed center or axis. That does sound complex but it’s basically a blend of materials that curve precisely around the center of the blank. These patterns repeat in layers to form the rod blank.

Fuji O-Ring Line Guides
Phenix Axis Rods
Fuji O-Ring Guides

Line guides play an important part not only in durability of the rod but also in weight and performance. Fuji O-Ring guides are a new concept from a premium maker. They reduce the weight of the frames but increase support on the rings. Fuji achieves this by changing the frame design to three points where it meets the ring. The reinforcement of the rings keeps the inserts in place by preventing any twist or bend in the guide frame.

Pac Bay Reel Seats With Hypalon Handles

The combination of Pac Bay reel seats and hypalon handles is available on select Axis rod models. In particular, Phenix features this reel seat and grip combo on rods with X2 power ratings or heavier. No doubt the premium quality and reinforced structure of Pac Bay reel seats got the call to secure more powerful reels.

Fuji DPSSD Reel Seats With Hypalon Or EVA Handles

Phenix Axis RodsA majority of Phenix Axis rods mix the use between hypalon and EVA padded foam grips although they do employ Fuji DPS SD reel seats. The extra strength reel seat design of Fuji stands up to the incredible forces put on by thick pelagic beasts.

Cord Handles Ending In A Turk’s Head Knot

Jig fishermen know the cord handles and Turk’s head knot of casting rods that match the deckhand style. Jig sticks go without a reel seat and require positioning and clamp down straight to the rod shaft. This may seem strange to the untrained eye but it allows the jig angler to put the reel exactly where they want it on the rod.

Durable + Groove Butts

Phenix Axis RodsPhenix doesn’t make much mention of the rod butts but you can see from images that they aren’t slickbutts. They do feature the + shape groove for lock down inside rod holders. The butt appears to be hard plastic or graphite and the grooves round which makes them more bearable on your stomach.

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Pros And Cons Of Phenix Axis Rods


Phenix Axis RodsPower, beauty, performance, and finesse describe Phenix Axis rods to the T. The thin diameter of Axis rods belies a stalwart backbone capable of bending an unyielding tuna or muscular yellowtail to its will. Phenix contructs their rods with extreme precision and attention to every detail. The price range is mid to middle high and worth every penny of every dollar. The 22 rod selection offers a wide range of uses from inshore bass to offshore beasts.


Phenix Axis Rods
Phenix Offers A Few Lines Of Ultralight Rods

Drawbacks that come to mind don’t address build, quality, or performance as Axis rods stand untouchable in these areas. The price could be too high for some budgets, although it is right in line or less than competitor models. These rods are worth saving for due to their extreme value.

More useful cons show where Axis rods are lacking, which mostly centers around lighter power models. The lightest power rods in the Axis line are medium heavy and anglers with these needs must look to a different series. Of course, Phenix has a separate line of rods for lighter fishing.

What Kind Of Angler Can Appreciate Phenix Axis Rods?

Phenix Axis RodsThe types of fishermen best suited to Phenix Axis rods range near and far with applications in fresh but mostly saltwater. Axis medium light power rods work wonders fishing inshore grounds and x4H power models put heavy wood to the largest offshore species. Phenix builds jig sticks in the Axis design and fills in the middle with heights, powers, and line ratings for each anglers preference.

Phenix Customer Support

Phenix Axis RodsAll Phenix fishing rods come with a lifetime warranty that works in two ways upon damage to your rod. After you ship the rod in, Phenix inspects it for manufacturing error. They replace the rod free of charge if the inspection reveals mistakes in craftsmanship. Rods with damage as a result of user mishap come with a replacement charge. The charge amount depends on the brand of Phenix rod you own in addition to shipping charges.

The Axis Rod Round Up

Phenix Axis rods are the talk of the town among offshore fishing circles and with good reason. Phenix rises from the ashes and it seems like the fishing rods do too because their name came out of nowhere in the last few years. The secret is out about Phenix Axis rods by way of high end fishing performance. Anglers always notice a superb product, and they talk.



  1. Robert

    i was curious on what’s the con of the light weight or MH phenix rods? You stated that they were lacking in the lighter models. I was curious in what way or ways are they lacking? I have yet to take mine out…

    1. Hey Robert, good question and thanks for chiming in. Sometimes my brain gets moving faster than my fingers can type. I was referring to the fact that there are not many options for power if you want to go lighter than medium heavy in the Axis series. I mention that Phenix does have other lines that better meet those needs. I snuck (snook, sneaked?) in the image of the Phenix Dragon Fly rod series right there. Maybe as an indication of a future review? Anyway, we already spoke via email. You have a fantastic setup with the 7’8″ MH Axis, and the Avet MX reel. Good luck and tight lines out there. Geoff.

  2. Kenneth Thompson

    I am extremely happy and satisfied with the phenix collection, I have three phenix rods, black diamond, two Axis, ones a split grip and I’m very satisfied with your company and the quality that I’ve experienced with your rods. I would recommend any of them too anyone who’s serious about cranking in that stubborn sheepshead, or a nice ling cod. Unfortunately my 1st phenix sticks got burnt up when my apt building caught on fire and I lost my favorite stick, black diamond matched up with a Diawa saltist lever drag 2speed. That was my go to stick, but I’m happy that you guys are doing what you’re doing. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Kenneth. Just want to point out that I’m not a representative of Phenix Rods. This is an entirely independent review. I have heard of some issues with faulty blanks snapping, but otherwise great rods. Thanks again for the positive feedback. Geoff.

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