2008 ICAST Coverage
Phenix brings in Big Bass and introduces premium Elixir Trout Rods
Introduction: Time flies when your fishing, or in our case covering
fishing. It was just earlier this year when we witnessed the rebirth of Phenix
at the Fred Hall Long Beach Show, and more recently we spent a day on the water
with Robert Ip, Phenix's Marketing Manager, learning more about the new rods.
Now Phenix is ready for primetime and delivering their bass rods in quantity and
introducing a new premium series of trout rods dubbed the "Elixir" series.
Since we last saw the Ultra MBX
rods the actions have been refined
Since we last fished the first run prototypes
Phenix has gone back and refined both their rod actions and construction
details, the result? A premium rod built on Toray materials that is ready for
the most discerning anglers. many of the rods now have been refined for greater
sensitivity and in some cases lighter overall weight. The rods are flying off
the shelves and site, and the company is bringing more rods in just to keep up
Big bass hunter Joe Everett shows
us the rig he recently used to land a 16.8lb lunker
The rods are now also being put through the paces
by hard core prostaffers like big bass hunter Joe Everett who is featured on
this month's Bassmaster magazine. He has been fishing Lake Mission Viejo and
recently landed a lunker 16.8lb bass using a Phenix Ultra MBX rod. At the show
Joe showed us the very rig he used.
We were not expecting to be wowed
by any trout rods at ICAST, but the Phenix Elixir rods did exactly that. Notice
the many different grip styles
While most companies at the show focused on bass,
surf, and traditional saltwater rods Phenix decided to focus on trout rods at
this show and unveiled prototypes of their new Elixir series of trout rods.
A look at the extreme split grip
design on the Elixir, this is done for weight reduction and proper balance with
The Elixir trout rods are quite unlike any other
domestic trout rod on the market and actually more closely resemble premium JDM
offerings in terms of refinement and cosmetics. Robert explained the company's
design philosophy behind the rods which emphasizes refinement and character
above all. Phenix wants these rods not only to perform inimitably from what is
already on the market, but look as polished and distinctive as they function.
A look at the lightweight blank
Phenix starts with a fly blank and crafts them
into the perfect action for varying types of trout style applications. To make
the rods stand out from the competition great care went into the selection and
design of the components and burlwood is used in varying degrees on the
The Elixir rods make use of ALPS
The rods make generous use of ALPS components, and
the grips are different depending on the rod action and style. Two anglers with
completely polar opposite style preferences could easily fall in love with
different rods in this series. Zander particularly liked the reel seat which
resembled a "light-saber" and the rod felt extremely light with a very clean
split grip design.
The grip looked awesome, but it
did remind us of a "Light Saber"
The Elixir rods look and feel premium but the
prices are still considered reasonable fro a premium trout rod and range from
139-249 dollars depending on the rod style. The only downside to the Elixir
rods? Is that anglers are going to have to wait until January 2009 to purchase
The team at Phenix continues to
gain ground with their quality rods
Conclusion: Phenix is a rising star
among rod companies here in the US, partly because they place heavy emphasis on
quality, but also because they have a long and storied history, one they
acknowledge and learn form and continue to build upon. While some rod
manufacturers put a premium on performance at the expense of design, and others
are too much show and no go, Phenix continues to forge ahead with an appropriate
balance... and we look forward see where this company goes next.