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Rod Review


Going Big with Phenix's M1 : The MX-UR80H


Date: 8/31/20
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Phenix Rods
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.17 - GREAT

Phenix's refreshed and revamped M1 series made a big splash here at TackleTour when we published our thoughts on the Search For One contender, MX72MH. In fact, it is still among my favorites so far this year. Of course, when we published that article, we received quite a few messages from our West Coast readers asking about the swimbait stick. With the popularity of big baits, a good, all purpose swimbait stick is becoming the new "One" for which everyone is seeking. We needed the water to heat up a little before we could really put this stick to the test, so here now is our look at Phenix Rods's M1 MX-UR80H.


Time to dive back into Phenix's M1 lineup


Phenix Rods M1 MX-UR80H Specifications

Material 36-Ton Toray Carbon Fiber w/ K-woven Scrim & Nanolite Resin
Length 8'-0"
Line Wt. 15-35lb
Lure Wt. 1-6oz
Pieces One
Guides 11+tip SS/SiC Essex
Rear Handle Length 15
Power Rating Heavy
Taper Medium Fast
Rod Weight 6.8oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $195.00


This time with the MX-UR80H


Impressions: The MX-UR80H shares the same aesthetics as the previously reviewed MX72MH except it's presented in a much longer package measuring eight feet (8'-0") even. It is built on a blank made from 36-ton Toray carbon fiber held together with a K-woven scrim and Nanolite resin and features a stainless steel/SiC guide train from Essex. It is an aesthetic that I appreciated from the onset, and I seem to appreciate it more and more as I continue to fish with it.


Paired with my 2018 Daiwa Ryoga 1520L-CC


Real World Tests: Anxious to get the MX-UR80H out on the water, I paired it with my Daiwa 2018 Ryoga 1520L-CC sporting a fresh spool of 50lb Spiderwire Ultracast X8 (in aquacamo) topshotted with some Sufix 14lb Advance Fluorocarbon Line as a leader. For baits, I just so happened to be testing Cal Coast Fishing's new Twerk Minnow and Storm Lure's new Arashi Glide.

Phenix's proprietary reel seat is comfortable

Casting: Both these baits are comfortably with the wheelhouse of the MX-UR80H and boy does this rod load up nicely. That fluted out rear carbon handle is very comfortable to grasp on two handed casts making it super comfortable to really lay into the rod for long casts. When you let the bait fly, the rod responds with a smooth release of energy making it easy to direct your bait where you want it to go. The rod's lure rating is accurate in that it can handle baits up to six ounces (6oz), but typical of most sticks its wheelhouse is really more with baits in the middle between two to five ounces (2 - 5oz).

Phenix designs the blank to flute out from the rear of the cork grip forming this end of the rod. The implementation looks great but on rods handling larger baits like this stick some anglers may find the rear handle provides less grip than traditional handles

Sensitivity: I was pleasantly surprised by the MX-UR80H's less powerful sibling, the MX72MH, performance in terms of sensitivity while fishing a Neko rigged worm during its tests. Unfortunately, I did not fish any presentations quite as delicate with this stick. Sometimes fishing paddletail type swimbaits requires the ability to feel subtle takes, but during this stick's test period, the fish were not in a subtle mood. However, the MX-UR80H gave me no reason to believe it's any less sensitive than the MX72MH. The stick does give you a good feel for your bait in the water but there's a lot of slack line fishing with glide baits and the paddletail bait I was using with this stick has a subtle kick.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Phenix Rods M1 MX-UR80H against the historical averages of similarly powered rods we've tested over the past twenty years

Power: One thing very reassuring about this stick is when those fish do strike, it more than answers the call with a smooth, moderate bend helping you set the hook and battle the fish back to your position. Where previous Phenix sticks have a tendency to under-perform in their power ratings, the MX-UR80H has the power and feel of a fishing rod I'd rely upon for swimbait duty. In fact, I think this stick would do well in some punching and deep cranking duty as well.

A powerful stick with a nice, moderate curve

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