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Rod Review

 

Labels Shmabels - Phenix's 7'-4" Glass Cranking Rod (continued)

Casting: As one might expect, the tip of this all glass rod loads super easy and when you let go of all that stored up energy, your lure really takes flight. The rod's lure rating is starts at one quarter of an ounce and extends up to one full ounce. It handles that range pretty well but its sweet spot is somewhere around half an ounce up to three quarters. If you like extending your sticks beyond their ratings, the XG740 does better at the upper end of its range than the lower range. I'd throw a one and a half ounce (1 1/2oz) or more lure on this stick before I'd try to bait finesse it with an eighth ounce (1/8oz lure).


The guides feature ceramic inserts.

Sensitivity: Sensitivity is the downfall of just about every glass cranking stick and why many have abandoned the material when making the decision on their moving bait stick of choice. This downside can be mitigated a bit if you use a fluorocarbon or even braid on your cranking reel. By selecting a P-Line Copolymer, I simply wanted to see how this stick would perform under more normal circumstances. The answer to that question is it performed as expected - not a lot of feel at the end of the copolymer line unless I was using a bait with a lot of vibration like a big spinnerbait - I could feel that bait.


Checking out the tip action.

Power: But just as easily as many dismiss glass as a viable option in their cranking stick because of the material's lack of sensitivity, others covet it for fiberglass's unique power curve. It is a bite friendly, buttery smooth curve that provides a lot of give when a fish takes your bait, yet supplies really good, smooth and consistent pressure on the fish once the fight is on.


Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Phenix
XG1-Glass/XG740 Glass Cranking Rod against....

The XG740 has a classic, fiberglass rod power curve. If your objective is to crank so fast you're skiing the fish on the surface of the water back to the boat, this is not the rod for you. If you enjoy the exhilaration of the fight and don't mind a little give and take when you're crank bait fishing, the XG740 inspires confidence with its buttery smooth power.


I'm normally not a fan of mixed materials in the grip, but Phenix does a good job here.

Design/Ergonomics: As mentioned earlier, the XG740 is a 7'-4" fiberglass fishing rod. It's built up with a split rear grip consisting of a mix in material with EVA foam and compressed cork. There is no foregrip and the rod's reel seat is similar to a Fuji ACS. The guides are all double footed and feature stainless steel frames with ceramic inserts. Now, another point of confusion is on Phenix's website. When listing the features of this rod series, they specify Fuji for both the guides and the reel seat, but in the table listing the spec's for each rod, Phenix lists Essex as the brand of guides on this stick - this is their proprietary brand and what they use on the majority of their bass rods. The rod's reel seat does not have a "Fuji" stamp on it, so it's likely this is also an in-house reel seat.


The reel seat lockring appears to be adorned with some kind of dark wood veneer giving the rod a much more refined look.

Back to the rod's handle assembly, Phenix uses some nicely styled winding checks to cap off the mixed EVA and compressed cork handle sections and a nice, decorative lock ring on the reel seat that looks like a dark, wood veneer inlay. If you can endure the all read (or blue) blank, the XG740 is actually a very nicely appointed fishing rod.

Lab Results for Phenix XG1-Glass/XG740 Glass Cranking Rod

Model
Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Phenix XG740 Glass Cranking Rod
2.86
Moderate
6.1
10
0.32
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

Ergonomically, this 7'-4" glass rod is on the heavy side in terms of weight, but it feels light for glass. It's definitely not built for balance and is noticeably tip heavy. These are the additional downsides of fiberglass - especially when they extend beyond 7'-0".


Phenix also makes use of clean winding checks to cap off the grip sections.

Price & Application: Another plus with fiberglass cranking sticks? They're quite often very affordable. The XG740 carries with it an MSRP of $149.99. A similar stick made of graphite would likely be closer to $200 (case in point, Phenix's composite cranking rods run $199.99). The XG740 stick in general is a really good, general purpose cranking rod.


If you're a fan of glass, you owe it to yourself to check out the XG1 series from Phenix.

Ratings:

Phenix XG1-Glass/XG740 Glass Cranking Rod Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The XG740 is a nicely crafted stick 8.5
Performance Overall a really fine fishing rod for moving baits 8
Price Excellent value 8
Features Confusion over the rod's components due to conflicting info on Phenix's website 7
Design (Ergonomics) A bit tip heavy but overall, pretty good for a fiberglass fishing rod 7.5
Application Good all purpose type choice for crankbaits, spinnerbaits, etc. 7.5

Total Score

7.8
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
+ That buttery smooth action of glass - A tad tip heavy
+ Available in two different blank colors - Some inconsistencies from Phenix regarding component branding
+ Double footed guides all the way up are a plus on a blank that is this flexible  

  


The XG740 is a nice, all purpose type cranking rod from Phenix.

 

Conclusion: Being a fan of glass cranking sticks, I was somewhat pre-disposed to liking this stick. My primary concern was how light or heavy in hand was this rod and I was pleasantly surprised that it's on the lighter side for what I'd expect from a 7'-4" fiberglass cranking rod. Most of the rod's other characteristics are pretty much status quo as far as a rod made from this material goes. There's simply not as much variation in performance characteristics between glass sticks as there is graphite. My only real criticism of the rod comes from the confusing component branding and labeling of the rod overall. At the rod's price point, I don't mind that the components are not name brand - it's a bit of a plus if they are, but not a deal breaker if not. Regardless, this info should be clear on their website. Confusion over the rod's model number is more concerning as a consumer because how am I supposed to recommend the stick to someone else if I'm unsure as to what the exact model number is? Perhaps we just go by the stats. If you're a fan of glass cranking rods, be sure to check out that 7'-4" red (or blue!), glass cranking stick from Phenix!

 

Looking for a Phenix XG-1 Series Cranking Rod?

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