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Rod Preview

Ready for Battle, a First Look on the Water with Phenix's M1 Series (continued)

When dragging jigs I found that the rods were sensitive, not the most sensitive sticks, but in the spectrum of sub two hundred dollar rods right they are on par with what I would expect, and actually quite similar to the Recon Series. But when it came to sheer power when launching baits I could already tell that these rods not only had plenty of backbone but the blanks were able to provide a bounty of torque without feeling overburdened. I really needed to get a fish on the line to see just how these rods felt in battle and the cursed fog was making it difficult to even reach the spots we hoped to hit.

Phenix M1 Swimbait Rods

Model Length Line Rating Pieces Taper Action Lure Weight Guides Reel Seat / Handle MSRP
MX-UR80MH 8'0" 10-25 1 Fast 1/2 - 3 SIC Phenix custom reel seat, cork and EVA $188
MX-UR80H 8'0" 15-35 1 Fast 1-6 SIC Phenix custom reel seat, cork and EVA $195


JIP lands another fish for Vince

Another hour went by and we had no bites but were staying quite entertained swapping out reels and baits and continuing to see just how the rods behaved.

Vince with another quality Clear Lake fish


Then as the sun finally peeked over the horizon the fog started to burn off, and within a span of 30 minutes the fog gave way to a bluebird sky. Finally we could see where we were going and made a beeline to some of our favorite winter spots on the lake.


Phenix's prostaff also get in on the M1 action

It didn’t take more than a few casts before we started boating fish on a combination of umbrella rigs, hard bodied swimbaits and spoons. As I observed earlier the M1 rods exude power and even the lighter rods delivered plenty of leverage when loaded up. We deliberately high sticked the rods and tried to boat flip 5 pounders. Vince didn’t seem worried at all and instead yelled “go for it!” So we did.

JIP boat flips a 5lbr. while Vince encourages him to high stick the rod

No broken rod tips, no shattered graphite, the M1 rods can take a beating. I talked about my observations about general sensitivity with Vince and he confirmed what I experienced. The rods are designed to be as sensitive as any other rod in the price point but the company focused on delivering a very balanced product, one that would cater well to the mid range market. If you desire extreme sensitivity above all Phenix will continue to offer their Ultra MBX line which retails from $259-$289 dollars

Each rod is finished with a Phenix butt cap

All in all the rods look aggressive and fun to fish, and they are. At the price point they are a very compelling offering and it will be interesting to see how they co-exist with the updated Recon line. I like the fact that Phenix pushes the envelope in design, especially when it comes to making sure the cosmetics/ergonomics of their rods matches up with the technology they put into their blanks. These days I roll my eyes when I hear “nano,” as everything is nano-this and nano-that, but on this rod the use of this technology to provide a more balanced offering is intriguing.

The Phenix M1 rods have plenty of personality and our on the water first look gave us insight into this balanced performer... the new M1 rods are ready to do battle at the sub 200 dollar price point

While brief, our time with Vince on the water left a few impressions in my mind in regards to this new series. The use of quality custom components and SiC guides at a rod of this price range is notable, and while only time will tell how well those soft touch reel seats will hold up, the fact is that Phenix wanted to create a series that stands out from the crowd at the sub 200 dollar price point, a rod with plenty of “personality,” and to that effect it certainly looks like they have succeeded. These new M1 rods are ready to do battle.

Looking for the Phenix M1 rods? Try Hi's Tackle Box









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