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Rod Review

The Search For One : Phenix's Maxim Series 7'3" MH


Date: 3/8/15
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Phenix
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 8.39 - BEST VALUE AWARD!

Phenix continues to not just push, but shred the envelope offering components and materials normally reserved for high end products in rod series priced for the masses. Their new Maxim bass rod series feature blanks made with a carbon rather than paper scrim - a feature that made G.Loomis GLX unique back in the day. Today we put one of these blanks to the test in our review of their Maxim series MAX-73MH casting rod.


Introducing Phenix's Maxim MAX-73MH.


Phenix Maxim MAX-73MH Specifications

Material Phenix Proprietary blank with carbon fiber scrim
Length 7'-3"
Line Wt. 10-17lb
Lure Wt. 1/4-1oz
Pieces One
Guides 10+tip (proprietary guide)
Rear Handle Length 9 inches
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4.2 oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $119.99


Quality/Construction: The MAX-73MH is a seven foot, three inch, medium heavy powered casting rod. It comes with an unsanded blank, and a split rear grip of EVA foam. Epoxy work on all 10 guides plus the tip top were very clean. Looking down the blank from the reel seat towards the tip the blank has a slight lean to the left at the very tip, but the guides were all aligned perfectly.


Quality Ratings for Phenix Maxim MAX-73MH

Finish (1-5)
Grip (1-5)
Epoxy (1-5)
Blank (1-2)
Guides (1-2)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)


Matched with my tuned Chronarch 50E.

Performance: There was really only one reel in my arsenal worthy of pairing up with the MAX-73MH and its retro black and white color scheme - my 50 sized Chronarch E with upgraded AIR bearings from Hedgehog Studios, spooled with 12lb Sunline Supernatural Monofilament.

The MAX-73MH loads predictably in both casting and pitching situations.

Casting: The MAX-73MH loads very predictably in both casting and pitching situations. Its extra length really aids in both situations although I'd categorize its taper as more mod-fast than fast. With a lure rating of up to one ounce, I was only comfortable with up to maybe three quarter of an ounce lures in casting situations. Anything heavier and the rod's tip feels a bit overloaded. You can get away maybe a little more if you're pitching or of course, lobbing your casts. The MAX-73MH makes an excellent pitching stick.

Phenix custom designed the reel seat for this stick.

Sensitivity: The MAX-73MH is about average when it comes to sensitivity. You really cannot expect too much of rods in this price point, but with its raw unsanded and unfinished blank, Phenix makes sure nothing gets in the way of the blank's job of transmitting vibrations from its tip to your hands. Match the rod up with a high grade fluorocarbon line or braid and it will more than suit the purpose in terms of sensitivity.

Checking out the MAX-73MH's taper.

Power: With its added length, we expected the MAX-73MH to chart out a little softer than a typical medium heavy powered rod. What we didn't expect was for it to chart out even softer than a typical medium powered stick. However, considering this is a Phenix rod, we should just be accustomed to their rods charting out softer than the norm.

Fig 1 : The chart above illustrates the deflection characteristics of our Phenix Maxim MAX-73MH against
two medium powered sticks in our G.Loomis NRX852C JWR and MBR842C GLX.

This explains why I felt the rod's lure rating was a bit generous and only liked it with baits up to about three quarters of an ounce. All that having been said, out on the water battling with some feisty smallmouth bass from Lake Berryessa, the MAX-73MH's power curve felt good.

Performance Ratings for Phenix Maxim MAX-73MH

Pitch (1-5)
Cast (1-5)
Sensitivity (1-5)
Hook Set (1-5)
Control (1-5)
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)

The trigger is at a 90 degree angle.

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