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Rod Review

Creature Fever : Phenix Gets into Heavy Recon


Date: 12/2/12
Tackle Type: Rods
Manufacturer: Phenix
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.83 + BEST VALUE AWARD!

It's been over a year since Phenix Rods debuted their Recon series and judging from the way these sticks have been flying off the store racks, we'd say they've been a large success. Let's see, build a series of sticks on medium modulus, 36 ton graphite blanks, outfit them with high end, SiC guides, add some contemporary styling to the mix and put that all together for under $200? It was pretty much a no brainer that this series would gain traction, but aside from our preview of the product line in October of 2011, you've not heard a peep from us regarding these sticks. Why is that? Well, because we've been busy fishing a couple of models all in an effort to find out what these sticks are really about. Here now is our look at Phenix's Recon PHX-C715H!


Phenix Recon PHX-C715H Specifications

Material Proprietary blend of 36 ton Graphite
Length 7'-1"
Line Wt. 10 - 25 lbs
Lure Wt. 3/8 - 1 1/2 oz
Pieces One
Guides 10 + 1 SS/SiC
Rear Handle Length 9"
Power Rating Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 3.6 oz
Origin Made in China
MSRP $169.99


Impressions: There's no avoiding the comparison. When I first saw Phenix's Recon series of rods, I was reminded of my Megabass Racing Condition sticks sitting in my rod locker. We've seen several manufacturers attempt to style their rods after JDM manufacturers, and while one would think it's not rocket science, this is the closest anyone has come simulating the proportions, components, color scheme, basic look and feel of an existing JDM lineup. It's not just about flash and dash, but about harmony. Phenix has found this harmony in the styling of their Recon rods.


Introducing our look at Phenix Rod's Recon PHX-C715H

So are they the same sticks? No. In simple terms, Phenix is making use of 36 ton graphite where Megabass typically uses 46 ton graphite in a complex weave of patterns and layering to build their blanks. The Phenix product will be more durable, the Megabass product should out perform but also be more brittle and fragile by comparison, at least on paper. Obviously, the Phenix Recon is far more attractively priced. It's products like the Phenix Recon that make it great to be on the consumer side of things.

This bit of detailing is very reminiscent of JDM sticks

With the Recon PHX-C715H specifically, I was looking for an affordable, heavy powered stick that I could use during our Creature Fever themed year. Fresh off our introductory session on the water with Vince Borges, Phenix Pro-Staff last fall, the PHX-C715H was just a natural selection but once I had it in hand, it didn't quite feel as stout as I imagined given the rod's ratings.

Fig 1 : This chart demonstrates the deflection characteristics of our PHX-C715H (orange curve) as compared to our 2012 Creature Fever baseline stick, G.Loomis's MBR844C GLX.

Lab Tests: So, in an effort to discern whether it was my imagination or if the PHX-C715H truly was underpowered, I took it to the lab and strapped it up to our RoD WRACK for analysis. What I found was the PHX-C715H really does have a softer tip than our baseline Creature Fever stick, the MBR844C GLX. Even though their curves do eventually align, going by numbers alone, the PHX-C715H more closely resembles the RoD average of our 2010 Search for One candidates. So my final assessment would be the PHX-C715H is a better all purpose stick than it is a rod for fishing under heavy cover conditions.

Lab Results for Phenix Recon PHX-C715H

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Phenix Recon PHX-C715H
TSFO 26 Rod Avg

Field Tests: I matched my PHX-C715H with a couple of different reels including Quantum's EXO PTi casting reel, Daiwa's T3 Ballistic, and Daiwa's PXL Type-R. As part of our Creature Fever themed year, all these reels were spooled with braid.

Out on the water, I fished this rod with a variety of reels including Daiwa's PX68 Type R.

Next Section: Time to make a cast, Recon style









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