I have been a die hard fisherman all my life! At one point traveled everywhere to pull on huge fish! 150 days a year. I always used all graphite Calstar rods. Then thanks to the economy I had to let go of my boat! And decided to hang it up till I could raise my kids and afford another boat one day and start again. Well I defiantly never lost my passion for fishing, And was able to get 1/5th the boat I had to let go but it sparked my love for fishing right where I left off! Though in 6 years allot has changed in the way of gear!!! I couldn't believe how far the Shimano, Diawa and Avet reels have gone! But still saw the same Calstar graphite's and in the same color. Well I was able to buy a few Shimano Talica 2 speed and decided on a few Phenix rods that I was recommended by the man at the shop. I liked there style and seemed like pretty good rods with lots of back bone! Then when I asked my buddy that I consider my guru of fishing as well as he still fishes all over the world and is very well known in the industry. I asked him what he thought about my Phenix rods. He answered No good! And there made in China! Said only Calstar and Seeker are the way to go if I buy a over the counter ready made rod... Well that bummed me out but some time my buddy seems to exaggerate. I have looked on BD to see what everyone says about them but haven't found much? Any input Guy's? Thanks!