Reel Suggestions for Phenix Axis 720 X2H (40-100)

nate___dog

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I was going to say a Talica 16, but since you already have its cousin, just keep it. If you really want a new reel for it a 40N or comparably sized Saltiga would be other options. I have a Tac 16 on a 780x2h and it's at most a 60lb rod where a Mak or VISX is going to be more reel than that rod can take advantage of.

The one nice thing going for that rod is that the tip's pretty flippy, and when coupled with one of the aforementioned reels with lighter weight spools you have something that can really flyline a sardine well. Which can be a really nice option when bigger bluefin actually decide to finally suck a sardine off the surface during the day. I've managed a handful of mid-100lb grade during the day doing just that. Not that it can't be done on heavier gear, but just makes it a touch easier on a dine which can give you a touch more luck.
The cousin of the Talica is a nicer way to put than the poor mans Talica LOL. I honestly have yet to catch anything over 20# on the SM. So I do want to at least try to fish hard with it. It was honestly my first "bigger" conventional. Now with enough casting from light weights (to mimic a sardine) to up to 8oz lead weights in the backyard, I am a lot more experienced and comfortable with it from when I first got it. That's why I wouldn't mind jumping into a 20 size reel. The only thing holding me back now is the rod rating. I did see someone else saying that you add both end line #'s and divide by two will give you the # fish you should fish for. All about luck and how much you can do without breaking yourself or gear. Thanks for taking the time to post that information.
 
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RideHPD

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The cousin of the Talica is a nicer way to put than the poor mans Talica LOL. I honestly have yet to catch anything over 20# on the SM. So I do want to at least try to fish hard with it. It was honestly my first "bigger" conventional. Now with enough casting from light weights (to mimic a sardine) to up to 8oz lead weights in the backyard, I am a lot more experienced and comfortable with it from when I first got it. That's why I wouldn't mind jumping into a 20 size reel. The only thing holding me back now is the rod rating. I did see someone else saying that you add both end line #'s and divide by two will give you the # fish you should fish for. All about luck and how much you can do without breaking yourself or gear. Thanks for taking the time to post that information.

I think they meant that formula for the optimal line test and complementary drag setting that should be used; Talica 16s have killed yellowfin over 300lbs, as crazy as that it, albeit I would never chose that gear for it. Realistically, 150lbs-ish is right around the top end of appropriateness for any 60lb rig, 200 is probably doable if they're well behaved. The 12/16 size puts out 40lbs of drag with the lever all the way forward, you're never going to put more than that on that rod. The 20/25 goes up to 45, which I ended up using every last bit of on a fish this last year on an x3h axis, and that rod was completely bent out. I wouldn't bother going up in reel size without changing the rod, you're just going to lose spool responsiveness, ie add inertia
 
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nate___dog

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I think they meant that formula for the optimal line test and complementary drag setting that should be used; Talica 16s have killed yellowfin over 300lbs, as crazy as that it, albeit I would never chose that gear for it. Realistically, 150lbs-ish is right around the top end of appropriateness for any 60lb rig, 200 is probably doable if they're well behaved. The 12/16 size puts out 40lbs of drag with the lever all the way forward, you're never going to put more than that on that rod. The 20/25 goes up to 45, which I ended up using every last bit of on a fish this last year on an x3h axis, and that rod was completely bent out. I wouldn't bother going up in reel size without changing the rod, you're just going to lose spool responsiveness, ie add inertia
That makes better sense. Tac 16 on a 300+ YFT sounds like a mess. Probably had a heavier rod for that leverage. I do like the SM. I do want to use it, and it is a great reel to let someone new beat on it. I lend out my Tranx 400HG for that too. A new rod/reel combo seems to be my only go to. Another friend I meat on a charter of mine says he has a Tac 20ii on an X2H. He and some friends are also going on the 2 dayer that's planned in June.

When time gets closer to departure on the trip, I will keep an eye out on fish reports and also call the landing. Worst case scenario I rent one heavy setup, but might as well get something that will be with me for the next season and more.
 
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7emptsT

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I was looking for a jigstick... didn't care for the axis 90j too bulky and heavy. Found the UC gp 90 reaper and was instantly sold. Sold my phenix rods and started collecting uc gp rods lol. I have owned most of them at this point... then pulled on the cx76viper had to get one of those as well. I also pulled on a new line coming out GPX series the there was an 80 raptor at the show this weekend and decided I need one of those as well.
You have a problem🤣 wait so do I
 
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I hate seals

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The Accurate Valiant 800 is a nice reel for that rod, we use the 600 and 800's on the Axis 30-80 pound rods and have had great success with fish Bluefin to #120.
 
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2Rotten

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Your Phenix Axis 720 X2H paired with the SM 16ii fills an important slot in your quiver, stealthy sinker rig and daytime jigs. Keep them if you can make it work.

If you are going to make a habit of fishing BFT then you absolutely do want a real "Heavy". I purchased a UC Centaur/Mak 16, then decided that wasn't quite enough and picked up a Viper/Mak 20. Love the Viper! I would definitely recommend going straight to the Viper/Mak 20 (true 100/130# rig).
 
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surfgoose

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    I realize that you are 25 and really just starting your offshore adventures. You have some nice equipment already, the chance that you are going to be picked up by something that your existing rigs can't handle while going locally in SoCal for a couple of days is almost nil. The biggies and cows we have taken in the past several years on short runs have almost always been on kite gear, provided by the boat. I've taken two that way. I've walked onto the 1.5-day to 4-day runs with nothing heavier than an Avet HX5/2 holding 80# and have never once thought, "Oh, I should have ten more pounds of weight in my arms for dropping lures for hours, or trying to coax a sardine to swim away from the boat."

    Take the $1500 that you are itching to spend on a new very heavy rig and put it towards a 5-day or longer, maybe heading towards Guadelupe next winter. If you can manage it, go on the next Penn sponsored trip, they will have a lot of fine gear to try out. Or book on a true Long Range boat that has a bunch of great Shimanos or Makairas as boat gear. I think that after you actually fish with a number of different outfits from different makers, your preferences may well change.
     
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    nate___dog

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    Your Phenix Axis 720 X2H paired with the SM 16ii fills an important slot in your quiver, stealthy sinker rig and daytime jigs. Keep them if you can make it work.

    If you are going to make a habit of fishing BFT then you absolutely do want a real "Heavy". I purchased a UC Centaur/Mak 16, then decided that wasn't quite enough and picked up a Viper/Mak 20. Love the Viper! I would definitely recommend going straight to the Viper/Mak 20 (true 100/130# rig.)
    I was going to keep the SM16ii as they are lenders to my friends and first timers I invite on a charter.

    Trying to make it more of a habit. I’m not in cow hunting mode, but if the chance to land a cow, I am going to give it my all haha.

    Thank you for the recommendations. I will be noting this and will get a feel for the UC rod lines when I pick up some fishing gear Friday!
     
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    nate___dog

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    I realize that you are 25 and really just starting your offshore adventures. You have some nice equipment already, the chance that you are going to be picked up by something that your existing rigs can't handle while going locally in SoCal for a couple of days is almost nil. The biggies and cows we have taken in the past several years on short runs have almost always been on kite gear, provided by the boat. I've taken two that way. I've walked onto the 1.5-day to 4-day runs with nothing heavier than an Avet HX5/2 holding 80# and have never once thought, "Oh, I should have ten more pounds of weight in my arms for dropping lures for hours, or trying to coax a sardine to swim away from the boat."

    Take the $1500 that you are itching to spend on a new very heavy rig and put it towards a 5-day or longer, maybe heading towards Guadelupe next winter. If you can manage it, go on the next Penn sponsored trip, they will have a lot of fine gear to try out. Or book on a true Long Range boat that has a bunch of great Shimanos or Makairas as boat gear. I think that after you actually fish with a number of different outfits from different makers, your preferences may well change.
    Hey @surfgoose

    You are right that I am beginning my further off shore chapter. Knock on wood I haven’t had the need for a bigger setup for bringing a fish in. As we don’t know exactly what will be biting our bait, I’ve seen a 203# and a handful of 80#-130# BFT, and schooling BFT off the fly line, knife jig, and sinker rig on a full day trip on the Liberty this past season in August/September.

    I picked up this x2h, and only had a SM16ii and felt like more line was needed for possibly chasing the bigger BFT. I was going to carry the SM16ii in my fishing bag if I needed to change to lighter line and a lower weight category reel.

    I’ve planned to go to a sponsored trip last season but I missed out on a Shimano trip because I was in Colorado at the time. A sponsored trip/3+ day is definitely on the list this year. It would be nice to have my own heavy gear, but it is good thing to try it out before blindly buying a setup. Like buying a new car, you have to test drive it before you sign for it.

    Thank you for breaking it all down. Still doing research on what is the best route to go. One question for you, you think I’d be fine with the X2H and the SM16ii for the 2 day in late june?
     
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    Wandering Blues

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    I agonized over the same decision. After using one of @Let em eat 74 ’s Fathoms and picking his brain, I was convinced. I have the 720 X2H and the 780 X2H, both paired with Fathom 40’s. Bullet proof set ups that can fill a lot of needs. Great free spool and a super smooth drag. For the price on the Fathoms, I can’t think of a better reel.
     
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    migelito

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    If you’re interested in an axis 720 3x let me know I have one I’d reasonably sell
     
    nate___dog
    nate___dog
    Hey @migelito used phenix’s upgrade system and traded my x2h in for the x3h. I can ask my friend if he might be interested in a heavy tuna rod. What price are you asking?
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    I have that exact rod…and I used a Mak16 with it….caught a 70lb bluefin last year on a 400g flat fall glow/red crab.

    I felt like I was getting my ass kicked on that rod. The Mak16 reel was doing fine with that 1:1 low gear but the rod was getting worked. I think the 720X2H Axis fishes more on the lower end, 40lbs of the 40-100 stated rating. Therefore, I bought a Mak15T to put on my 720X2H and bought a Graftech XXXH rail rod for my Mak16. Best of luck
     
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    Bob Sands

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    Understandable! I have yet to actually try any other rods except a cal star (forget the model but I can ask). Didn't catch anything on it but I caught fish on my other phenix rods. Maybe one day I'll be able to try some setups on a sponsored trip this season.
    Nate, you might want to come by the shop on a Saturday when i am there.. It would be my pleasure to go over all the options with the various lineups, especially U.C.. Lots of decisions on rigs will be based on how efficiently you fight fish and what feels good in your hands while casting, while tickling the reel on bait or general fish fighting.. Just like any sport, posture and efficient use of energy make a huge difference both on the casting and fish fighting parts of the equation.. It would be my pleasure.. You can PM me if you are interested. I work with hundreds of anglers every year just at the shop (more like a thousand when the big fishing shows are happening) showing them some alternate techniques or tightening up the good techniques they already have. Once those folks take some coaching, the overwhelming majority realize they can easily handle much heavierGiant Tuna or other larger Target specific gear.

    Respectfully,

    Jamie
     
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    nate___dog

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    Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who joined in on this post. Ended up upgrading through Phenix for a x3h and pairing it up with a Penn 20 VISX filled with 710 yards of 100#. Pretty excited for the new season coming. Rigging up my own knife jigs (200g-400g) and can’t wait to try them out. Had to make a few more for my other fishing friends that needed more for their arsenal.

    Tight lines everyone 🎣🤙🏽

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