Instant Favorite: TFO Axiom II-X Fly Rod Review

This fly rod has become an instant favorite, reviewing the tfo axiom 2-x fly rod

Temple Fork Outfitters, Axiom II-X fly rod, an affordable TFO masterpiece
Temple Fork Outfitters, Axiom II-X fly rod

December 2023

Maybe it's cynical to think like this, but I tend to see rod reviews as marketing ploy's in disguise, timed with the release of a new product. So even though I'm here talking about a rod, don't take it as any kind of brand endorsement. I've actually gone back and forth if I even wanted to put this out there. But here goes...

This rod surprised me.

I originally bought the Axiom II-X primarily as a travel rod. With an excellent warranty and price-tag, I figured this was the kind of rod I could take with me whenever I was wandering a bit further from home-base. On a plane, boat, strapped to a backpack, left in the back of the truck; I wanted something I didn't have to worry about. See, when I fish, I tend to fish hard. I don't baby my rod, protect it from any scratch, or worry over cosmetic imperfections. Nor do I mourn broken rod sections. The goal is simply to deliver flies to fish, effectively. And even though it's true that I don't want to overspend on a rod, that doesn't mean I'm willing to compromise on performance. I still want to cast accurately, send flies long distances, and develop confidence in my tool of choice.

So I did some homework and ultimately added the 8wt Axiom II-X to my arsenal. The goal was met, something utilitarian to fill a need. It didn't really matter how it casted, or felt... But then as I started testing it out, and it kept calling me back for more. I began by simply slinging poppers on bass ponds, both from bank and from my raft. I just wanted to see how it performed, how far I could throw line... it throws line a long ways... It lived in my trunk, and as this season progressed it stuck more than a few beefy carp. This checked another box, landing those carp gave me confidence in this rod's fighting prowess. Backbone + accuracy + presentation, check. Light in the hand, too. After a while, this rod became a staple on every outing. It still held its warmwater duties, but also became THE streamer rod for trout. Before I knew it, this travel rod was replacing my old standard options, and sticking fish along the way, including some above average sized Hawaiian bonefish. For reference, I have mine paired with a Sage 4250 reel (4.5oz), and the balance is sublime.

The quality is beyond adequate, the rod feels light to wield, casts with intention and earned a reputation as unquestionably reliable. Plus Temple Fork's warranty is arguably the most friendly in the world of fly rods.

It looks cool, casts precisely, and now the other Due West Angler's crew have had a chance to corroborate my opinion. It deserves more attention.

Temple Fork Outfitters, Axiom II-X fly rod