Winner of the 2018 IFTD 2-Hand Rod of the Year and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Exhibition 2019 EFTTEX Best New Product we were left scratching our heads wondering how TFO did it. Temple Fork has long been known as one of the best rod companies for the money with rods such as the BVK and Deer Creek and a bullet proof warranty.
Last week I took the Axiom II 7wt Switch out for a swing on the Salmon River with wallet full of Airflo heads. With a grain window of 350 – 550 grains we started out with a 420 grain Airflo Skagit Scout expecting it to be slightly light for the grain window spec’d, but also pretty standard for most 7wt switch rods and that’s where the fun began!
Not to light and not to heavy, but juuussst…. right. I set my trusted 7wt spey down on the bank, took one last look and felt a bit guilty for having so much fun with the Axiom then rock scrambled my way up river to some promising riffles with some good structure at their tails. As I sit here drinking coffee and getting set to fish the Grande Ronde this morning, I realize perhaps the best way for me to tell you about why I enjoyed the Axiom II Switch so much is for me to confess why I felt guilty and maybe even a little ashamed for cheating on my trusty spey rod.
Dear father I cheated on my trusty spey rod because…..
One, the Axiom II was built upon Bob Meiser’s Deer Creek two handed rods but then TFO got a little weird. They used a Kevlar base and wrapped it in their highest modulus graphite! WTFly!
The result is incredible power and distance we never expected from a switch rod. I played around with a higher stop and I was soon in a casting range that put me in the window of a typical spey cast.
Two, Bob’s got soul!
But maybe I don’t because I definitely cheated on my spey rod. As you read earlier the Axiom II Switch was based on the Deer Creek and Bob Meiser’s soulful tapers. So when I was jacking casts I didn’t feel that stiffness that can sometimes plague other high modulus rods. Instead the voodoo that TFO used to create the Axiom II along with Bob’s tapers creates just the right amount of bend throughout the rod which felt smooth and with almost no rebound. The Kevlar base material likely helps stop the rod from over bending, providing just the right curvature as you lift the fly out of the water and deliver thee to its home on the water.
If you ask me the grip of a fly rod can make or break how a rod is designed and is also one of the least talked about aspects when purchasing or discussing fly rods. Where the grip is placed on a rod can effect how the rod flexes and how it’s balanced. These features might be more pronounced on a single hand rod than a two handed rod but it’s worth bringing up.
The Axiom II Switch has a thinner grip than some other brands.
“The grip profiles must be slim enough to enhance (and actually discipline) a relaxed "friendly" delivery. There is no joy in the ache of a cramped hand or wrist resulting from an overly large diameter, incorrectly profiled two handed grip.” – Bob Meiser
While a thicker grip might be better for a new two handed caster who would tend to over grip a rod.
Fourth, a shorter rod can be the perfect solution when you’re casting all day, or just trying to cut the wind .
Fifth, it's time for me to hit the water and... you should buy the Axiom II if you’re looking for your next mid range priced rod that’s one hell of a deal.