Expert Review: Temple Fork Outfitters Axiom 2 Fly Rod

This review is my honest opinion of the rod, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2022.

The Temple Fork Outfitters Axiom 2 Fly Rod.

All photos courtesy of Marshall McDougal

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the rod, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2022.

My take

The Axiom II is extremely versatile and is one of Temple Fork Outfitters’ new flagship rods. I really enjoyed casting this rod, and think it’s an extremely smooth rod that is priced very competitively. The quality of this rod is phenomenal for the price point.

A bug on a fishing rod.

About this rod

  • Model: TFO Axiom II
  • Rod Length: 9’
  • Rod Weight: 5 wt
  • Rod Pieces: 4 piece
  • Rod Material: Carbon Fiber

About me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): Dry Fly and Streamers
  • Experience: 16 Years

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: April 2022
  • Reel Paired with Rod: TFO BVK SD II
  • Line Paired Rod: Monic Icicle WF-5-F
  • Days tested: 15+
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Piedra River, CO; San Juan River, CO
  • Species targeted with rod: Trout

How it performs

Casting Ease

What I was looking for

I was looking for a rod that would be a good all-around trout rod. Something that could cast small streamers and hopper dropper rigs, but still be sensitive enough to land small dry flies and nymph fish.

Why I chose this gear

I knew TFO offered trout-specific rods that were geared toward dry fly fishing but was looking for something with a little more backbone. The Axiom II was the best all-around rod TFO offered to target larger trout and be able to cast a wide variety of flies.

I also considered buying the TFO Blue Ribbon, which is a moderate-fast action rod. But after casting the two side-by-side, I loved the feel of the Axiom II, and the extra power that was gained.

A fisherman casts a rod into a river.

What I love about it

  • Quality: The rod is built with very high-quality materials and attention to detail. The fully anodized reel seat keeps the metal from rusting after many years of use. The handle is made of high-quality cork, and the carbon fiber rod has a matte olive green finish, making it a beautiful-looking rod.
  • Use Case: I fished dry flies from size 4-14 with this rod on small to medium rivers, as well as streamers and hopper dropper rigs. This rod had the power to throw bigger, heavier patterns as well as delicately present smaller dry flies to rising trout. This rod is extremely versatile, and with offerings from a 5wt 9’-0” to a 12wt 9’-0” this rod can target multiple species over many different types of water.
  • Action:
    • Ease of casting: The rod has Intermediate casting ease with some forgiveness. An experienced angler would cast with lots of ease.
    • Recover rate: The rod has high recovery rate and response.
    • Line speed: The line speed is fast.
    • Ideal casting distance: The ideal casting distance of this rod is between 20ft to 70ft
    • Accuracy: Pinpoint
    • Delicacy of presentation: Great for small dry flies
  • Weight: 5wt rod paired with 5 wt line – 148 grains. This specific size and weight is best suited for trout and small bass.
  • Literal Weight: 2.9 oz bare, and 7.8 oz with the reel and line. Easy to cast all day with no arm fatigue.
  • Length: At 9’0” long, this rod is the perfect length for an all-purpose trout rod.
  • Sensitivity: This rod is a smooth casting, delicate landing, dry fly rod that is not only powerful but responsive to the angler.
  • Grip: Flor grade cork, half wells with no fighting butt. Easy to hold and grip while casting and fighting fish. This cork, when sealed correctly, will last a lifetime.
  • Build: High-modulus carbon fiber construction allows this rod to withstand any fish you hook into. Excellent craftsmanship on the reel seat and insert, as well as high-quality cork to round out a well-built stick.
  • Aesthetics: Matte olive green finish, with white logo and weight/length denotations, makes this rod look sleek on the water. The anodized reel seat and the braided insert is a nice touch to add to the rod’s aesthetics.
  • Warranty: This rod comes with a no-fault lifetime warranty.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Durability: On my specific rod, I saw wear in the cork faster than I usually see on fly rods. The blank shows scratches and marks easily that do not have an effect on overall rod performance.
  • Other: The reel seat does not offer an integrated hook rest, as the Blue Ribbon does. And the locking rings for the reel seat need to be checked after a boat or car ride because they can come loose with excessive vibration.
A fish in a net. There is a fly rid visible next to the net.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite memory with this rod was landing an 18” brown trout on the San Juan River on a hopper pattern. I was able to use the rod's power to launch a hopper across the river to some brush that was overhanging the top of a deep pool. This fish demolished my fly and put up an awesome fight with multiple jumps. The backbone of the rod allowed me to fight the fish and quickly release it so as to not tire it out too much.

Value for the money vs. other options

This rod offers excellent quality for the money, especially when it compares to rods that cost upwards of $1,000. Coming in at $349.95, this rod is relatively inexpensive compared to other manufacturers’ premium rods. I have not been disappointed in the value, quality, and performance of the Axiom II.

Final verdict

The Axiom II is an awesome rod for chasing large trout, all the way up to saltwater applications. It is versatile, and casts any line and fly combination with ease. This is one of the best all-purpose rods to have in an angler's quiver.

Selling Temple Fork Outfitters on
Temple Fork Outfitters Axiom II Fly Rod
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Written By
I picked up a fly rod at the age of 10 and have never been able to put it down. Fly tying started shortly after and I have chased fish all over the US and Mexico. I now own a small fly tying company as well as run guided trips. My favorite area to fish is the Bitteroot River in Missoula, MT and my f...

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