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TFO's flagship saltwater fly rod series, the Axiom II, is all-new for the 2019 season and is a solid offering from a company focused on affordability and performance. Entering the market in the mid-$300 price range, the Axiom II definitely falls in line with TFO's mission to create affordable rods. But what about the performance of the Axiom II? That's one of the questions we set out to answer in this review.

The Axiom II is a rod for the everyman. Built with a medium-fast action these rods are forgiving and versatile, built for a variety of angling scenarios. With rod models from 5wt through 12wt, this series has a rod for almost every angling situation. The 8wt is built for both freshwater and saltwater anglers who are looking for a well-rounded rod with presentation-based casting capabilities and solid accuracy at close range. 

Whether you're choosing a rod for Bass, Bonefish, Steelhead, or Salmon, the Axiom II has a lot to offer at an attractive price point. Read on to find out what we liked about the 8wt version of the Axiom II and some of the cool features on this rod.


TFO Axiom II 9' 8wt Fly Rod
Lamson Liquid Fly Reel
Scientific Anglers Mastery Bonefish Fly Line
Scientific Anglers Mastery Titan Fly Line

Fit & Finish

The Axiom II has a lot to be excited about in the componentry department. Not only does the rod look stylish, but it also has some features that are particularly function-based. One such feature is the composite fighting butt for increased durability. This fighting butt stands up to weather and wear and helps when fighting large fish. A double uplocking reel seat with a green graphite spacer anchors large saltwater reels and is corrosion-resistant. A full wells grip fits perfectly in hand and is made with quality cork. Finally, SiC stripping guides and hard chrome snake guides add low friction saltwater performance to the rod.


With an overall rod weight of 3.81 ounces and a swing weight of 81 gm2, the Axiom II is one of the lightest 8wt fly rods on the market. The low swing weight of 81 gm2 is comparable to the Scott Meridian which is pretty good for a rod that's half the price. What's better? You can really feel the rod's lightweight design when casting which is great for anglers who prefer long days on the water and high-frequency casting.


The Axiom II is a medium-fast action rod and, as such, lacks power and accuracy at longer distances. While the Axiom II is one of our favorite rods at close range, and certainly a rod with an incredibly lightweight design, these things come at the expense of performance at longer distances. We felt the rod just didn't have the backbone and reserve power we're used to in a fast action 8wt.

When comparing the rod to its little brother, the TFO BVK, we found that the BVK was a better boat rod overall with a lot more power. The BVK may be a better rod choice if you're planning on doing a lot of distance casting. That being said, the Axiom II offers some advantages that the BVK doesn't. More about that in the next section.


This is where the Axiom II really shines. We were pleasantly surprised by the Axiom II's pinpoint accuracy at our first saltwater distance of 40-feet. The medium-fast action of the rod encourages finesse and delicacy at close range and the Axiom II can deliver a fly accurately almost every time at 40-feet. This short-range accuracy makes the Axiom II a great choice for the flats angler who stalks wary Bonefish on foot. It also makes the Axiom II a better choice than the BVK for accuracy inside 60-feet.

At middle distances, we saw much of the same accuracy from the Axiom II. In fact, we felt the Axiom II was as accurate as almost any 8wt fly rod we've cast at 60-feet. And, at its price point, that's really saying something. The rod continued to land the fly on target almost every time when partnered with Scientific Anglers Mastery Bonefish Fly Line.

And, as aforementioned, the Axiom II just lost power, accuracy, and performance at longer distances. Unlike other rods we've reviewed with subpar accuracy at longer distances, we didn't see any improvements when we cast the rod with a Rio Outbound Short Fly Line. The rod is just too soft for pinpoint accuracy beyond 60-feet and a line with a more aggressive front taper doesn't really change that.

Flex & Feel

Rods that are accurate at close ranges don't always provide a ton of feedback and feel, take the Axiom II-X for example (read our review here). But this rod is different. We found this rod had a ton of feedback and feel at 40-feet. And when we pushed the rod back to 60-feet, we found much of the same story. SA Bonefish milked a ton of feedback out of the Axiom II and the medium-fast action of the rod will help anglers with a sensitive hand be successfully in tune with the rod's abilities in the short/medium distance range.

When we cast the Axiom II at longer distances, however, the rod flexed differently. When we pushed the flex of the rod into the butt section to access as much power as possible, we found that feedback was minimal and the rod really didn't have the power to land a fly accurately. The feedback accessed by casting the rod off of the tip was good, the feedback accessed by casting the rod off of the mid-section was great, but the rod just didn't provide the feedback and feel we're used to in saltwater fly rods at longer distances.


TFO Lifetime Warranty




This is one of our favorite fly rods out to 80-feet. The rod's taper is designed to provide maximum accuracy at important saltwater distances inside 80-feet. And, to our surprise, the rod provided loads of feedback and feel at these closer distances. If you're looking for a boat rod with a ton of power and accuracy at long distances, this may not be the best choice. However, if you're an angler who prefers to wade for Bonefish, fish the Great Lakes Tributaries for Steelhead, or swing streamers in Alaska for Silvers, this is a stellar rod for the job.


  • Phenomenal accuracy out to 80-feet
  • Pricepoint


  • Not a ton of power at longer distances


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