I used my new 8wt Axiom for the first time earlier this week and really liked it. Bought it at a fly fishing show in February after casting it in the building. Let me preface this by saying I've only been casting a couple years so my frame of reference is not that wide.
I've loaded my Axiom's with Sharkskin GPX and it shoots line amazingly well. I guess what hooked me at the show was the distance I could get with very little effort, minimal false casting, and no problem with accuracy. Thankfully, it performed as well on the water. The distance may be partly the Sharkskin, but I feel like the rod is a big part of the equation. I know, distance isn't everything, but I got it with flats fishing in mind and a little length ain't a bad thing. The rod is heavy, though, the 8wt coming in at a beefy 5.5 ounces, but I figure that it cuts my false casts in half (not that I false cast a lot anyway) making the work weight actually 2.75 ounces.
It's a pretty fast rod, but not a plank like some I've tried. My workhorse is a Winston IM6 6wt, not something you'd consider particularly fast, and I had no problem switching between the two.
A more experienced friend got a 6wt Axiom and loves it. He said the only downside is that his pricier rods suffered by comparison. While at the show, I had on a TFO hat and one the the fly tiers commented how he had just fished bonefish for a week in Belieze with an Axiom 8wt and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Made me feel better about the purchase I had made not 30 minutes earler). From a rod per dollar
perspective, I think the Axiom's hard to beat. I don't wish to get into the whole made in America
discussion, but the TFOs are sourced offshore, if that is important to you.
And I believe it's Kevlar that's woven into the rod so I guess you can fend off bullets with it.
Supposed to make it resist ovaling when flexing, I expect making it more lively and consistent. It may be just marketing, but I like the feel.
Finally, if it's good enough for Lefty, it's good enough for me.