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Kistler Custom Rods Extends the ZBone Brand


Date: 7/22/10
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Admission: Buyers & Press Only
Manufacturer: Kistler Custom Rods
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Last summer, Kistler Custom Rods shared with us their intent to bring the custom rod experience to the masses with their new ZBone offering available for specification and ordering online. Development of their online ordering software took longer than expected, but finally this past spring, their build to order website interface was completed and they’ve been inundated with orders ever since. The success of their ZBone line of rods, built on American made blanks rolled by North Fork Composites has been greater than they anticipated.


A new decade means a new hook hangar for Kistler Custom Rods.

Due to this success, Kistler Custom Rods announced at ICAST 2010 that they will now be offering three separate lines of pre-built, stock, ZBone rods. All three series will be built on their custom blend North Fork Composite HM blank with the actual difference in series coming down to specific components.


And a new generation of sticks.. ZBone goes stock beginning with the LS.


ZBone LS: Available for approximately $300 will be the ZBone LS series of rods featuring Fuji Kframe (tangle free), micro guides with stainless steel frames and Alconite inserts. The ZBone LS series will also feature standard cork handles and Kistler’s new hook lock bait keeper and smart grip, reel seat hood.


Stock model rod on top with a standard looking foregrip, and the custom ZBone on the bottom featuring the ZBone handle kit and decorative foregrip integrated to the reel seat locking mechanism.


But all is not what it may seem with the stock ZBone foregrip.

ZBone LE: A step up from the LS series will be the ZBone LE featuring the same components as the LS series but featuring a rubberized, composite cork grip first seen on their Helium LTA series of rods. These grips are unconventional in appearance, but have proven quite comfortable to owners of the late model Helium LTA rods.

Introducing Kistler's new Smart Grip.

An EVA hood that goes over the reel seat locking mechanism, concealing this component and giving your fingers a more comfortable material to rest upon.

ZBone LEX: At the top end of the stock, ZBone offering is the ZBone LEX. These sticks will feature the top end Fuji Kframe micro guides with titanium frames and SiC inserts. The split rear grip on this series of rods will be sculpted from eva foam and will include the Kistler balancing kit.


The middle child of the stock ZBone lineup.. the LE.


With Fuji K-frame series, titanium framed SiC insert micro guides, the ZBone LEX is Kistler's new top end stock rod.


ZBone Custom: Kistler Custom Rods will continue to offer their ZBone rods through their build your own website interface and only through this ordering process can you get the full ZBone handle kit complete with a foregrip integrated into the reel seat locking mechanism (as opposed to the Smart Grip hood), and full array of decorative winding checks.


Customers will now be able to order their Custom ZBone with their choice of accent colors perhaps even with the option to mix and match.


Every ZBone rod, stock or custom, will be built on a North Fork Composites blank.

Micro Guide Rod Sleeve: Each and every ZBone rod will now also come with a custom made Micro Guide Rod Sleeve manufactured by McCoy with a special nylon weave to prevent micro-guide poke through. These sleeves will also available for order direct from Kistler Custom rods for ten dollars each. They come in one length (sixty inches) and are suitable for rods up to eight feet in length.


Kistler has partnered with McCoy to develop a new rod sleeve suitable for micro guides.


These sleeves feature a tighter weave, close enough to prevent micro guides from poking through.

Last but not least is the extension of the Kistler Custom Rods warranty. Thanks in part to their close working relationship with North Fork Composites, Kistler Custom Rods is now able to extend their warranty coverage to a one year, over the counter warranty available from participating dealers.


The team at Kistler Custom Rods shows us their exciting new lineup of stock ZBones.

Conclusion: Slowly but surely the excitement that once surrounded this Texas based rod manufacturer, fueled by the original Helium LTA series, is returning and not just from customers but from within the company as well. Trey Kistler couldn’t be happier to once again offer a series of rods with blanks manufactured within the United States and built by his staff of trained professionals. It’s been several years in the making, and so far Kistler Custom Rod's ZBone series of rods are just what Kistler fans have ordered.










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