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A Dominating Combination - Ish Monroe's Tatula Elite AGS Equipped Frog Rod

SOLID! The Shimano Bantam MGL Baitcaster


ICAST 2018 COVERAGE from Orlando Florida
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Event Article: 2005 ICAST Rod Coverage

ICAST Coverage Day 2 - Its getting hot in the Rod Market (continued)

Kistler: One of the fastest growing companies in the tackle industry today is Kistler Custom Fishing Rods. Kistler’s motto has been to provide custom rod features in an everyday, off the shelf fishing rod. Three years removed from making their first real big splash in the market with their Helium Lighter than Air (LTA) line of rods Kistler debuted two brand new lines that promise to be even more intriguing.


Billy Kistler of Castaway fame, Trey Kistler, and Zander pause at the Kistler booth

Helium II LTX: Featuring their proprietary “Ampli-Fiber” core, the next generation in Helium rods are purported to weigh in at under 3 ounces per rod - this without sacrificing strength or durability. The He II LTX also features a new grip material that is not cork, nor is it foam, but a new material with very positive grip characteristics when wet or dry. This “sure-grip” material is molded into a new, split rear grip configuration capped by a new and improved “Smart-Touch” reel seat that features a more positive-grip finish as well. Filling out the matte finished blanks of the He II LTX’s are new copper zirconia guides and copper highlight wraps. A very smart looking package that we hope to further analyze for you in the near future.


Trey's new Helium II rods are designed to further increase sensitivity while reducing overall weight

Magnesium TS: Technique specific bass fishing sticks have become ubiquitous. Kistler Custom Fishing Rods enters the foray this coming year with their new Magnesium TS rods. Another evolution of the vaunted Helium blanks, these technique specific sticks, like the new He II LTX rods, feature a split rear grip but this time in cork. The guides will feature stainless steel frames with ceramic ring inserts and of course, all Kistler rods come with their now famous Kistler hook hangar.


Sure to be a top seller are the lightweight and aggressively priced Magnesium TS rods

Lipper rods?: Not exactly. We know Richard Wieder as the man who brought us the fabulous Lipper tool which we use rather religiously while fishing for both largemouth and offshore. When we saw Lipper at the show this year we were pleased to see upgraded Lipper tools but shocked to see the company out with their own line of unique rods.

Lipper President, Richard Wieder showed us his new line of Evolution GT solid graphite rods


Evolution GT: The Evolution GT rods are extremely thin yet capable of shouldering incredible amounts of weight. The secret is a solid graphite blank. You read that correctly, solid. The Evolution GT is on the opposite end of a Kistler Helium, being that a solid graphite blank is heavier than a normal hollow blank, but Lipper had one thing in mind when they built these rods....power to move fish. These robust rods are like cranes when it comes to heavy lifting. We loaded and high sticked them on the show floor and these rods wouldn't have any of it. There will be both freshwater and Saltwater versions available later this year and we look forward to exploring the benefits of solid graphite design in the field. Until then one thing we know for sure, these rods are built to take a beating.


This isn't your normal bass rod, its very thin yet packs a wallop thanks to a solid core

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