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Rod Review


Going M.A.D. Over Kistler's Helium 3 (continued)

Features: The He3-H711MAD comes with smallish guides. I'm uncertain as to whether they are true micros or semi-micros, I just know they're smaller than standard sized guides and difficult to string with my aging eyesight. The grip is of a standard grade cork and the reel seat is a standard Fuji ECS seat. The rod does not come with a rod sleeve, and a Kigan open ended hook keeper just above the reelseat on the top side of the rod.

Features Ratings for Kistler Mark Daniels Jr Signature He3H711MAD

Grip (1-5)
Guides (1-5)
Reel Seat (1-5)
Hook Keeper (1-5)
Rod Sleeve (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
4
4
1
16
25
6.4


And of course the butt end.

Design/Ergonomics: At almost eight feet in length, the He3-H711MAD is a big stick. Yet, with all its length, it only weighs 5.1 ounces. Of course, with a stick of that length and relatively light weight one would expect a pretty tip heavy stick but the He3-H711MAD has a balancing torque just slightly above some of the averages for sticks with similar lengths and powers.

Lab Results for Kistler Mark Daniels Jr Signature He3H711MAD

Model
Avg RoD (2-48 oz)
Taper
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Kistler Mark Daniels Jr Signature He3H711MAD
1.50
Moderate
5.1
11
0.30
MBR844C GLX
1.48
Fast
4.7
7.5
--
Flipping Rod Average
1.52
---
6.0
8.5
0.27
Finesse SB Rod Avg
1.46
--
6.45
7.8
--
All Purpose SB Rod Avg
1.18
--
8.49
6.68
0.26
Heavy Hitters SB Rod Avg
0.84
--
8.03
11.63
0.53

The rod's standard cork grip is sculpted and comfortable to hold and the rod's graphics are subtle with only some Helium blue thread wraps to add a bit of interest to the rod's overall build.

Design & Ergonomics Ratings for Kistler Mark Daniels Jr Signature He3H711MAD

Grip (1-5)
Colors / Graphics (1-5)
Balance (1-5)
Weight (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
3
4
3
4
14
20
7.0


The guide on top is from a rod in the original Helium series (He76HC) while the guide on bottom is from the He3-H711MAD.

Application: We've seen a few heavy powered sticks over the last couple of years now come in a versatility not seen in some of our Search for One candidates. The He3-H711MAD is one such candidate. Thanks to its length and power, you can use this stick flipping and punching in heavy cover, but you can also back off and throw frogs with it. Because it has such a moderate taper and high lure rating, you can use it for glide baits and big, deep diving cranks. If you need one stick to do it all in an environment similar to the California Delta, you'd be hard pressed to find a stick more suitable than the He3-H711MAD.

Bass Rod Application Ratings for Kistler Mark Daniels Jr Signature He3H711MAD

Rip/Jerk (1-5)
Steady (1-5)
Lift & Drop (1-5)
Drag (1-5)
Twitch (1-5)
Total
Possible
Rating (= Tot/Pos * 10)
4
5
5
5
3
22
25
8.8

Ratings:

Kistler Mark Daniels Jr Signature He3H711MAD Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A solid, clean build 8.95
Performance A very surprising stick 9.6
Price Made in the USA on a US rolled blank for under $300 is very reasonable 8.0
Features Basic set of features for a basic build 6.4
Design (Ergonomics) Light for a rod of this length and power 7.0
Application Surprisingly versatile 8.8

Total Score

8.13
Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here

 

Pluses and Minuses:

Plus

Minus
+ Surprising All Purpose functionality in a 7'-11" heavy powered rod - Just a little tip heavy
+ Quality blank - You may very well want more than one
+ Clean, Made in the USA build  
+ Light for a rod of this length and power  

 

Conclusion: Mark Daniels Jr practically grew up on the California Delta so I shouldn't be surprised that a stick bearing his name (MAD = Mark Anthony Daniels), is so perfectly suited for that waterway. Funny thing is, the more I fished this stick the more I got that feeling of Déjà Vu.

 


Somebody's home!

 

Back in December of 2004, I wrote up a stick that was similar in versatility but only 7'-6" in length. That stick was only rated up to one full ounce in lure weight so it probably couldn't handle some of today's bigger baits, but the He3-H711MAD almost felt like an updated version of that rod. What was it? Kistler's original Helium He76HC - one of my all time favorite fishing rods that has since been retired for fear of losing it to an unforeseen accident.

 


Not a monster by any means but still great fun out on the CA Delta with the He3-H711MAD.

 

The He3-H711MAD is even more versatile than the He76HC. With this stick you can punch, flip, work a Lunker Punker, buzzbait, square bill, spinnerbait, jig, pitch unweighted Senkos, burn lipless cranks - all techniques that are used on the Delta. Then you can turn around, take it up to Clear Lake and throw a glide bait all day long. The versatility of this stick is really surprising and yet, given the history behind the Helium series and Kistler Rods, maybe not so surprising after all.


 

 

 

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