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Rod Review


 

Are You a Big Bait Addict? If So, Kistler Has the Rod for You, the KLX7107XXH

 

Date: 3/5/20
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Kistler Rods
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.75 - GOOD

Introduction:
Tossing big baits with the intention of landing bigger weights in the livewell is becoming more commonplace with each passing year. However, that practice has kind of settled in with the mid-sized and mid-weighted baits of roughly five to seven inches in length and maybe two to four ounces in weight. The big, bad baits measuring nine inches or more and weighting in excess of six ounces are still the purview of serious trophy hunters, not tournament or more recreational minded anglers fishing for more than just one bite. As a result, finding sticks that can handle those bigger, badder baits is not a simple task. Kistler Custom Rods enters the foray this year with their brand new KLX7107XXH big bait stick rated to a whopping nine ounces (9oz) in lure weight! Let's see if this stick can truly handle it.

 

Kistler Rods KLX7107XXH Specifications

Material 42.7 Million Modulus T800S Carbon from Toray with Armor Plated Resin rolled by North Fork Composites
Length 7'-10"
Line Wt. 30-100lb
Lure Wt. 3-9oz
Pieces One
Guides 10+Tip SS/CoAlite Kigan Tangle Free
Rear Handle Length 14.25"
Power Rating Xtra-Xtra-Heavy
Taper Moderate Fast
Rod Weight 6.1 oz
Origin Made in USA
MSRP $350.00


Kistler's new trophy hunting stick, the KLX7107XXH

Impressions: Kistler Custom Rod's KLX7107XXH sits, of course, in their KLX lineup. It is a seven foot, ten inch (7'-10") stick made from a blank composed of 42.7 million modulus carbon fiber from Toray rolled by North Fork Composites up in the state of Washington. Yes, the same North Fork Composites owned by Gary Loomis.

This KLX stick is outfitted with stainless steel framed guides featuring CoAlite inserts by Kigan. The rod's lure rating is an astounding three to nine ounces (3-9ounces). I mean with a lure weight rating beginning at three ounces, this stick can't even be bothered with smaller lures!


Featuring a split rear grip handle assembly

 

The blank is sanded, and the rear grip is split featuring good quality cork contoured for comfort. Despite the rod's hefty proportions and ratings, Kistler was able to size a Fuji ECS reel seat with an exposed blank. They customize this seat with integrated EVA foam locking mechanism.


Matched with the sneaky good Abu Garcia REVO Beast X

Real World Tests: I paired the KLX7107XXH with one of my new favorite big bait reels in Abu Garcia's Beast X. This reel is sneaky good for big baits because it's relatively small, but has good line capacity. I spooled it with a fresh supply of Seaguar Smackdown 50lb braid. To test the rod's ability at its upper limits, I took out of retirement, my Rago Baits ten inch Tool (total weight 8.4 oz).


A big, beefy stick with an exposed blank reel seat


Taking this 10" Rago Tool out of retirement to help test this stick

Casting: It's been a little while since I've launched a bait of this heft, so I took a couple of gentle practice swings before really laying into a cast. The KLX7107XXH feels like a graphite broomstick when you first pick it up, but softens up just a tad when you have a bait like the Rago Baits Tool tied to the end of the line. But as I said, just a tad, because after a couple of practice swings, it was obvious the lure was not going to overtax this stick. The third cast, I laid into it and was relieved when the bait went flying, quivering ever so slightly in the air as it flew backwards to distances unknown until SPLASH. Man these baits make a lot of commotion when they hit!


Really smooth curve during casts

After several of these tests, I had to stop myself because that Rago Tool was hypnotizing me as it swam back to the boat convincing me that a rogue bass was going to come up and crush that thing. That bait looks so good in the water. It took all I had to shake off that big bait stupor and get back to the task at hand testing the KLX7107XXH's casting ability, so I cut the bait off, and reached for another. This time, it was an early production run bait from Mattlures that has yet to be named, or even priced. This bait weighs in at a more respectable four point one ounces (4.1oz).


The rear handle is long enough to comfortably tuck under your arm


A more sensibly sized big bait from Mattlures - yet to be named or priced

Results with this bait were predictable of course. Because this bait fits comfortably within the KLX7107XXH's lure rating, casting was no problem. Unfortunately, this bait is equally mesmerizing and I spent a good half hour casting and swimming it before moving on. Next bait up was a five and a half inch (5.5") Cal Coast Fishing Twerk Minnow paired with an Owner Flashy Swimmer. This bait comes in two sizes, the larger of which is seven and a half inches (7.5"). I chose the smaller of the two because I wanted to test this stick's lower limit. Total weight of this bait combo? One point seven ounces (1.7oz) - well below the KLX7107XXH's rating.


Well below the rod's rating, but still easy to cast and work

Given the rod's lure rating, my expectation was that I wouldn't really be able to feel that bait at the end of the line, and that it'd be like trying to cast a Ned Rig on a flipping stick. To my surprise, the KLX7107XXH handled the Twerk Minnow just fine in all different launch angles. It could have something to do with the reel and line I was using, but the lower end lure rating on this stick definitely has room for negotiation - that's a good thing.


The old school, sanded blank


The very small guide train

Next Section: KLX sensitivity...

 

   

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