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Rod Review


 

A Measure of Consistency, Kistler's New KLX

 

Date: 10/5/22
Tackle Type: Rod
Manufacturer: Kistler Custom Rods
Reviewer: Cal






Total Score: 7.75 - GOOD

Introduction:
Last year, Kistler Custom Rods refreshed their Helium series of rods with a new blank the company is having made overseas. I found that new KC9 blank crisp, lively, and powerful. Since that introduction, the company has been busy refreshing their entire family of rods with new blanks. Where the KC9 blank is featured in Helium and ZBone, the company's top two series, the third in their pecking order, KLX, features a different blank, KC8. I reached out to Trey Kistler to learn more about this second tier blank and instead of describing it to me, he sent one of his newly revamped KLX rods in for us to experience for ourselves. Introducing Kistler Custom Rods's KLX764MH.

 

Kistler '22 KLX764MH Specifications

Material Kistler KC8 Blank
Length 7'-6"
Line Wt. 14-17lb
Lure Wt. 1/4-3/4oz
Pieces One
Guides 9+Tip (Kigan SS/Coalite)
Rear Handle Length 10.5
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4.3
Origin Assembled in USA
MSRP $300


2022 brings us a new KLX

Impressions: The 2022 KLX764MH is a seven foot, six inch (7'-6"), four (4) power rod in Kistler's power hierarchy. For them, this equates to "Medium Heavy" - our prototypical Search for One specification. It is built with the same split rear grip handle made of cork that Kistler has used since the series's introduction, so even though the blank may have evolved through the years, KLX's look has remained the same. The 2022 vintage KLX is adorned with Kigan guides made with stainless steel frames and featuring a Coalite insert (a variant of aluminum oxide).

 


The difference is in the blank

 

The KC8 blank has a similar appearance to the KC9 I fished on last year's Helium refresh in that the blank is lightly sanded, but not to the point where the ridges from the cellophane wrap used during the baking process are removed. Initial impressions are this blank has a similar feel to the KC9 only slightly less crisp.


Overall, the series looks the same

Real World Tests: For once, the usual, drawn out task of deciding which reel to pair with a new rod for testing purposes was easy. I knew exactly which reel I'd pair the KLX764MH with the moment Kistler sent me the rod's tracking number. I simply had to drop a couple of dabs of oil on the reel's spool and sideplate bearings, install a fresh supply of twelve pound, Soft Steel Instinct Fluorocarbon, and my Kistler Series 1 casting reel was ready for duty!


KLX764MH rigged and ready for some testing

Casting: If there's one thing I enjoy about fishing products from brands with which I'm familiar, it is the fact, for the most part, I know what to expect. No where is this more important than when selecting a fishing rod. Specifications and descriptions are one thing, but every manufacturer has a different definition of medium vs medium heavy and so on. Even described tapers (also referred to as actions) are not consistent. For this reason, switching between brands when selecting a fishing rods can be a little bit of a crap shoot.


This vintage KLX is built with Kigan Coalite guides sized as semi-micros

Not only is Kistler consistent with their tapers and powers between their different series, but I'd consider their sticks pretty much inline with my thinking of how a specific power should behave. Example, for me, "Medium Heavy" will always have a max lure rating of three quarters of an ounce (3/4oz). Sometimes the suggested low end rating might drop from one quarter (1/4) to one eighth (1/8), but if that top end rating is true, and drops just below 3/4oz, I consider that stick a medium, and if slightly above like to one full ounce, in my mind, that stick is a heavy powered fishing rod.


A close-up of the cork grip

I bring all this up here because I found the KLX764MH right in line with its lure rating with precise, crisp performance both in casting and pitching situations. After running through casting exercises with a few different lure weights to verify the rod's suggested lure rating, I settled on fishing a three eighths ounce Berkley Football head jig tipped with a PowerBait Max Scent Chigger Craw and found it very easy to cast and pitch to targets. In fact, I didn't have to give my presentations a second thought as the KLX764MH loads and unloads in a very predictable manner.


The hook keeper is also by Kigan

Next Section: Sensitivity and Power in the new KLX blank

 

   

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